What is the difference between Vector and Bitmap images?

Bitmap images are made up of a group of small, tiny square dots called pixels. Each pixel is given a colour and arranged in a pattern to form an image. When you zoom into a bitmap image you can see the individual square pixels that are arranged to create an image. Bitmap graphics can be edited by removing or changing the colours of individual pixels using programs such as Adobe Photoshop.

Bitmap-Pixels Vector

Vector images do not use these pixel patterns. They instead use mathematical formulas and stored as a list of attributes using code to draw lines and curves that can be used to create an image from geometric shapes such as circles and polygons. These images are edited by manipulating the lines and curves that make up the vector image using programs such as Adobe Illustrator.

So why are vector images important?

Vector images have a lot of advantages over bitmap images. Due to the mathematical formulas that are used to create the vector image, it means that the file is smaller as it only has to store this information, whereas bitmap images have to store the colour information and pixel pattern for the image. 

The main advantage however is that a bitmap image can only be scaled in size a certain amount before the image becomes deformed, jagged, and “pixelated”. Meaning that you start to see the squares that make up the pixel pattern, which is not a clean or attractive look. However, vectors can be stretched and scaled to any size and will always retain their shape, due to the mathematical geometry that makes up their shape. It will always look clean, and smooth even if you stretched the image a mile long.

What is the difference between Vector and Bitmap images? 1
What is the difference between Vector and Bitmap images? 2

Vector images tend to be made up of limited block colour images and for this reason, are useful in logo design. Whereas bitmaps are much more complicated and can be photographs made up of thousands of colours. Vector images are a key part of a company’s branding material, including logos and other graphics, to discover more about what makes up these, check out our article on “What are brand guidelines?“. 

Here at Painting Pixels, we have a full branding package available so that you can elevate your company to the next level with bespoke, professional marketing material tailored to your business’s identity. Get in touch today to get started! Also come and check out our Graphic Design Service page to see our bespoke design examples for yourself. Or contact us today on 01473857860 or email us on [email protected] for a free consultation. 

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