Difference between Vector and Raster
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We have all heard about vector and raster visuals but most of us don’t really know what they are and what is the difference between them? Here at 4DGraphix the design team uses this term a lot and it frustrated me, not knowing what it was all about so I asked our Senior Illustrator and Graphics Designer Mr. Mohsin Pervaiz to help me understand what these terms mean.

Mr. Mohsin Pervaiz has 12 Years of extensive industry experience and he is quite a good teacher. So I simply asked him questions about raster & vectors.

4DGraphix Social Media: So what is a vector image?

Mohsin: Well it’s quite simply geometry. Vectors are made up of geometric shapes like lines, curves and points. Their relationship is defined by a mathematical expression which ensures that no matter how big or small you want the vector image to be, it will never lose its quality.

4DGraphix Social Media: And what about a raster image? Is it different from vector?

Mohsin: They are two different things completely. A raster image is based on pixels and a pixel is one single unit with a defined color value. Millions of pixels together form a raster image and you can’t increase/decrease its size because the image will be disturbed and loose clarity.

4DGraphix Social Media: So what’s the difference between a raster image and a vector image?

Mohsin: It’s a very good question and many people fail to grasp the concept. A raster image is created to offer a photographic and realistic visual whereas a vector image is created to fit all types of dimensions without having any impact on quality. A good example of vector image is a logo design.

4DGraphix Social Media: Why don’t we simply use raster model rather than using a vector model?

Mohsin: A raster is used for offering a visual that has a reality based effect on the observer whereas a vector offers a cartoonish or line art based visual. This is why we use both raster and vector based images.

4DGraphix Social Media: How do we draw a raster image and vector image? Is there a special software required?

Mohsin: We use different software application for designing a vector image and a raster image. A vector image can be created using Adobe Illustrator whereas for a raster image we use Adobe Photoshop. There are several other third part application but Adobe applications are most commonly used throughout the industry.

4DGraphix Social Media: Where do we use these vector images and raster images?

Mohsin: A vector image can be used in almost every design but they are most common in logo design, illustrations, brochures and other items that are classified as printable. Raster images are used in web designing and editing photographs.

4DGraphix Social Media: Do they have the same size or is there a difference?

Mohsin: Vectors are smaller in size and usually the file size is in KB. A raster image has a bigger size which can range up to double digits in MB.

4DGraphix Social Media: Thank You very much for your time. I finally understand the whole concept now and the difference between raster and vector.

Mohsin: Thank you for having me and I am glad to have helped you in understanding these concepts.

So there you have it, this was quite a fruitful interview and we all learned the basics about vector and raster images. For more interesting interview please keep visiting our 4DGraphix blog and get the advice from professionals.

Conclusion

Vectors and Raster are two design related terms that often create ambiguity. Vectors are lines and shapes derived from a mathematical expression that ensures that these images never lose their pixel quality. Raster on the other hand is made up of pixels which tend to break if the image is made larger. Raster image gives a photographic look and feel whereas vector image is created to fit all types of dimensions. Both these terms are totally different in concept and many people fail to understand that and use these terms interchangeably.