Field Notes Blog
News and thoughts on UI/UX, web design, and more.
Vector, raster, bitmap … what they heck are all of those things and do they even matter? In this episode I’ll show you what they are, where we use them and yes…why they do matter when your goal is to quickly use the right image to get the best quality. If you’ve ever been confused about what a vector image is and why your cell phone photo made for a terrible t-shirt image, this episode is for you!
Vector graphics are made of math. They are literally coordinates stored by numbers. Vector is the format for creating illustrations and line art in drawing programs like Illustrator. Vectors are magical because they can be resized with no loss of quality. Vector images are .AI (Illustrator), .EPS and other more exotic formats like SVG. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vector_graphics.
Bitmap graphics are pixels. They are literally squares on a grid that display different color values. Bitmap is the format for most photos. They are magical because of their ability to capture stunning ranges and nuances of color, but beware, they cannot be made larger without a loss of quality. Bitmap images are JPGs, GIFs, PNGs and TIFs. Interestingly, raster comes from the raster scan of old cathode ray tube (CRT) and can be used to reference any bitmapped image. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitmap.
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About the author
As the owner of Pixel Lava Interactive I've helped hundreds of small businesses and nonprofits with websites, graphic design and more. I hope you'll find this blog full of useful information.
~ Ame Stanko