Raster and vector images are two different types of digital images used for a variety of purposes, including graphics, logos, illustrations, and web design. Knowing the difference between the two, the different uses for each of them, and printing raster vs. vector can help you optimize your company’s messaging and branding.
Establishing the Basics: Raster and Vector Images
Here’s a look at the key differences between raster and vector.
Raster images are made up of pixels — small squares of color that come together to form an image. They are best suited for photographs and other images with smooth, continuous color blends and gradients. Raster images can be resized, but if they are made larger, the pixels become more visible, resulting in a pixelated or blurry image.
Vector images are made up of paths, defined by mathematical equations, rather than pixels. They are best suited for graphics, logos, and illustrations that require precise lines, shapes, and curves. Vector images can be resized without losing quality, as the mathematical equations are redrawn to accommodate the new size.
Vector vs. Raster: Pros and Cons
Vector and raster images have different strengths and weaknesses, which can make one more suitable than the other for different purposes.
Vector Images: Pros and Cons
Pros of vector images include:
- Scalability. Vector images can be resized without losing quality, making them suitable for use in a variety of contexts, including large-scale printing and digital displays.
- Precision. Vector images are defined by mathematical equations, so they can be very precise, making them ideal for graphics, logos, and illustrations that require clean, crisp lines and shapes.
- Small file size. Vector images have a small file size, which makes them suitable for use in web and digital design, where file size is a concern.
Cons of vector images include:
Limited color. Vector images are typically limited to solid colors and basic gradient fills, making them less suitable for images with complex color blends.
Raster Images: Pros and Cons
Some of the pros of raster images are:
- Rich color. Raster images are made up of pixels, so they can represent a wider range of colors and gradients. This makes them suitable for photographs and images with complex color blends.
- Flexibility. Raster images can be manipulated and edited in a variety of ways, making them suitable for image editing and retouching.
A couple of the cons of raster images are:
- Scalability. Raster images can lose quality when they are resized. The pixels become more visible, which results in a pixelated or blurry image.
- Large file size. Raster images have a larger file size than vector images, which can make them unsuitable for use in contexts where file size is a concern, such as web and digital design.
Vector vs. Raster: Which Is Best?
In summary, raster images are best for photographs and images with complex color blends, while vector images are best for graphics, logos, and illustrations that require precise lines and shapes.
Overall, the choice between vector and raster images will depend on the specific needs of the project, including the type of image, the intended use, and the desired level of precision and flexibility.
Learn More About Which Image Type Is Right for Your Company’s Project
Understanding which file type to use for your company’s printing project can be difficult. Perhaps you want to have bright colors and bold lines, or detailed imaging that will use a lot of ink. Such print jobs can be a large investment, so you will want to make sure you get it right the first time. At Instent, our image printing experts can help you through the process. We’ll ensure the final product will fit your company’s brand and further the goal of your current events or campaigns. Get in touch with our experts today to find out more about how the right kind of printing can help you tell the story of your brand.