Raster vs. vector graphics and graphic file formats

29-04-2011, Category Other

Interactive agencies, advertising agencies, media houses, printing houses and other providers require that marketers deliver to them graphic materials in various forms. They need vector files one time and raster files another time and they usually specify acceptable formats in the form of three-letter extensions. They also often specify minimum bitmap dimensions or resolutions which are expressed in pixels. In this article, I explain in short the difference between bitmaps and vectors, talk about the characteristics of given file formats and suggest when to use which formats. Bitmap vs. vectors Bitmap (raster) graphic file is a rectangular area composed of pixels, i.e. tiny squares of specific colours. Every shape is composed of thousands of pixels which is why we cannot see individual squares...