Raster and vector graphics

Raster and vector graphics

Let’s try to figure out what is the difference between raster and vector graphics!


A raster image, like a mosaic, consists of many small cells – pixels, where each pixel contains color information. You can define a raster image by increasing its scale: at a certain stage, a lot of small squares (pixels) will become noticeable.

The most common raster formats: JPEG, PNG.


Raster graphics are convenient for creating high-quality photorealistic images, digital drawings, and photographs. The most popular raster graphics editor is Adobe Photoshop.


The ability to create an image of any complexity – with a huge number of details and a wide color gamut.

Raster images are the most common.

Working with raster graphics is simpler, since the mechanisms for creating and editing it are more familiar and common.


Large occupied memory: the larger the “size” of the image, the more pixels in it and, accordingly, the more space you need to store/transfer such an image.

Impossibility of scaling: a raster image cannot be scaled without loss. When resizing the original image, inevitably (as a result of the interpolation process), a loss of quality will occur.


Unlike bitmap, vector images no longer consist of pixels, but a multitude of control points and curves connecting them. The vector image is described by mathematical formulas and, accordingly, does not require information about each pixel. No matter how you zoom in on a vector image, you will never see pixels.

The most popular vector formats: SVG, AI.


Vector graphics are used for illustrations, icons, logos, and technical drawings, but are difficult to reproduce photorealistic images. The most popular vector graphics editor is Adobe Illustrator.


A small amount of occupied memory – vector images are smaller because they contain a small amount of information.

Vector images scale perfectly – you can infinitely resize images without loss of quality.


To display a vector image, several calculations are required; accordingly, complex images may require increased computational power.

Not every graphic scene can be represented in vector form: for a complex image with a wide color gamut, a huge number of points and curves may be required, which will negate all the advantages of vector graphics.

The process of creating and editing vector graphics is different from the usual model – for working with the vector, additional knowledge will be required.


So, both raster and vector graphics have their advantages and disadvantages; accordingly, it is worth choosing a format that is suitable for solving the tasks set for you.

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