I created a vector logo in Illustrator as an AI file. When I place this logo into a new AI file (embedding it by unchecking "Link" during the Place process), the vector now appears with horrible artifacts along certain corners.

Original logo:

enter image description here

Imported logo (ignore colours):

enter image description here

This only affects the icon in the logo, which was a trace (using the pen tool) of a building. The text in the logo is unaffected.

I initially thought this was the following GPU rendering bug, but Illustrator says my computer's ancient integrated graphics are too old to be used, so no GPU rendering is happening in the first place.

A few things I've noticed while testing:

  • This doesn't happen when simply linking/pasting the file (but then I can't recolour the logo)
  • It persists when exporting to a PNG, indicating the artifacts are "real" rather than rendering problems
  • Making the original logo file bigger and then placing it seems to minimise the artifacts created - I would have expected this not to be the case being a vector. Either way this is a workaround and the problem is still there, just less noticeable.

What's going on here and how can I fix it?

  • Rendering problems are real pixels.
    – joojaa
    Aug 10, 2021 at 15:27
  • @joojaa Very weird thing to pick up on, but it's for people like you that I placed real in square quotes. Aug 10, 2021 at 15:28
  • What happens if you paste the shape into your document instead of placing?
    – Wolff
    Aug 10, 2021 at 15:32
  • @Wolff It seems to work pretty much the same as linking - no artifacts at all, but now I can't recolour the icon. Recolouring was the reason I was trying to embed rather than link/copy in the first place. Aug 10, 2021 at 15:37
  • 1
    align to pixel grid?
    – Scott
    Aug 10, 2021 at 16:40

2 Answers 2


OK, let me recap the resolution.

Since we cannot see the file, but only glean the file structure. The file is multiple times linked from file to another. So we instructed OP to on each level expand any effects and copy data upward.

This has resolved the issue. This does posit that there is a modeling error on OP's part somewhere. But because we cannot see the file and going through each possible problem blind is impossible and too time consuming.

Carefully sifting trough every layer and setting should pinpoint the source of problem. But we are unable to do so without acces to files.

As always I do not concur that this is a bug. Although it might be. Simply because bug does not mean that something does not work as user expected but that the software works against design. And there's no proof one way or another. It's better to err on the side of operator error as there is more you can address on this front.


If you hit CTRL+Y on the original logo file, and you see the same distorted shapes in Ouline mode, then 100% there is no bug, no display issue, and:

  1. the file is literally damaged
  2. or some effects have been applied to the shape

However, if it looks good in Ouline mode, then the file is probably ok and you can try:

  1. resave the file, consider different formats (EPS, legacy AI)
  2. open on another computer and resave the file
  3. link it in InDesign, make a PDF, open the PDF in AI, resave the artwork
  • Ctrl+Y is unlikely to help since the file is placed into the file snd the placed file has a placed file.
    – joojaa
    Aug 10, 2021 at 17:43
  • I meant using CTRL+Y on the original file containing the actual logo.
    – Lucian
    Aug 10, 2021 at 17:47
  • its a bit unclear to me how things are organized but the logo is in three parts of nested file. There is no original logo file as such.
    – joojaa
    Aug 10, 2021 at 17:51
  • Sounds more complicated than it should be. And this is how you get bugs.
    – Lucian
    Aug 10, 2021 at 17:51
  • Agreed @Lucian and mistakes.
    – joojaa
    Aug 10, 2021 at 17:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.