Tag Archives: bitmaps

Vector vs. Bitmap Graphics

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Do you know the difference?

I have found that most of my clients do not. But it can be very important if you are planning to market something online and/or on print.

Some people find it to be a complicated concept to grasp. I will try to explain the differences below and hope someone finds this post helpful!

First I will define what a bitmap graphic is, since this is the type of graphic that most people will encounter most of the time. Bitmaps are images made up of a bunch of pixels. What are pixels? Pixels are tiny dots … so a bunch of tiny dots make up a bitmap graphic. Don’t believe me? Open up a regular digital picture on your computer and zoom into it A LOT. You will start to see all the dots that make up that picture. So if you scan a picture to your computer or move a picture from your digital camera to your computer, those are all bitmaps.

Bitmap formats include:

  • BMP
  • GIF
  • JPEG, JPG
  • PNG
  • TIFF
  • PSD (Adobe Photoshop

Ok – so what’s a vector graphic?

Vector graphics are made up of scalable objects which are represented by mathematical equations instead of pixels. What that means is that they stay at very high quality regardless of the size. So you are able to make them larger, smaller, or any size you want and it will always be a high resolution graphic. There won’t be any fuzziness or blurriness. This is especially useful when using logos for web design, business cards and other branded collateral.

The most common formats are:

  • AI (Adobe Illustrator)
  • EPS
  • PDF

Well I hope this helps a little. There’s a lot more I could go into but hopefully now when your designer asks you for a “raw” file or “high-res vector” of your logo, you’ll understand why!