What is Vector Art?

What is Vector Art

If you’re associated with the internet or graphics, you might have come across the term Vector Art before. So what is Vector Art?

Vector art is drawing, painting or illustration created using a Vector application. It is not a form of Art or an Art movement like pop art or modern art. It merely involves creating art by using computers and specific type of applications called Vector Applications to create art. That last statement was precise, but may have left you confused. Let me explain further to throw some light on this topic.

There are two kinds of formats or file types in the digital world; namely Raster and Vectors. How do we tell the difference?

A bit about Rasters and Vectors

Raster Images

Raster formats are rendered as pixels – these are small squares which are mapped on a grid of a 2 dimensional picture plane. Every pixel holds color information and its position in reference to its x and y co-ordinates of the plane. All photographs and scanned images are Raster images. You may zoom into a photograph and notice the pixels as separate colored blocks aligned close to each other. Refer to image 1 to see how a raster image looks when magnified.

Rasters are resolution dependent making this format rather rigid where scaling the image drastically affects the quality making it look blurred or jagged at the edges.

Most popular raster image formats that are commonly used are JPEGs, PNGs, GIFs and TIFFs.

Vector Images

A Vector image, unlike a Raster one, uses mathematical algorithms to store picture information. The information stored here is position of dots, lines, curves and polygons along with color information for the fill and outline of each part of the image. Since information about every minuscule part of the image is not stored, the file size is much lower compared to a Raster one. Refer to image 1 to note the differences.

Vectors are not resolution dependent, which makes it flexible in a sense where one can scale the image up or down to any degree without affecting the picture quality. The image stays sharp, clear and intact at any size.

Popularity of Vector Art

The advantage Vector formats offer over the Raster ones is one of the main reasons for the popularity of Vector Art. Besides the features such as loss-less scaling and low file sizes there are other features which make this format a winner.

Vectors are fairly easy to create and edit. Any part of the image or graphic can be changed easily. Easy manipulation of images saves time and effort, so the artist can invest time creating new ideas rather than repairing previous artwork.

I’m sure you are clear by now about what Vector Art is all about. If this topic has got you all excited, perhaps you might want to read on to get few tips on how to get started with Vector art.

Applications for Creating Vector art

If you’re keen on creating Vector Art you may want to learn a Vector Application.

There are few popular applications that have gained popularity among digital artists. You sure might have heard these names before.

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • CorelDRAW
  • Inkscape

You may want to learn these applications before treading on your artistic endeavors. I have discussed some great resources for tutorials on Vector Art in an earlier post.

Vector Art Conclusion

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Images © Ammentorp – Fotolia.com


  1. Hello.
    ur articles are so0o0o useful for me …

    TNX a lot.

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