HomeGraphic designingWhat is the difference between raster vs. vector graphics?

What is the difference between raster vs. vector graphics?

With so many photographs to pick from online, deciding which file types to use can take time and effort. Do you prefer raster or vector images? Pixels compose raster pictures, whereas mathematical shapes and routes compose vector images.

Raster vs. vector graphics are the two most frequent file formats when working with digital pictures, graphic design, logos, and other digital images. Knowing the ins and outs of both formats, as well as how they translate when exported, is a crucial ability for every designer.

raster vs. vector graphics

Read this post to learn more about raster vs. vector graphics and how they vary:

What are the raster graphics?

Raster graphics, often known as bitmap graphics, are based on pixels. These are made out of a grid of colored dots or pixels. A single dot symbolizes a color, but the colorful dots together form a vibrant and complex artwork. This raster graphics approach produces images with a lot of detail. Digital cameras generate pictures using raster graphics. All photos used in print and online are bitmap images. Raster graphics are excellent for picture editing and digital painting. The most common raster graphics formats are .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, and.PNG.

Raster graphics, commonly known as bitmaps, store visual information as a two-dimensional map of pixels. Zoom in on a raster picture to view the information it contains – data on the color of each pixel. Zoom out, and the pixels appear to combine flawlessly to form a picture. Zooming in on a vector icons. on the other hand, allows you to view the smooth forms and curves of the image’s parts rather than individual pixels.

The most common raster image file extensions are:

  • GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
  • JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
  • PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

What Is Vector Graphics? 

Vector graphics are based on mathematical formulae that define geometric primitives. These are polygons, lines, curves, circles, and rectangles. They are far more versatile, adaptable, and simple to use. It makes them ideal for organized imagery. Vector drawings are easily scalable, with no upper or bottom scaling limits. It always seems smooth, no matter how huge you make it or how close you zoom in. Vector may be saved in the.AI ,.SVG ,.PDF, and .EPS file formats.

These forms and figures are known as primitives in computer graphics because they are the most basic figures to which a shape may be broken down. Using graphics software, they may be merged to form more complicated figures. Vector icons software enables businesses to generate and alter pictures. You can utilize mathematical calculations and geometric commands. The vector graphics solutions are primarily concerned with supplying high definition. So, It makes sure that quality is not compromised while manipulating.

The vector format Graphics are used largely as source files for hard-edged graphics, logos, and drawings. This format is often used to generate simpler graphics. These are easy to scale up or down, depending on the application. Vector files must be converted to raster before they can be used on the web or printed, often in.JPG or.PNG format.

Click here to know difference between svg vs png web performance? 

How to create Vector and Rasters?

Vector vs. raster graphics design is important to current digital design and imagery. These two main techniques are independent methodologies for representing and processing visual data. These graphics are created using a combination of software tools, creative vision, and technical ability. This investigation delves into the complexities of vector and raster graphics creation. It sheds light on the methodologies, tools, and creative processes that go into each method.

Vector graphics: 

Vector graphics are a fundamental component of digital design. It provides an attractive and adaptable method of visual representation. Precision and scalability are kings in the field of vector graphics. This makes them an indispensable choice for a wide range of applications. This investigation digs into the interesting world of vector graphics. It explains the intricate details of their production as well as the distinct benefits they provide in the field of digital design.

Using Vector Design Software: Vector graphics are often made using specialist vector design tools. Some of the tools are Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Inkscape, etc.

Drawn or Designed Shapes: Mathematical formulae specify forms, lines, and curves that makeup vector graphics. Using the software’s numerous tools, you may draw and alter these forms. These forms are sometimes referred to as “objects.”

Pen Tool and Bézier Curves: The Pen Tool is a must-have in vector drawing software. It helps you to construct accurate pathways and forms by employing Bézier curves. These are mathematical curves specified by control points. By altering the placements of these control points, you may construct and change shapes.

