What are Vector Graphics?

Vector graphics are images that are composed of paths. In this they differ from bitmap images, technically referred to as rasterized images, which are made up of pixels. One of the major advantages of vector images is that they are scalable, and can be made any size without their quality being sacrificed. By contrast, pixel based images, when enlarged, can appear undefined around the edges — this is basically because their pixels are showing. Vectors maintain a clean outline no matter what size they are altered to be, this is why they are the favored format for corporate logos or other imagery that requires frequent resizing and a crisp appearance.

Vector graphics are frequently used in handbooks or instruction manuals. Often, achieving a detail image by photographic means proves awkward; because vector graphics are illustrative with clean lines they are ideal for such projects. For example, in a case where the component parts of an engine need to be represented, vector graphics would offer the ideal solution.

Uses for vector images are endless, but they are particularly suited to illustrative work or images where a stylized, rather than a realistic, result is required.