Customer asks: What is the difference between vector and raster graphics?

April 6th, 2015 by raster versus vector

The Answer: The difference between vector and raster graphics is raster graphics are composed of pixels, while vector graphics are composed of mathematical bezier and paths. A raster graphic, such as a gif or jpeg, is an amalgam of pixels of various colors, which together form an image in most cases a photograph. The vector graphic, such as an .eps file or Adobe Illustrator file is composed of paths, or lines, that are either straight or curved. The data file for a vector image contains the points where the paths start and end, how much the paths curve, and the colors or gradients that either border or fill the paths. Due to the fact that vector graphics are not made of pixels, the images can be scaled virtually any size without a loss of apparent quality. Raster graphics, however, become “pixel-ized,” since each pixel increases in size as the image is extrapolated or increased in size. This is why logos and many designs are typically created in vector format — the quality will look the same on a business card as it will on a vehicle wrap or billboard.