Difference Between Raster and Vector Graphics

Difference Between Raster and Vector Graphics | PunchDigitizing

The main types of online digital graphic images are vector and raster. Very often, people ask what is the differences between raster and vector graphics? We fail to tell them apart and determine which kind is ideal for their projects.

An array of pixels of different colors that together form an image is a raster graphic, such as a gif or jpeg. A vector graphic, such as a .eps file or an Adobe Illustrator file, consists of either straight or curved paths, or lines.

Raster graphics

Raster graphics are made up of a collection of individual pixels. Each pixel reflects a color, but when they are all combined, they form a well-detailed image. It is possible to equate Raster images with pointillistic paintings that are composed of individual dots forming an entire painted image. Raster images are known as bitmaps as well. One of the biggest benefits of raster images is that it enables editing pixel-by-pixel so that raster images can be used to design very detailed images.

In pictures, raster graphics are best used when the smooth transition between shades and colors needs to be illustrated. For catalogs, posters, postcards, stationery, and other daily projects, Raster graphics are outstanding.

Even though they tend to look the same, Raster images take up more hard disc space than vector format images. That’s because raster files contain details in the graphic about each pixel. This problem can be mitigated by compression techniques, although these graphics can present you with a challenge if space is a major concern. .bmp, .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .psd, and .tif are the standard raster graphics file formats.

Advantages of raster graphics include:

  • They are quick to use.
  • They include subtle color gradations.
  • Using popular programs such as Photoshop and Microsoft Paint, they are easy to edit.

The main drawback of raster graphics is that they are not always accessible for creating high-quality printed projects when the desired end result is large-format.

Vector graphics

Unlike raster graphics that are composed of pixels that come together and form an image, Vector graphics are composed of paths based on mathematical formulas, hence the name Vector. If you look closely at a vector graphic, just like a child’s connecting the dots game you can see control points with curves between them.

Vector graphics are scalable, because the vectors are mathematically defined, and can be blown up to any size without losing any quality or having any of the blurry, pixelated features you see when you zoom in on raster images. For this purpose, vector graphics are suitable for logos and other projects with multiple sizes that need to stay sharp.

Complementing vector trace designs that carry simple and solid colors. Moreover, in terms of imitating photos, they are the best option. Although vector images provide some degree of image detail, compared with raster images, they lag behind in terms of intricate detail. The main explanation for this is that vector images consist of shapes and all of them have their own color, so in vector images, it is comparatively more difficult to render images of complex color gradients and shadows than in raster images. Programs like CorelDraw, Illustrator and InkSpace can be used to create and design vector images.


Raster images are suitable for simple images, such as photos that express subtle gradations of color, shadow, and light, despite their lack of consistency at larger scales and often unwieldy file sizes. Vector graphics are suitable for scalable projects with fewer colors, despite their inability to make completely seamless color transitions. To cover all of your bases, have your template in all formats or in vector form to be converted later on.

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