Is an EPS file a Vector file?

What is an EPS file:

EPS stands for Encapsulated PostScript and is commonly used for storing vectors and rasters. It is supported by most graphics packages, such as the Adobe Suite, Coreldraw and QuarkXpress.
Question: I have supplied my printer an EPS file - but they rejected it
Out of the files we receive on a regular basis, about 40% are actually EPS files. People often ask us why their printer rejected the EPS file that their software generated.
Answer (in most cases): The file, although has an EPS file extension, is NOT a vector - but a raster.
Let me give you a very simple example to illustrate this answer. Take a photograph of a letter you have written (or a print out of an email you have received - if like me, you can't remember the last time you wrote a letter!). Import this in to Microsoft Word. Now SAVE this as a Word document.
If you now open the Word document, you can't edit your photograph can you (for example, change the spelling of a Word)? In this example, the photograph is a raster (not editable). This is analogous to somebody saving a file as an EPS using their software and anticipating that the software automatically changes it to a Vector (which doesn't happen!).
All the files we supply are Vector EPS's and have never been rejected by a printer.
Question: Is a Vector EPS, a true Vector?
The easiest way to answer this is to look at the vector file. If it is a 2D graphic (ie no special effects, gradient fills etc) then it would almost certainly be a true Vector. The final test is to increase/decrease the scale to test that it remains intact.
If however, it is 3D / has any special effects (for example gradient fills, 3D rendering) then it is unlikely to be a true Vector. Why? Because any special effects you apply to a Vector will be internally saved as a raster (although sometimes you can have gradient fills that scale properly). When you have a vector that has any special effects it is important to inform us what size you would like us to set the Vector to (for print). For example 1m high. This is because, it may not be possible to rescale the Vector without losing quality (as their are raster components which make up the special effects).
If your supplier has requested a true vector - for example used by Vinyl Cutters (which is likely to be a sign shop), an engraving, embossing or foil printing then the final version you receive may look different to what you have supplied (if special effects have been used they will be removed). In the case of an engraver or for embossing/foil printing the final vector will either look like a wireframe (just outlines with no fills) or a solid black image that represents the area to be embossed/foiled.
As a company, we will always inform you from the outset if there is going to be a major change to how your Vector will appear after we have manually redrawn it - so there are no surprises.
If you have a logo or an image that you need to converted to a Vector EPS then please visit our homepage.
(Prices start from just £9.49)