Vector images are used in a variety of personal and business applications because of their scalable nature. Some of the most popular vector image uses are logos, web, print and character designs. Businesses often print logos on various surface mediums that require the image to be scaled beyond the original size without the loss of detail. In many instances, the use of vectors creates a uniquely crisp and clean design that some animators and designers prefer.
All vector images are created in vector graphic editor programs. All vector programs use editable curves, points, lines and shapes to create images. Unlike bitmap images, vector graphics are not based on pixels but rather on mathematically calculated vectors. Bitmap pixels are resolution-dependent, which results in pixelation when scaled up. Vector images also require less drawing information than bitmaps, which results in a smaller file size.
Coupled with a smaller file size and distinct look, vector images seem ideal for the web environment. Web designers often create decorative vectorized elements such as buttons, headers, animations and borders for web pages. In some cases, web designers choose to create whole websites composed of individual vector elements.
In the graphic and print design industry, vector graphics have become increasingly popular. Besides their scalability and resolution flexibility, vectors enable designers to create highly stylized designs, layouts and art. In most designs and layouts, vectors are identified by the use of different shapes, with crisp edges and bold outlines that contain gradient fills nestled with bold highlighted effects. If a design element needs to be tweaked, vectors retain editability ensuring high productivity. After a bitmap gradient has been filled, editability becomes extremely difficult compared to that of a vector.
Vector images are often seen in mainstream media in the form of advertising and character design. Many digital artists use vector editor software programs to create fresh and edgy character designs. The method of creating a vector character is not complex. Basically, a hand-drawn or digital sketch is imported into the vector editor to be traced using the program’s tools.
Vectors are often seen in media advertising campaigns in the form of commercials, billboards and web ads. Sometimes ads, might be composed entirely of vectors, and other times, the ads might contain only a few vector elements. Vector image involvement in media advertising mainly depends on the subject matter, product, image, direction and overall look and feel of the marketing campaign.