Vector Vs Raster

vector vs rasterMany People don’t know the difference between VECTOR and RASTER graphics. Here is a brief explanation of both and what they mean to the sign making process.

Vector vs. Raster

Vector graphics are composed of scalable objects such as lines and curves. These are defined mathematically to ensure a high quality result no matter the amount scaled. Vector graphics are easily modified and are not affected by scaling. Scaling is the enlarging or reducing of size. Vector graphics are commonly created in Adobe Illustrator and converting vector graphics to raster images is quite simple.


Bitmaps, also known as raster images are pixels in a grid. Each pixel contains tiny dots of color and when combined, make up the picture you see on your screen. Raster images are produced with the use of digital image capture devices such as, digital scanners, digital cameras or pixel editing programs like Adobe Photoshop. Raster images are comprised of grids in digital picture elements and better known as pixels. Pixels are described as squares or rectangular shapes in black, white, gray or color. Converting raster files to vector can be difficult and often not possible due to the impact of scaling.453x460xraster_and_vector_logo.gif.pagespeed.ic.SMKi1uO9wd

Raster (Bitmap)

• Made of pixels

• Represents and edits photo and photo-like elements better than vector programs with the use of continuous tones. The use of different color pixels allows for smooth blends of colors.


• Is bound by the number of pixels in the image. It cannot be scaled up without losing quality.

•Large dimensions & detailed images equal large file size.

• Some service providers like engravers, stencil-cut signs, etc, must have vector art.

• It is more difficult to print raster images using a limited amount of spot colors.

• Depending on the complexity of the image, conversion to vector may be time consuming.


• Made of mathematical calculations that form objects and lines.

• Can be scaled to any size without losing quality.

• Resolution-independent: Can be printed at any size/resolution.

• Number of colors can be easily increased or reduced to adjust printing budget.

• A large dimension vector graphic can maintain a small file size.

• Vector art is required by many service providers.

• Can be easily converted to raster


• It is not the best format for photographs or photo-like elements with blends of color.

Vectors and Vinyl

From complex applications,


to simple decals,


All vinyl decals must be cut from a vector file format.