Text and Typography: Vector graphics applications include text tools for inserting and manipulating text. One can modify the attributes of text, such as font, size, and style. It is considered as a vector object. 

Scalability:  One of the key benefits of vector graphics is its scalability. You can resize vector graphics without loss of quality. The mathematical specification is the reason behind it. As a result, these are great for logos, SVG icons, and images. You will require them in a variety of sizes while working on the project. 

Raster Graphics:

Raster graphics are a fundamental and adaptable media that serves as the foundation for many of our visual experiences. These graphics serve as the foundation for photographs, digital paintings, and detailed designs. These designs capture the vibrant, subtle nuances of our environment. Raster graphics have a grid of individual pixels that are precisely colored to make a coherent picture. This grid-like structure makes them ideal for replicating realistic images.  

Using Raster Editing Software: You can use raster editing tools to create raster graphics. Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, and many more programs are commonly used to create raster images.

Pixels and Grids: Raster images consist of a grid of individual pixels (short for “picture elements”). Each pixel represents a single point of color on the image. The number of pixels per inch (DPI) or pixels per centimeter (PPCM) determines the quality and resolution of a raster image.

Painting and Editing:  Individual pixels are painted or edited to produce raster images. You may change the colors and features of the image pixel by pixel using tools like brushes, pencils, and erasers. 

Photographic Content: Raster graphics are ideal for pictures and images that have intricate details, shading, and textures. They’re quite popular in digital photography and photo editing.

Resolution and Image Size: Raster pictures have a fixed resolution; therefore, enlarging them can result in pixelation when expanded.

When to use vector or raster graphics?

You can choose between vector and raster graphics as per your individual needs of a design project. Vector graphics are great when accuracy and scalability are critical. Producing logos, vector icons, and pictures are common vector uses. It is because their mathematical nature allows for limitless scaling without loss of quality. Vector graphics are also ideal for text-heavy designs and infographics, where clarity and precise lines are vital. 

Raster graphics are more suitable for projects that include photographic information, intricate details, and realistic textures. They excel at digital photography, image editing, and creating visually rich and textured artwork. When extending raster images, however, there is a need to take care of maintaining image quality. The reason is that they may suffer from pixelation when extended. 

Some common uses of Vector graphics:

  • You can use them when developing large-format goods such as banners, signs, car wraps, and other large format products.
  • Vector icons are ideal for corporate identity print work, logos, promotional posters, and large drawings.

 Some common uses of Raster graphics: 

  • In designs that involve photography, use raster graphics.
  • Raster graphics work well in web design.
  • When you need to apply an effect to a picture, such as a blur, texture, or other image alteration, use raster graphics.

Differences between raster and vector graphics

One of the primary distinctions between raster and vector pictures is the file storing technique. Let us investigate these disparities further.

1. Resolution:

Raster Graphics: Raster graphics have a fixed resolution and are resolution-dependent. This implies that they have a particular amount of pixels per inch or centimeter. Scaling them might result in a loss of quality, creating pixelation when expanded.

Vector Graphics:  Vector graphics are resolution-independent. They are scalable without losing quality. They are specified mathematically and repainted to the new size or scale. 

2. File Size:

Raster Graphics: Raster graphics have bigger file sizes, especially when working with high-resolution pictures. It is because each pixel contains color information. Working with images might result in large file sizes.

Vector Graphics: Vector graphics have smaller file sizes than identical raster pictures. The file just has to carry mathematical descriptions of forms and characteristics. These are typically more compact.

3. Editing and Modification:

Raster Graphics: Editing raster images often involves modifying individual pixels, which is suitable for tasks like photo manipulation or detailed digital painting. However, complex vector-like operations (e.g., changing the shape of an object) can be challenging.

Vector Graphics: Vector images are easily edited by manipulating the underlying mathematical descriptions of objects. This makes them suitable for tasks such as resizing, changing shapes, altering colors, and modifying text.

