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I am self taught on Photoshop CS6 and my problem is that I typeset fonts for a logo and sent them to the printer for stationary printing. However, they ask me for a vector file not bitmap. How do I convert my artwork and fonts to vector from a raster design?

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For type, you really don't convert from raster to vector. In fact, in general, you don't convert from raster to vector. Rather, you redraw it as vector. You can use tools to make this job faster, such as auto-trace tools in programs like Inkscape or Illustrator, but it's still only going to be an approximation and will require hand tweaking.

All that said, if you typeset your logo, I assume you used a particular font. Just re-type the font in a vector program and there you go. No need to convert anything.

UPDATE:

Septronic's answer is misleading, but there is a good point mixed in there. If your source file is Photoshop, and your type is still set as type, the vector data may still be there. You could try exporting your PSD as a PDF and see if that will work for the printer. I can't find any particular setting in Photoshop's PDF export to preserve vectors, though I admittedly don't deal with that much any more. Maybe someone else can offer some suggestions in that regard.

  • Photoshop simply inherently includes vector data if it is present in the document. There's no specific setting for it. Similar to saving a PDF with Illustrator, there's nothing specific which details the type of data being written to the PDF - it's all in the document itself. – Scott Aug 29 '14 at 22:02
  • @Scott I just tried saving a PDF with only type layers out as a "Photoshop PDF" and even then it rasterized the type within the PDF. So I'm not sure one can export type as vector via Photoshop into a PDF (unless there's a setting I'm missing somewhere) – DA01 Aug 29 '14 at 22:21
  • Maybe only vector shapes retain vector data. Type gets rasterized regardless? – DA01 Aug 29 '14 at 22:21
  • hmm.. not the case here @DA01. Type may get outlined but those are vector outlines. In fact - single Photoshop doc with 1 type layer... I can't save a PDF where the type is rasterized. Note: you can't open PDFs with Photoshop to check, you have to use Illustrator. Photoshop automatically rasterizes everything if you open a PDF with it (unless it's a Photoshop PDF with editing capabilities ON.) – Scott Aug 30 '14 at 0:02
  • @scott odd, I see just the opposite. Open PSD > set type on one layer > SAVE AS Photoshop PDF = open pdf and type is clearly rasterized if I open it in preview, for example. Maybe it depends on version of PhotoShop. – DA01 Aug 30 '14 at 11:01
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If only the text is part of your logo; you can export it to vector in Illustrator. But you need your text layer files for this.

See guide here.

To do this, you simply need to save your Photoshop file with the layers, and open it in Illustrator.

You will be asked to convert the layers to objects or to flatten the layers. Choose "convert to objects".

Then you can simply save that new Adobe Illustrator vector file to an .ai or a .pdf.

Before you do this though, you should "vectorize" your text to make sure the fonts won't be needed by your printer.

To do this, select your text, go on the menu "type" and select "create outline". THEN you can save your file and send it to your printer!

if your logo also contains a graphic done in Photoshop, sometimes it's not always possible to create a vector with it if there's some special effects on it. For example: drop shadows, embossed, glow, etc.

If the logo is a simple shape, you could redraw it in Illustrator. If your logo contains special effects as the ones I mentioned, you should import it in Illustrator and match it with your text file that is in vector now.

Make sure your logo is at very high resolution (preferably 300 to 600dpi, or more) and that the color mode is in CMYK if printed in full colors, or grayscale if printed in one color.

Also make sure your text in vector is the right color. If you print in black, you might want to use the black only (Cyan 0%, Magenta 0%, Yellow 0%, Black 100%). Here are some reasons why.

If save your logo in PDF and the file is very heavy, you can check this link here to learn how to optimize it. But instead of using the 300dpi value for the color mode, use 600dpi.

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Yo can do it.

Select the Pen tool. Open the "Window" menu and choose "Paths" to reveal the Paths panel.

In the Options bar, choose the standard version of the Pen tool to draw Bezier curves and precise straight lines.

Make a selection using the Magic Wand or other selection tools.

Open the flyout menu at the top right corner of the Paths panel and choose "Make Work Path".

Set a tolerance value to govern how tightly your path follows your original selection's boundaries.

Double-click on the Work Path that appears in the Paths panel when you first draw with the Pen tool or convert a selection to a path. Name your path (if not, the next action you take that creates a path will replace the vector drawing on your existing Work Path with new vector output).

Click on the “File” menu, then click on “Export” and choose the “Paths” option when it pops up

Click “Save." The file will save as an Adobe Illustrator (.ai) vector file.

Open the "File" menu, locate its "Export" submenu and choose "Paths to Illustrator." The resulting file contains paths with no strokes or fills.

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I've heard that if you save your design as PDF, you will create a vector. I've done it before quite a few times, and it works. However, I'm not sure if PDF would be of any use for your purpose.

EDIT:

Just make sure you save the PDF with the correct colour profile, as this is a very important point to remember when printing something. Some printers (most of the commercial ones) use CYMK colour profiling, and if you have your files in RGB, colours would look different when printed.

EDIT 2:

This is extracted from this website:

When printing up JPEG images, the print quality of an image depends upon the Pixel dimension. The Pixel dimension for screen and print resolution are two different things. Thus, when it comes to the printing factor, what you get on screen isn't necessarily what you'll get on paper. However, when in the PDF format, you can print up exactly what you see.

As well, while JPEG is ideal for image formatting purposes, there are limitations. JPEGs are generally not good for small images or images with textual data. Neither is it good for repeatedly edited images. JPEGs also don't produce transparency within images very well as the lossy compression will eliminate those extra pixels needed for the subtle "fading out" effect.

When the quality of an image becomes a priority in professional industries, converting JPEG files into a more versatile and integral format is mandatory. For professional uses such as the publishing of major ads and images, a hi-res PDF file is usually specified for transmitting advertisements.

EDIT 3:

Have a look at this link and see that a PDF is in fact a Vector:

http://vectorguru.org/software/how-can-i-convert-an-image-into-a-vector.html

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    This is completely untrue. Saving a PDF never converts anything from raster to vector. Absolutely never. – Scott Aug 29 '14 at 19:01
  • look at this article: investintech.com/resources/articles/howconvertjpegtopdf – Septronic Aug 29 '14 at 19:04
  • This is what I meant as the advantages of converting to PDF, PDFs are vector based, and that is why you print exactly what you see. – Septronic Aug 29 '14 at 19:05
  • @Scott: If you go half way down the page I linked, you will see why I believe that. – Septronic Aug 29 '14 at 19:06
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    That article is simply misleading. I guarantee that in no instance will saving a as a PDF improve the original content. That article is there to sell that web site's product. It's not accurate at all. A pixel is a pixel whether it's in a jpg or PDF -- it's still a pixel. Sorry, but you are simply wrong here. – Scott Aug 29 '14 at 19:08

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