February 11, 2020, by Carla Deña
If you’ve been reading up about graphic design, you might have come across the term vector drawing. Learning about the basics of vector graphics and why it’s a must to give you a head start once you try your hand at a software app. What is the meaning of vector drawing in multimedia? What are the advantages of vector graphics? These are some of the topics we’ll cover in this article.
Learning about the basics of graphic design is a good project. However, actually creating designs for your business can be a demanding job. If you want high-quality graphics and still have the time to focus on other aspects of the company, choose Penji. Penji offers professional graphic design at a flat monthly rate. If you need a team of design experts you can rely on any time of the day, Penji’s got your back.
Vector drawing or vector graphics is a type of image that uses mathematical equations. The equations translate to points that connect with one another through curves or lines. These lines are called vector paths. The paths create the shapes in the vector drawing. The most common vector file formats are .svg, .cgm, .odg, .eps, and .xml.
Scalability makes vector graphics a favorite among designers. Consequently, designs can easily scale without having to sacrifice the quality of the image.
Learning about vector usually involves coming across comparisons with raster. Raster graphics, sometimes called bitmap graphics, are images made up of tiny squares called pixels. Images with higher numbers of pixels create bigger files. The most common raster image files are .jpg, .png, .gif, .bmp, and .tiff.
The difference between vector and raster graphics is the scalability. Unlike in vectors, scaling rasters can sacrifice the quality of the image. Enlarging the size of a raster graphic can result in a pixelated image.
Using vectors has a number of benefits. Here are some advantages you can enjoy when you use vector graphics for your project.
In general, vectors require less storage space compared to raster files. As they’re mostly composed of flat colors and gradients, vector files are smaller. File size might not come as a problem for a designer who stores his or her files in one device.
However, large file sizes can be an issue for a larger team of designers, directors, and marketing staff. Team members would have to exchange files to consult one another for revisions. Big files can take longer to upload online, prolonging the time it takes to produce the final design.
Flexibility is one thing that makes vector files popular among designers. You can make an image bigger or smaller as much as you want without losing its quality. Unlike raster files that tend to pixelate, vector files retain a crisp look even after being enlarged immensely. Whatever the size of the image is, the lines and overall quality remain the same.
Most design experts suggest that businesses have their branding materials in vector files. This makes it easier to manipulate the files for responsive web design. Having a logo in vector graphics can also make it simpler to change its size in case of a website redesign. In the same vein, a fully flexible vector drawing allows designers to use the same vector for materials of various sizes, from tarpaulin designs to Facebook ad images.
It’s relatively easy to create vector files in software app programs. Adobe Illustrator, for example, does the job of saving vectors as native files. The app uses these files to create the resulting image. Aside from Adobe Illustrator, you can also make and edit vectors using other apps. Some of the user-friendly vector programs include Macromedia Freehand and Corel Draw.
Just like any other tech element, vector graphics also has its share of downsides. Here are some things you might have to contend with should you choose to use vectors.
As mentioned, vectors use lines and shapes rather than pixels to create images. As a result, vectors can’t be used for complex images such as photographs. Try to look for a bitmap photograph and zoom in really close. You would see that the image is composed of pixels that gradually change colors. These pixels collectively form the complex image of a photograph. Thus, vector files are typically limited to graphic designs such as icons, typesetting, logos, and digital art.
Though vector files require less disk space than rasters, they need ample device power to be processed. In the most basic sense, the data that describes vector images has to go under a high-power device process. This issue can be a problem if the device is processing other apps or software. High vector data volume can cause slow rendering, thus requiring more time.
One of the mentioned benefits of vectors is the ability to retain its quality even after being resized. However, this benefit can turn into a drawback real quick. Because the image stays crystal clear, mistakes in the design can be very obvious. This issue can be a big problem for large marketing designs, such as posters or billboards.
Many entrepreneurs try to take on the task of creating their own vector graphics. After all, all you have to do is Google “how to create vector graphics” and you’re good to go, right? Not quite. Though there is a lot of material online on how to create vector drawings, it’s not painless to learn it from scratch. One must take the time to learn the functions of the software to fully take advantage of its features.
And as with any graphic design component, learning vectors also entails knowing the basics of design elements. If you’re someone who’s looking for expansive growth for your company, it’s best to leave the task to a professional. This would allow you to launch well-designed materials while having the time and energy to focus on bigger things.
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