Differences in file types: vector vs. raster graphics

Scalable vector graphics are another name for vector graphics. Similar to connect-the-dot games you might have played as a youngster, these visuals are made up of anchoring dots connected by lines and curves. These visuals are characterized as resolution independent since they are not dependent on pixels, making them infinitely expandable. No matter how big they are, their lines are precise and retain all of their beauty and detail. Additionally, because these graphics are device-independent, their quality is not influenced by factors like the number of dots on a printer or the number of pixels on a screen. The files are quite tiny in size since they are made up of lines and anchor points.

Raster pictures are created from small dots called pixels that combine color and tone to create the final image. When the image is zoomed in or expanded, pixels seem like tiny squares on graph paper. Digital cameras, computer scanners, or raster-based software are used to produce these images. Only a certain number of pixels can be contained in each image, and the quantity of pixels affects the image’s quality. Resolution is the term for this. At the same or bigger sizes as the original, more pixels improve the quality, but this also increases the size of the file and the amount of storage space required for the file.

We need to grasp a few fundamental terminologies before we can discuss what vector graphics and raster graphics are.

A pixel, dot, or image element is a physical point in a picture in computer graphics. The smallest addressable component of a picture displayed on a screen is called a pixel.

Raster images make up the vast bulk of the visuals we view on computer screens. Another illustration of a raster picture is the selfie you take on your phone. A bitmap, or grouping of pixels, is used to create a picture.

A bitmap is a mapping from one domain (such as a range of numbers) to bits, or values that are either zero or one, in computer graphics. It is also known as a bitmap index or a bit array. A map of pixels with more than two colors stored in each pixel, or more than one bit per pixel, is referred to as a “pixmap” in a more generic sense. Bitmap is frequently used for this as well. While pixmap is used for pictures with several bits per pixel, in other circumstances the word “bitmap” denotes one bit per pixel.

When to choose vector versus raster?

Vector Graphics

A vector graphic is well suited for usage in digital printing, from business cards to billboards, due to its tiny file size and scalability. Additionally, they are utilized when producing 2D or 3D computer animation, web-based objects, and bottom thirds for movies. For laser engraving, t-shirts, patches, and other items, their native files are required. For digital photographs and print products, raster images work well. Vector is the greatest option if your project calls for scalable forms and solid colors, but raster is the preferable format if it calls for sophisticated color mixes.

Raster Graphics

Bit maps are used by raster pictures to store information. This suggests a huge bitmap is required for a large file. The picture file will require more storage space the larger the image. A 640 x 480 image, for instance, requires the storage of information for 307,200 pixels, but a 3072 × 2048 image (from a 6.3 Megapixel digital camera), requires the storage of data for an astounding 6,291,456 pixels. To assist minimize these file sizes, we employ methods that compress photos. JPEG and GIF are examples of popular compressed picture formats. While increasing a bitmap results in distorted or simply blurry visuals, scaling down these images is simple. Therefore, we employ vector graphics for images that need to be scaled to multiple sizes.

Conversion with each other

1- Vector To Raster

Raster devices include displays and printers. Therefore, before vector pictures can be utilized, such as shown or printed, they must be converted to raster format. The size of the raster file created is greatly influenced by the desired resolution. It is crucial to remember that the size of the vector picture that has to be transformed always stays the same. Converting a vector file to a variety of bitmap/raster file formats is simple, but going the other way is more challenging.

2- Raster To Vector

In computers, the process of converting raster pictures to vector images is known as image tracing or vectorization. The ability to update pictures and recover work is a fascinating use of vectorization. We can recover lost information by using vectorization. A bitmap output file is created by Paint on Microsoft Windows. In Paint, jagged lines are quite obvious. The image size is considerably reduced with this type of conversion. Therefore, in this case, an accurate conversion is not feasible. The converted photographs are not of excellent quality because of different approximations and editing background of design that is done throughout the conversion process.

How are raster images and vector graphics different?

The main distinctions, benefits, and drawbacks of raster and vector graphics have been discussed in their own descriptions; now, let’s compare them. The three key distinctions between raster and vector are listed below.

1-  Pixels versus math

Raster pictures cannot be scaled without compromising quality since they are made up of colored pixels that are grouped to make an image. A raster will pixelate or blur if it is enlarged. The picture must be smaller to preserve quality the lower its resolution (pixels per inch).

A vector graphic may be scaled indefinitely while maintaining sharp, defined edges because the mathematical equations that underlie them recalculate as they are enlarged.

When comparing a raster with a vector, the difference is clear when you zoom in; while the vector is still smooth, the raster file allows you to see individual pixels. Resolution is not an issue when using vectors.

2- True-to-life graphics

Although it is feasible to make a vector look like an image, it is hard to accurately reproduce a photograph with vectors due to the subtle differences in blended colors, shading, shadows, and gradient. Even if it were possible, the procedure would be incredibly time-consuming because every color change would call for the creation of a new formIt is possible to apply rasterized effects to vectors, however this is not the same as a genuine vector, and scaling and resolution must be taken into account.

On the other hand, rasterized pictures are fully capable of creating realistic graphics, including visually flawless color blending, shades, gradients, and shadows. Of course, they still have dimensional size and resolution restrictions, unlike vectors.

3- File type and size

JPG, GIF, PNG, TIF, BMP, and PSD are the most popular raster file formats. AI, CDR, and SVG are the three most popular vector file formats. Both rasters and vectors can be displayed in the EPS and PDF file types; the kind of file depends on the program used to produce it.

Programs like Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, and InkScape are frequently used for creating and altering vector graphics. Photoshop, which has limited vector capabilities, and GIMP are the two most widely used raster editors.


Rasterized pictures can have huge file sizes because they must include all the data required to produce the image (pixels, colors, arrangement of pixels, etc.); the bigger the resolution and dimensional size, the larger the file.

It all comes down to what you’re making and how you want to utilize it. Create a vector that can be resized as needed, then export in any format you need at any given moment if you need a brand logo that will be used repeatedly in various media, such as print, digital, television, product etching, signs, etc. Create a raster that is capable of displaying intricate color mixes and simulating the properties of natural light whether you want to edit photos or construct a lovely digital artwork.

Whether your project requires raster pictures, vector graphics, or both, using high-quality printing services at low costs at, will ensure that your printed work appears just as stunning as it does on your computer screen.