Apparel Graphic Academy

Vector art vs bitmap art

What is vector art and what is bitmap art.

There are two basic kinds of art used by computers. The two types are “Bitmap” art, and “Vector” art. Bitmap art includes almost every file type there is: .BMP, .GIF, .JPG or .JPEG, .PNG – the list is enormous. Vector file formats include .EPS and the files created and manipulated by professional drawing software products such as Adobe Illustrator™, Corel Draw!™ and the like.

Bitmap art

Bitmap art is art which is formed by pixels. Each pixel is a small square which takes up a lot of memory space on the computer memory. Each pixel is combined with thousands of other pixels to make your art work image. Art work represented by jpg. Bmp, Gif etc is very difficult to work with.

Vector Art

Vector files are nothing like that. A vector file contains the information for creating lines. It contains a starting point and an ending point for each line. With those coordinates, it also stores a vector equation for each coordinate. A vector equation indicates both direction and velocity. Using these coordinates and vectors, the computer can draw a line from point A to point B with any proper curve automatically created.
The majority of designers create their art work in vector files. Vector files can be manipulated with ease. The art can be sized and re-sized and keep its resolution.

Bit map art difficult to work with

Art work defined by pixels is difficult if not impossible to work with. Because information for every possible pixel within the image area does not get stored within the file, the vector file is dramatically smaller than a bitmap file of the same drawing. Vector files only contain lines, but if multiple lines join up to create a closed area, additional commands can be included to tell the computer to fill that area with a color. By combining multiple lines and creating multiple objects, discernible images begin to appear.
Vector images have a number of advantages over bitmap images, including:
If you try to enlarge a bitmap image, your computer can only enlarge the size of the squares making up the image area. This is why the art will appear jagged and rough.
Enlarging vector art is very simple and the results are good clean art work.
If you had a very large picture – such as a poster on your wall – the vector file might only take up a few kilobytes of space on your computer, while the same image in a medium resolution bitmap format might not fit on a CD-ROM!

At Decosource we ask our clients to send us vector files.
Vector images can be converted to bit map images but bit map images cannot be converted to vector images without a lot of time involved.