I am unable to move my vector logo from Illustrator to Photoshop without losing some resolution. It is going to be printed very large! Help!

Here is a picture of the good...Good quality

Here is a picture of the bad... Bad quality

You have to zoom in to see what I am talking about... I know there are layer effects on one

  • If it's vector just copy in AI, paste in PS as a smart object.
    – Scott
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 21:09
  • 1
    Did you complete the transformation after pasting it in as a Smart Object? The preview can look terrible, until you actually complete the transformation by pressing enter or the checkmark in the toolbar.
    – Joonas
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 21:17
  • 3
    Photoshop is a pixel based app... you're going to see pixel edges. Heck your monitor is a pixel based display... you'll see pixels in Illustrator if you look hard enough.
    – Scott
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 21:28
  • 1
    Perhaps test print it at 100% as a diagnostic, that will help clarify if it is the screen display or a result of rasterisation.
    – user42737
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 0:17
  • 2
    The obvious difference between your two image is one is being viewed at 66.7% and the other at 300% -- zooming in will naturally show more pixels than zooming out. To see them accurately, you need to set the zoom levels to the same value, then compare.
    – Scott
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 3:49

3 Answers 3


A vector shape has no resolution. PhotoShop does. So the very nature of rasterizing a vector shape will, in theory, always produce a lower-resolution file. There's no way around that.

What you need is 'enough' resolution for your particular need.

To know what that resolution is, read this post: I need to print an image a certain size. What dimensions and resolutions should I use?

The statements "It's going to be printed very large" and "you have to zoom way in to see the issue" would indicate to me that you already have 'enough' resolution. But obviously it will depend on a lot of different factors.


The simplest method to do this is to Copy the entire vector in Illustrator.

Then paste it in a new layer in Photoshop. When you paste it, it will give you prompt to how you would like to paste it. Select Smart Object, and it will act as a grouped Vector.

In addition make sure you PSD file is set to 300dpi if you are planning on printing.

Also another thing you must consider. When you zoom in @ 300% in photoshop it functions differently than Illustrator, in the sense that Illustrator redraws the Vector at the zoom level. However in Photoshop everything is based on static pixel, so when you zoom in the vector will not redraw BUT if you expand the image size, and scale the vector, it will increase flawlessly as vectors should.

  • '300dpi' isn't all that relevant to printing large banners (if that is what the OP means by "very large")
    – DA01
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 15:43
  • I just tried this using Smart Object and then saved as PDF, but it didn't work. It gets pixilated on the PDF when I zoom in. However, if I choose Shape Layer and then save as PDF, the artwork doesn't pixilated. It becomes like font no matter how much I zoom it always renders clear and smooth. Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 0:05
  • This won't work, even if you choose pdf x1a. The smart object will still be rasterized. But if you retype those text in photoshop, then save as pdf x1a then it will be vector. Commented Dec 7, 2018 at 1:07

If you are working primarily with vectors over a bitmap (raster) or PSD background, I would (and do) do this the other way around.

Set up an appropriately sized artboard in Illustrator, sized the SAME as you intend to print it, CMYK, 300ppi. Import and size the background image to the artboard, and then put your vectors on top.

I've been working this way for printed media up to billboard size for years and it works 100%

I know its not exactly answering your question, but its an alternative that works.

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