Are vector and raster images different? Which one is better? If you are looking for these answers, you are in the right place. Here is a detailed vector graphics vs raster graphics comparison guide for graphic artists.
Whether you’re a novice graphic designer, a seasoned pro, or a person wanting to design a simple logo you need to understand what these mean.
For graphics the quality, quantity of detail, and application of Vector and Raster images are different.
By the end of this article you will be able to :
- Clearly understand the advantages and disadvantages they offer
- Identify which one you should choose depending on your project
We’ll go through the differences between raster and vector pictures to help you determine which one is best suited for you.
Understanding Vector And Raster Basics
Before we proceed there are some basic terms you need to understand.
- Pixel – A pixel, dot, or image element is a physical point in a picture in computer graphics. The smallest addressable piece of an image shown on a screen is called a pixel.
- Bitmap – A bitmap graphic (sometimes known as a “raster”) is made up of rows of various colored pixels that combine to produce a picture.
- Resolution – Image resolution is referred to as the dots or pixels that make up pictures.
Dots per inch, or DPI, is a measurement of resolution.
The number of dots per inch is used to determine resolution. The picture becomes clearer as the number of dots increases.
What are Vector and Raster Graphics
You have read about some of the software being Vector and some being Raster. But what do they mean?
Vector And Raster – They are the 2 main ways of creating or working with images.
A vector graphic is formed of vectors, which are paths that pass between points or nodes. When a vector is rendered, the result is a clear, clean picture.
It has sharp edges and will not be lost as it is scaled. Hence, when you resize an image, all of the details remain in the image, giving you a far higher-quality image.
Vector graphics are more difficult to create and are commonly used for logos, cards, and UI components.
A raster graphic, often known as a bitmap, is a picture made up of a collection of pixels or individual blocks. The resolution determines the number of pixels (high or low).
When the image is displayed on a screen with the same pixel count, the quality is 100 percent.
These pixels become fuzzy, deformed, or confused when stretched. Hence when you resize an image, it becomes blurry/blocky.
Raster images are used to depict complex/irregular forms in drawings, photographs, and other media.
Pros and Cons of Vector Graphics
Vector graphics are good but not perfect, here are some of their advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages of Vector Graphics:
- Vector graphics are scalable, one version of a design will always work for each project iteration.
- These files are smaller
- Without sacrificing quality, vector drawings can be stretched to any size.
- By design, they are better for symmetry and clean designs
Disadvantages of Vector Graphics:
- They are unable to represent photographs in a natural manner
- Vector formats are not as widely supported online as raster formats.
- Complex color gradients, textures, or shading are not visible in vectors.
- Vector software has a higher learning curve than traditional drawing since the act of plotting points and assembling forms is not intuitive.
Pros and cons of Raster Graphics
Raster graphics have their ups and downs as well, here are some of them:
Advantages of Raster Graphics :
- Raster graphics produce a wider range of colors in a single image.
- Allows for finer color manipulation.
- At greater resolutions, they reveal richer shade and fewer variations.
- For finer editing, you can zoom in and tweak each pixel as well.
- Raster images are best for advanced texture effects.
Disadvantages of Raster Graphics:
- Raster files, especially those with high resolution, have large file sizes.
- They have a scalability limit
- You must pre-determine the picture’s intended size, this makes it difficult to modify if the project’s scope changes unexpectedly.
- It can be difficult to separate certain areas of the image without using sophisticated masking.
When to use a Vector type?
Because vector graphics are resolution-independent, they are perfect for print designs. Their unlimited scalability and simpler forms make them ideal for logos that need to be adjustable and editable in several situations.
Vectors may also be effective for animated visuals due to their simplicity.
They may also be used for illustration, and despite their aesthetic limitations, they have a great degree of geometric precision.
Here are some examples of circumstances where vector pictures are more appropriate:
Anything that is meant to be printed.
When to use a Rater type
For photography, video, and web-based media, raster is the default format.
It is great for visual art and bigger-scale pictures in illustration because of the level of detail they can generate. It requires high resolution when printed.
Here’s a list of projects that would benefit from raster images:
- Illustration/painting in digital format
- Any piece of artwork that incorporates photography or collage
- Apps for mobile devices
- Advertisements on banners
- Social media Images
Any other design that is intended to be used digitally
Vector and Raster Software and File Types
When the time comes to choose a graphics designing software there are many well-known options to choose from. However, we need to understand that different software uses different graphics and file types.
Here are some common Graphics Software that uses Vector Type:
- Ucraft Logo Maker
- Design Evo
Vector file types
The most popular Vector file types are:
Some of the common Graphics Software to use Raster Type are
- Wix Logo Maker
- Canva logo maker
Raster file types
These are the most popular Raster file types
Vector vs Raster – Which One is Best Suited For Logo Designing
Now that you have understood a bit about how both of them work you will understand which form is better and why.
When it comes to making logos, there is no doubt that vector pictures are the best option.
Why you SHOULD USE Vector in Logo Designing?
Vector pictures are considerably more versatile. One can adjust and resize your logos to your liking without the fear of quality loss.
When designing a logo, this is a crucial factor to consider.
Your logo will not only exist digitally but will also be printed for usage as a banner or on products.
Because vector pictures are so easy to reproduce in print, they provide you with additional design possibilities.
Consider a close-up of the logo, created in vector style. The dots and lines that make up the logo will be easily visible.
These points and lines may be scaled and sized as needed without sacrificing the design’s beauty or clarity if you use vector-style graphics software.
Why you SHOULD NOT USE Raster for Logo Designing
When developing or working with logos, raster graphics are not a good choice, especially if the logo is text-based.
When a logo is image-based rather than text-based, the raster format can be used without a substantial loss in quality.
But since most logos are a combination of text and images, you are better off saving them as vector files.
When you take a closeup of a raster-format logo, the pixilated borders of the emblem will be seen plainly.
It will be ok as long as the logo is kept small, but as it is scaled up and made larger, the pixelation becomes quite noticeable, and the tiny squares are difficult to ignore.
As a result, raster graphics aren’t suitable for logo creation; they don’t form good logos and, when reproduced on products or printed media, they appear disoriented.
It is critical to grasp the subtle distinctions between Vector and Raster and when to use them.
The essential distinction to understand is that vector drawings are made up of paths, whereas raster graphics, or bitmaps, are made up of pixels.
Keep in mind that vector drawings retain their clean borders when resized.
Vector graphics are typically used for logos, charts, and icons, whereas raster graphics are typically used for online visuals that are presented on a screen.
Also, remember that raster files should be 72 dpi for the web and 300 dpi for print.
You can transform your vector image to a raster image, but it takes extra time and effort. It also doesn’t work all the time so ideally, you should be avoiding it. The method is known as rasterization.
So you’re one step closer to choosing which graphics software to use! Now, you can make informed business decisions on these without uncertainty or stress.
Use this wealth of knowledge to propel your company to new heights. Hope you have gained a lot after reading this article and we have managed to clear all your doubts.
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their businesses.