Vector art is one of the two forms of art used by computers, with the other form being bitmap art. Bitmap art is identified as art with file names ending in .GIF, .BMP, .JPEG, .JPG, and .PCX. Vector art, on the other hand, ends in .EPS.
Vector and bitmap art are different in the way they are stored in the art files. Bitmap art utilizes pixels that are saved in a file as a series of numbers. Pixels create several dots of color in order to create the image, which is how the human eye sees pictures. Vector art, on the other hand, saves the image as lines with coordinates of their starting and ending points. This creates simple images, and research has demonstrated that this is the way the human brain sees and stores images.
Vector art is easier for a computer to save than bitmap images and takes up less space on a file, which is likely why the brain saves images in the same way. In fact, a poster-sized image saved in this form will only take up a few kilobytes of memory. The same image saved with medium resolution may not even fit on one CD-ROM as a bitmap image.
The images in vector art are basic and simplistic, consisting of lines, points, polygons, and curves. This art is akin to the type of imaging typically used to create cartoon images found in comic strips. In addition, it is typically used to create business logos and signs, making them easy for the brain to remember.
In addition to taking up less computer space to save and to process, there are some other advantages associated with using vector art rather than bitmap art. One of these advantages is the fact that such images can be easily enlarged without distorting the image. Bitmap art, on the other hand, becomes jagged when enlarged, as the squares used to create the image are enlarged.
Another advantage to vector art is the fact that each line within the image is representative of a single object. This makes it easier to re-edit the image as necessary. The same is not true of bitmap art.