I thought this would be the most appropriate SE.

Regularly I'm asked to convert clients logo's and various other images into vectors - for whatever reason they don't have the original files or cannot find the original designer to ask.

What is the term for this process? Is 'vectorization' a word?

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is. We sometimes use the term here.

Vectorization is a valid term, but it's often reserved for when talking about tools (like live trace in Adobe Illustrator) that approximate vectors from a raster image automatically.

It's not so often used for the process of adapting, re-creating, re-drawing or re-interpreting a raster image as vectors, since calling this 'vectorization' can give the misleading impression that it's a purely automatic, "hit a magic button" process, as if we just press live trace in illustrator then say job done. But it is sometimes used to mean this.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say:

Vectorization (computer graphics), the process of converting raster graphics into vector graphics.

And you'll see the article focuses wholly on the automatic side.

  • re your 2nd paragraph, we used to make sure we called this "redrawing" to avoid this misapprehension by the client.
    – e100
    Commented Jun 1, 2012 at 11:52
  • @e100 Why do you say "used to"? Is there a different term you use now? Commented Jun 1, 2012 at 12:16
  • @user568458 It is just that I am no longer a designer.
    – e100
    Commented Jun 1, 2012 at 12:45

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