CT&D #17. Vector Graphics

What is an example of a situation where vector-based graphics are needed and what are its benefits? 

Since vector graphics are pixel free and not subjected to scaling restrictions (comprising composition quality), one situation where its use would be best suited is in printing signage. Signage for businesses encompassing advertising, logo showcasing and welcome banners are great applications for utilizing vector graphics over raster graphics if only for certain benefits. The benefits of vector graphics include but are not limited to: smaller file size of an image or graphic which therefore makes them easy to share (like to a client) and store, the simple conversion to raster when and if needed and its excellent use of smooth lines which are great for designing curves and diagonal segments of a shape (in raster graphics, creating these are possible but will result in a jagged edges due to pixels being used).

The only major limitation to vector graphics is its handling of photographic imagery where raster graphics must be used instead (since the amount of pixels in a photo determine its detail, that of which can be easily manipulated for effects). The following example shows a comparison between vector and raster graphics for a sample logo:


Observed is the blurriness and pixelation on the right logo as opposed to mathematically generated smooth lines shown with the vector graphic on the left (therefore, a correct use of raster for a logo). Other than image manipulation and deliberately creating effects, there is no reason to use raster graphics for anything other than photos or simple web graphics, the latter due to low memory storage. Ultimately, due to the differences in use, vector graphics and raster graphics need to be handled or manipulated by software such as Illustrator and Photoshop respectively to achieve appropriate results.

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