4. Use Cases:

Raster Graphics: Raster graphics are best for representing photographs, complex textures, and images with intricate details. They are commonly used in digital photography, web images, and realistic artwork.

Vector Graphics: Vector graphics are ideal for logos, icons, illustrations, typography, technical drawings, and any application where scalability and precise, clean lines are important.

5. Examples:

Raster Graphics: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, and TIFF are common raster image formats used for photographs and web graphics.

Vector Graphics: AI (Adobe Illustrator), SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), and EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) are common vector image formats used for illustrations and logos.

6. Clarity and Precision:

Raster Graphics: Raster images can suffer from a lack of clarity when scaled up, as they are composed of a finite grid of pixels. Fine details may become blurred or pixelated, which can impact the visual quality.

Vector Graphics: Vector images maintain sharpness and clarity at any scale since they are defined mathematically. This precision is particularly important when creating logos or designs with intricate details.

7. Color Handling:

Raster Graphics: Raster images work with pixel-based colors, and color changes may involve altering individual pixels. This can be limiting when making global color adjustments.

Vector Graphics: Vector graphics can easily manage global color changes and gradients, making them more suitable for designs that require consistent color schemes and gradients.

8. File Compatibility:

Raster Graphics: Raster images can be easily imported into various software applications, including word processors and image editors. However, they may not scale well without quality loss.

Vector Graphics: Vector graphics are supported in vector-based applications, which are often used for design and layout, such as Adobe Illustrator. They can also be converted into raster formats for wider compatibility.

9. Storage and Printing:

Raster Graphics: Raster images are suitable for high-quality printing, especially in situations where the print size matches the image’s native resolution.

Vector Graphics: Vector icons are ideal for printing, particularly in scenarios where the design needs to be scaled to various sizes, such as business cards, banners, and billboards

Wrap up: 

So, to wrap things up,  choosing between raster vs.vector graphics is akin to having to choose between two eccentric friends. Raster graphics are your pixel-loving companions that thrive in exquisite detail. This makes them ideal for those brilliant images and elaborate visualizations. But be warned: as you resize them, they might get irritable, resulting in the dreaded pixelation.

On the other hand, vector graphics are the math gurus of your creative circle. They employ arithmetic and geometric forms to develop designs. these designs can scale without breaking a sweat. Need a logo that will look good on a business card and a large billboard? Vector graphics have you covered.

Ultimately , your decision between raster vs. vector graphics should represent your creative demands. Do you want to catch every detail in that magnificent landscape photograph? Raster graphics are a must-have. Looking to design a logo that is both adaptable and scalable? Vector drawings are your trustworthy pals. Choose wisely, and let your artistic skills shine! 


What difference between raster and vector graphics pdf?

Difference between Raster and Vector Graphics in PDF: Raster graphics in PDF are made up of pixels, while vector graphics are composed of mathematical formulas defining shapes and lines.

Difference between raster and vector graphics in computer graphics?

Difference between Raster and Vector Graphics in Computer Graphics: Raster graphics are composed of pixels, whereas vector graphics are defined by mathematical equations representing shapes and lines.

Difference between vector and raster graphics in photoshop?

Difference between Vector and Raster Graphics in Photoshop: In Photoshop, vector graphics are created using paths and shapes, while raster graphics are composed of pixels in layers.

Raster vs vector examples?

Raster vs Vector Examples: Raster examples include photographs and scanned images, while vector examples comprise logos and illustrations.

Is low resolution a raster or vector image?

Is Low Resolution a Raster or Vector Image?: Low resolution typically refers to a raster image, as it indicates a lower density of pixels, resulting in a lower quality image.

Pooja Verma
Pooja Verma
I'm a dedicated SEO executive and content writer, passionate about crafting engaging and optimized content that drives results. With an eye for search engine trends and a talent for storytelling, I assist businesses in effectively increasing their online presence and connecting with their target audience. Let's work together to tell your brand's narrative.
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