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Images: Raster vs. Vector

A raster image is made up of hundreds of little squares or pixels. Each little pixel has information letting the computer or printer know where it is in the image and what color it needs to be when the image is viewed or printed. A vector image uses geometric primitives like lines, curves and points, which uses mathematical equations to tell the computer and printer what to do when printed or viewed on your computer screen.

Now, what are their uses? Raster images are photos and gradient images that have lots of colors. Vector images are better suited for flat images like logos and illustrations. A vector image will always keep its crisp, clean lines no matter how much you enlarge it. A raster image will get pixelated as it increases in size -- the little square or pixel only gets bigger, which makes it more visible the larger it gets. Another plus to using a vector image of a logo/identifier is that the background can be transparent where a raster image like a JPG of a logo/identifier will have that white box around it.

Dave Haasser, Graphic Designer, 701-231-8620

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