Raster Images vs. Vector Graphics
Raster images are made up of thousands of pixels that are together in a grid known as a bitmap.
These pixels form an image, and it is these images that are used in digital photographs and images that have been scanned into a computer. JPEG, GIF, and TIFF are ubiquitous among a host of raster formats.
At the moment, the vast majority of images are supported and perpetuated by millions of users’ familiarity with photo manipulation applications for home, leisure, and social use.
However, the use of these images has a number of downsides.
The biggest problem with raster images is that they can begin to look too pixelated when you zoom in on them. This is because when the image is larger, you can begin to see the individual pixels that make up the image.
There is a solution to this as you can increase the resolution of the image.
However, this also creates its own problems, as the resolution of the image will only be as good as the device that it is being viewed on. All of our equipment has the capability of viewing high-resolution images, but our clients may not have the same capabilities.
High-resolution images also tend to be much larger and so in some cases storage becomes an issue.
I believe that in the next few years, we will see vector graphics being used in a much wider range of applications. Vector formats including AI, WMF, and PICT are becoming more widespread in use and prevalence and have several advantages over raster images.
They are based on mathematical formulas, and so the image does not change regardless of what size it is, meaning it can be scaled down and enlarged as much as is needed with no real issues.
They also have no fixed resolution; they will adapt themselves to the device that they are being viewed on so you can be sure that the image always looks as it was intended.
I am a big fan of using vector graphics and hope to see them used more frequently in the future.