Image Source: Scott Biersack

Image Source: Wayne Thompson

Vector Lettering

Vector lettering is the practice of using visual software (such as Adobe Illustrator) to either create letters in a digital image format, or to convert existing, hand-lettered items to a digital format for editing and further use. As such, vector lettering can be applied to virtually any lettering other lettering style, from hand and brush lettering to chalk lettering or even calligraphy. Vector lettering simply allows all of these unique styles to be used in a digital interface.

Creating works of vector lettering (or converting pre-existing lettering into a vector form) allows for easy and exact reproduction, as well as resizing, file sharing, and in-depth editing. A vector image file can be taken into Photoshop and edited to alter color, hue, or saturation; vector lettering can also be layered over existing images or documents, filled in with textures, or filtered in numerous ways to construct novel and striking visual effects.

To understand the vector lettering process beyond these facts, it is important to define what exactly a “vector” is. In the world of visual graphics, vectors are small geometrical details such as lines, points, curves, or minute shapes, which build together to create larger shapes or images. Each point or line in a vector is based on a specific mathematical equation, which allows the graphical software to graph or plot the vector in space. Each vector in an image file can be altered in terms of its thickness, shape, size, color, texture, and fill, which allows for maximum customization.

Any work of hand, brush, or chalk lettering may be converted to a vector graphic format, as can works of calligraphy. Hand-crafted lettering must simply be photographed or scanned and then converted into a vector file format (Adobe Illustrator is most commonly used for this). While this conversion process can sometimes be difficult, the result is a lasting electronic record of your lettering, which can be remixed, edited, shared, and used for countless illustration projects.

Vector graphic technology also allows vector lettering to be incredibly precise, detailed, and high quality without increasing an image’s file size, which makes it practical for web design, printing, merchandizing, and all manner of other digital projects. If you would like to re-use any lettering, recolor it, edit it, or apply it to new projects in any way, vector lettering is the ideal choice.