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Difference Between Vector Graphics and Raster Graphics

Naija Graphic Designers, you guys don’t get it yet.


There are two types of graphics:
  1. Vector graphics
  2. Raster (bitmap or pixel) graphics


As a graphic designer at any level, you should know the difference between them, when to work with any of the two and which software should used for any kind of design project.


Vector-based Images

Vector graphics are described by lines, shapes, and other graphic image components stored in a format that incorporates geometric formulas for rendering the image elements.


Raster-based Images

Raster graphics are described by an array or map of bits within a rectangular graph of pixels or dots.



Vector graphics allow designers to build works of art and functional graphics that can expand to any size without loss of apparent quality. Raster graphics are resolution dependent. They cannot scale up to an arbitrary resolution without loss of apparent quality. Enlarge pixel-based art in a raster file too much and it looks jaggy, whereas you can enlarge vector art to any size without negatively affecting its appearance. This resolution independence allows vector art to be used in a variety of forms, from small illustrations to massive billboards.


Vector-based graphic design softwares:

  1. Adobe Illustrator
  2. CorelDraw
  3. Inkspace
  4. Affinity


Raster-based graphic design softwares:

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Adobe AfterEffects
  3. Procreate
  4. Corel Paint-Photo
  5. GIMP


Difference between vector-based graphic softwares and raster-based graphic design softwares:

Photoshop or CorelPaint (Raster-based softwares)
  1. Photoshop is designed for editing and creating photos or raster-based art.
  2. Best for digital (screen) use only. e.g. photography, digital illustration/painting, any imagery that uses photography or collage, postcards, web design, mobile apps, photographic icons, banner ads, social media images and any other design intended for electronic use
  3. Not ideal for print design
  4. Do not use for logo design
  5. Raster file formats: JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, RAW, PSD


Illustrator or CorelDraw (Vector-based softwares)
  1. Illustrator is designed for creating and editing vector-based.
  2. Best for logo designs, illustrations, packaging, brochures, flyers, posters, t-shirts, signage, or anything intended to be printed.
  3. Best for print design
  4. Vector file formats: PDF, EPS, AI, SVG, CDR


So, a designer (at any level) should use the appropriate tools while deciding which type of graphics will be used for a design project.


BTW, if you’re a Corel user get:
  1. CorelDraw
  2. CorelPaint


And if you’re an Adobe user like me, get:
  1. Adobe Illustrator
  2. Adobe Photoshop


If your Corel Apps keep get crashed, it’s better you start using Adobe CC Apps.


And for those who can’t afford Adobe or Corel Apps, get the alternatives:
  1. Inkspace
  2. GIMP


And that’s just it.

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