The difference between Vector and Bitmap graphics

November 26, 2018 By 0 Comments

What are vector graphics?

Vector graphics are created in graphics packages using geometrical formulas to represent shapes called objects. These consist of points, lines and curves.

Even if an object in a vector graphic is large, it doesn’t need a lot of computer memory. Therefore the file size of a vector graphic is often very small.

Vector graphics are scalable. They can be scaled to a larger size and as a result do not lose any image quality.

Vector image

What are bitmap graphics?

A bitmap graphic is composed of many tiny parts, called pixels, which are often many different colours.

Since the computer has to store information about every single pixel in the image, the file size of a bitmap graphic can be quite large (e.g. many megabytes).

When you enlarge a bitmap graphic, depending on it’s resolution, it tends to lose quality (i.e. it will become pixelated).

bitmap exmaple

Vector graphics Bitmap graphics
What are they made up of? Objects Pixels
What can be edited? Individual objects Individual pixels
What is the file size? Small, as the computer stores details of objects, which do not require much memory Large, as the computer stores details of every pixel
What happens when they are resized? They do not lose quality They lose quality
Common file formats .svg, .ai, .eps .bmp, .jpeg, .gif, .tiff, .png