Nour and I commissioned a calligrapher in Beirut to design a logo containing both of our names, intertwined. A week later, we got the result via WhatsApp. Here’s the original picture:

Note the blue guide-lines and variations in the stroke thickness. I really wanted to make this last by preserving it digitally, so I loaded it into Adobe Illustrator and used the trace tool to convert the image bitmap into a vector.

Vectorized Version

After tweaking some of the threshold options and filtering out the blue gridlines, here’s the result:

All-Black Vectorized

Vectorized with Accents in Gray

The Difference

A regular image (like the one we received) is essentially a 2-dimensional grid, where each cell is a color value (often represented using red, green, blue, and alpha). Vectorized images, meanwhile, don’t use a grid and instead store the actual shapes in the image. Because of this distinction, vectorized images can be scaled up infinitely, while normal images will pixelate at higher dimensions:

Original @ 10x Zoom

Vectorized @ 10x Zoom