Difference Between Raster And Vector Images</p>

For a beginner, the digital world might feel intimidating and complex with different concepts and terminologies that make this technology-driven world easy and fast. But once, one gets the hang of it, there is no going back. Many newbies who want to be experts in the field of designers and want to create media and print artwork tend to get confused between two very important aspects of image designing. The two types of images raster images and vector images. Both these types are used to design and create artwork digitally. Before you learn about the difference between the two, let’s have a look at what both of these types of images mean individually.


Raster images are made up of a collection of individual pixels. Each pixel represents a colour but if they are all merged, they form a well-detailed image. One can compare raster images with pointillist paintings that are composed of individual dots but as a whole, form a whole painted image. Raster images are also known as bitmaps. One of the greatest advantages of raster images is that it allows pixel-by-pixel editing so very detailed images can be designed by using raster images.

Digital cameras create raster images. Moreover, all the images you see in print and in the media are raster images. Mostly raster images are of three file types like GIF, JPG and PNG. Rater images are preferred if you want multi-coloured and complex visuals along with soft colour gradients. Raster images can be created and designed with programs like Photoshop and GIMP.


Unlike raster images, which are composed of pixels that come together and form an image, vector images are made up of paths that are based on mathematical formulas hence, the name Vector. The shape, colour and how the paths are bordered depend upon how these mathematical formulas are implemented. As vector images solely dampened upon mathematical formulas, they can be scaled infinitely and can easily retain their appearance irrespective of the size.

Vector trace complement designs that carry simple and solid colours. Moreover, they are the best choice in terms of imitating photographs. Although vector images do deliver some extent of detailing in images, if compared to raster images, they lag behind in terms of intricate detailing. The main reason for this is that vector images are composed of shapes and they all have their own colour thus, it is relatively harder to render images of complex colour gradients and shadows in vector images than in raster images. Programs like CorelDraw, Illustrator and InkSpace can be used to create and design vector images.


  • QUALITY: As raster images are composed of pixels, resizing of these images are not possible without compromising the quality. If one tries to enlarge it, the images pixelate or become blurry. Whereas, the vector images are based on mathematical formulas so they recalculate when they are scaled and maintain the quality.
  • TRUE-TO-LIFE GRAPHICS: It is easier to make impactful and true-to-life images with raster images rather than vector images as the nuances related to shadowing, colour gradient and bordering can make it almost impossible to create real-life images through vector images.