What’s the Difference Between Raster and Vector Graphics?

ProShot Media Product Photography Blog

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between raster and vector graphics? It’s important to consider if you’re creating digital artwork, as the type of graphic you choose can impact quality, resolution, and more.

Whether you’re a professional graphic designer or just getting started in design tools, understanding how these two types of images differ is essential for producing optimal results.

In this blog post, we’ll cover everything there is to know about raster and vector graphics – how they work together when each one should be employed, in your projects, and more. Keep reading to learn all about transforming pixels into art!

What is a raster file?


At its most basic, a raster file is an image made up of pixels. It’s common to think of a pixel as a single color, but when you combine many different colored pixels in the same space, they become an image. This means that all photos taken with your digital camera or smartphone are raster files – even the selfies you take!

The benefits of using raster


Raster graphics are great for creating realistic, detailed images that capture the nuances of a scene. They’re also relatively easy to work with, as photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop makes editing these types of files simple.

What is a vector file?


On the other hand, a vector file is made up of lines and curves. Unlike raster images, which use pixels to create their designs, vectors use mathematical equations that calculate points for each line.

This allows for much more intricate detail in vector graphics than can be achieved with rasters. Vector files are also infinitely scalable, meaning you can make them larger or smaller without sacrificing quality – perfect for logos and other graphics that need to look great in any size.

Find out more about vector file

The benefits of using vector


VECTOR graphics are ideal for creating logos, diagrams, illustrations, and other graphics that require precise lines or curves. They’re also essential for creating art that can be printed on a large scale without sacrificing quality – perfect for banners, posters, signs, and more.

Vector files are highly versatile as they can easily be converted into raster formats. They also use smaller file sizes than raster images, which is great for web design.

Ultimately, raster and vector graphics are useful tools in the design world. Whether you’re creating a website banner or an illustration for a magazine cover, understanding which type of graphic to use can make all the difference in the quality of your work.

Play around with both files to find out which works best for your projects. Also, don’t forget to explore the many design tools available, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, that will help you create stunning digital artwork.

How to save a file as a raster


RASTER files can be saved in a variety of formats, such as JPEvariousvarious, and PNG. When saving raster files from programs like Photoshop or Illustrator, choose the correct format for your project.

Some formats are better suited for web graphics, while others are more appropriate, e, for printing.

How to save a file as a vector


VECTOR files can be saved as AI, SVG, or PDF. Choose the correct format for your project when saving vector files from programs like Illustrator or Inkscape. For example, AI and SVG are both appropriate for web graphics, while PDFs are better suited for printing.

What is the difference between raster and vector files?


The main difference between raster and vector files is how they’re made. Rasters are composed of pixels, while vectors use points, lines, and curves created by mathematical equations.

This means that raster graphics tend to be lower quality at larger sizes and can only be scaled up with compromising their integrity withoutwithout the other hand, vector graphics are infinitely scalable and can be used at any size without sacrificing quality.


One of the main differences between raster and vector graphics is their resolution. Resolution refers to the number of pixels (for rasters) or points (for vectors) contained in an image.

A raster file’s resolution is measured in dpi (dots-per-inch), while a vector file’s resolution is measured in PPI (points-per-inch). While raster images can achieve high resolutions, vector image file, vector images are always infinitely scalable.


Digital photographs are usually aster images, while logos and line art illustrations are typically vector images. The sector is the way to go if you’re creating a logo or any design requiring sharp lines and distinct edges.

It’s also a great choice if you want to scale your work without any loss in quality, as the vector format is not dependent on resolution. Raster, on the other hand, is great for however images like photos.

It’s also a preferred tool for web images, as it can easily be compressed and optimized for faster loading speeds.

One of the most powerful aspects of raster and vector is their ability to work together. Many graphic designers use both types in tandem, starting with a vector illustration and then adding texture, shading, and other effects with raster elements.

This combination of vector and raster allows you to create high-resolution, detailed, and professional artwork.

Overall, understanding the differences between raster and vector images is essential for producing quality artwork.



How do you know if an image is a vector?

Vector files are typically recognized by their file extension. Popular vector formats include SVG, EPS, common raster file types, and AI. However, not all vector images use these extensions. A vector image is any image that stores its data as paths, rather than individual pixels.

You can check the image file format to determine if an image is a vector or raster. If it is a vector file type, vector graphic, you’ll be able to enlarge or reduce the image size without losing any detail.

Can you turn a JPEG into a vector file?

It is possible to turn a JPEG file into a vector image. You’ll need to use an online or desktop program to convert raster images into vector files. It’s important to note that this process will only produce a partially accurate vector image, but it can be good enough for print or digital use.

Is Photoshop vector-based?

While Photoshop is primarily a raster-based image editor, it does have limited vector capabilities. Photoshop can open, vector image files, and manipulate many vector files, such as SVG, EPS, and AI.

However, its vector tools are limited compared to other software programs like Adobe Illustrator, raster image, file formats, or Corel Draw. To achieve the best result, you should use vector-based software whenever possible.

Is a PDF a  raster or vector?

PDFs are typically a mix of both raster and vector elements. PDF files can contain both bitmap images (raster), raster vs vector, and v objects (such as text, vector and raster images, lines, and polygons). PDFs can also contain text that is stored as vector objects.

To determine if a specific element of a PDF is vector or raster, raster file formats, you can open the PDF in an image editor and inspect the individual elements.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of vector images?

Vector graphics offer several advantages. They can be easily resized without losing quality, making them idealosinglosingogos and other graphics that need to look sharp regardless of size. Vector images are less likely to be distorted than raster images and can be used for digital and print-based media.

The biggest disadvantage of vector graphics is that they lack a raster image’s softness and smooth transitions. Additionally, vector images can be more time-consuming to create and require specialized software to edit.



This post has helped you understand the differences between raster and vector graphics. While both types of images have unique strengths and weaknesses, common vector file types, understanding them can help you make the most of their capabilities when creating digital artwork.

Knowing when and how to use each type of graphic can help you produce better results, so take the time to learn more about them and see which one works best for your projects.


ProShot Media Product Photography Services

Leon Olagh Profile Pic

Leon Olagh

Leon Olagh is an experienced photo retoucher and editor. He shares insights and expertise in the field of photography through his blog posts. His work reflects a meticulous approach to the art of creating and refining visual content.

More Like This

The Importance of Product Photography in E-commerce

Table of Contents Table of Contents In the realm of e-commerce, where consumers rely solely on digital platforms to make purchasing decisions, the role of product photography cannot be overstated. Product photography involves capturing high-quality images of products to showcase

Read More »

Best Camera for Product Photography

Table of Contents Table of Contents Choosing the right camera can be crucial for product photography. Generally speaking, DSLR cameras are the right choice. Camera Types When it comes to product photography, there are three main types of cameras to

Read More »

What Makes a Great Product Photographer

Table of Contents Table of Contents Product photography serves as a cornerstone in the marketing realm, providing businesses with the visual assets they need to showcase their products effectively. Behind every stunning product image lies the skillful expertise of a

Read More »

How To Become A Product Photographer

Table of Contents Table of Contents Product photography is a specialized field within the broader realm of photography that focuses on capturing images of products for promotional or commercial purposes. Product photographers play a crucial role in helping businesses showcase

Read More »
Scroll to Top