Graphics, to the regular people, are just visual images. Designers and digital artists, on the other hand, know that there are two types of graphics; raster and vector. Apart from that, there are also different image file formats that are used for different purposes.

Even if you’re not a graphic designer, it’s great to know the different types of graphics and its formats. It’s particularly useful if your work involves a certain degree of designing and printing. It will help save you a lot of headaches, time and money too. Let’s begin!

 Raster Graphics

Raster graphics (aka bitmaps) are made of individual colour pixels that contribute to the overall image. When you view a single dot, it’s just one colour but when you view the graphic as a whole, these dots make up of a detailed visual graphic with rich detail.

The images you took from digital cameras and smartphones are raster graphics along with all the photographs you find online and in print.

File size: Raster graphics tend to have larger file sizes because of the details needed to render the graphic such as the colours, pixels, arrangement of pixels.) Therefore, the higher the resolution and dimensional size, the larger the size of the file.

File extensions: JPG, PNG, GIF, TIF, BMP and PSD.

Softwares commonly used: Photoshop and GIMP.

Vector Graphics

Vector graphics are made of paths using mathematical formulas. Vectors retain the quality of their appearances regardless of the size and can be scaled infinitely.

Icons and logos, while can be saved as raster graphics, are typically created as vector graphics.

File size: Vector graphics generally don’t whip up a large file size like raster graphics because they’re made of mathematical formulas where the calculations are performed by the software used to edit them.

File extensions: SVG, DXF, PDF, EPS, and AI.

Softwares commonly used: Illustrator, CorelDraw, Inkscape.