What’s the Difference: Raster vs. Vector

As we continue to expand our knowledge on graphics and design, more questions arrive (to my mind at least). An example of such asked by beginners and amateurs is, “what is a vector and raster and what’s the difference?”, which is fine to question. That’s because for the most part, they basically do the same thing, right? Well not entirely. There’s small differences in composition and uses that a designer should know. These types of edits and images are very important to learn, and it’s a pretty complicated concept to understand. Nevertheless, we’re going down the rabbit hole to get a better understanding of vectors and rasters!


Vector

Photo by Rober González on Unsplash

Vectors are mathematical formulas which explains how paths of a graphic are shaped, colored, and outlined. Vectors allow images to keep their appearance identical to the original image no matter what the image size. This allows them to scale images and graphics to any chosen song. It’s best to use vectors for simple designs with simple colors like logos, illustrations, engravings, signage, etc. This feature can be used in Adobe programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. With these restrictions, most graphics depend on rasters. Despite its limitations on what it can be used for, vectoring is a great tool to learn and take advantage of.

Raster

Photo by Will Porada on Unsplash

On the other hand there’s raster, working with every single pixel of color in a graphic to generate an image, showing precise detailing. Raster can be used for complex graphics like images, digital painting, GIFs, etc. This feature can also be used in Adobe programs along with other design programs. However, scaling a graphic depends on the quality of the image. A rastered image can’t be easily scaled up as they can be scaled down. This messed with the size of the pixels, making the image blurry. Don’t let this stop you from using rasters for graphic editing, because it’s also an amazing asset.


Although it’s not common to find in conversations (in any topic for that matter), vectors and rasters are pretty important in creating amazing, quality graphics and images. Most if not all images or graphics had some sort of involvement with these tools. Hopefully this basic information allows you use these amazing tools when dealing with graphics and images. For more information on vectors and rasters, click the link for this amazing website I found. Enjoy!