Bitmap vs. Vector Graphics Explained For Content Creators

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As a content creator, you know how important choosing the right images  and format for your projects is. That's where the debate about bitmap vs. vector graphics comes in. But what's the difference?

These are two types of images you can use in your content. While bitmap graphics use pixels, vector graphics use mathematical equations. Both graphics are perfect for branding and marketing , but you may need to choose one.

Not sure which to use? Let's explore vector graphics vs. bitmap and how they differ regarding scalability, color, support, file size, editing, and more!

What is a Bitmap Image?

A bitmap image is a digital image consisting of pixels - tiny dots of colors arranged in a grid. Each pixel has a unique color and location in the grid.

Bitmap graphics, also called raster graphics , show realistic details and colors but can become blurry or pixelated when resized or zoomed in. You can create or edit a bitmap image using software like Adobe Photoshop.

Here are the file formats for bitmap images:

  • BMP: Bitmap File Format
  • JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group file format
  • GIF: Graphics Interchange Format
  • TIFF: Tagged Image File Format
  • PNG: Portable Network Graphics file format

What is a Vector Image?

A vector image is a digital graphic that uses mathematical equations to create shapes and paths. It consists of points connected by lines or curves and has color, fill, and stroke attributes.

You can make, edit, and modify a vector image with vector graphics  software like Adobe Illustrator . You can also scale it up or down without losing quality or detail because the equations adjust to any resolution.

Vector images are suitable for creating graphics that require smooth and sharp shapes and text, including logos, icons, illustrations, diagrams, and charts.

Some file formats for vector images are:

  • AI: Adobe Illustrator file format
  • EPS: Encapsulated PostScript file format
  • PDF: Portable Document Format
  • SVG: Scalable Vector Graphics file format

Differences Between the Bitmap and Vector Formats


Scaling means changing the size of an image, either by making it larger or smaller. It will affect the appearance or quality of an image, depending on its format.

The pixels in bitmap images can lose quality when scaled up or down. On the other hand, vector image equations adjust to good quality when scaled up or down.

So, bitmap images get jagged or blurry edges when scaled, while vector images maintain smooth and crisp edges.


Color is a critical aspect of any picture, as it can affect the mood, message, and appeal of the image. It can also affect an image's quality, size, and compatibility, and vector and bitmap graphics store color differently.

Bitmap images can store many colors, from monochrome to millions of colors. These colors depend on the image's color depth - the number of bits representing each pixel. The higher the color depth, the more colors the image can have and the larger the file size.

Bitmap images can use different color modes, such as RGB (red, green, blue) or CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black), which affect how the image appears.

Vector images can also come in different colors but are usually simpler and more limited. They use color attributes or palettes to fill or stroke the shapes and paths. The color attributes can be defined by a color code, such as hexadecimal or RGB values, or by a color palette, which is a set of predefined colors.

Vector images usually use RGB color mode, which works well with most devices and applications.

Razuna - Guide for bitmap vs vector graphic

Support and File Extensions

Bitmap and vector images differ in how they are supported and stored by different devices and applications. Support refers to how well various software or hardware can display or print an image format. A file extension is a suffix that indicates an image file type, such as .jpg or .svg.

Bitmap images are more supported on the internet than vector images. They also have more common file extensions, such as .jpg, .png, .gif, etc., compared to vector images' .ai, .eps, .pdf, etc. If you want to use vector images, you need to convert them into bitmap before using them online.

File Size

When using photos online, you want to understand their sizes to determine how much storage they take up. File size affects the image's loading speed, performance, and quality. It also depends on color, resolution, compression, and format.

Bitmap and vector graphics have different file sizes.

For instance, bitmap images have larger file sizes than vector images because they store the color information of each pixel. The more pixels and colors a bitmap image has, the bigger the file size. Bitmap images can also use different compression algorithms, such as lossless or lossy, to reduce the file size - but this may also affect the image quality.

On the other hand, vector images have smaller file sizes than bitmap images because they store the equations that make the shapes and paths. The number of shapes and paths does not affect the file size as much as the number of pixels and colors. In addition, vector images do not use compression, as you optimize them for minimal file size.

Approaches to Editing

You also want to know how easily you can edit your bitmap and vector images. Sometimes, you'll want to change how an image looks using different software or tools. Editing both types of images takes different approaches.

You can edit bitmap images by changing the color of each pixel. You can use software like Pain, Photoshop, or GIMP for this. You can also use other tools and filters to manipulate the image, such as cropping, resizing, rotating, etc.

On the other hand, you edit vector images by changing the shape or path of each object that makes up the image. You can use software like Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, or Inkscape. For even better results, you can use other methods, like adding, skewing, rotating, and more, to modify or transform the image.


There you have it, the difference between bitmap and vector images and how they can affect your graphic design quality and implementation. Bitmap graphics capture intricate details and realistic imagery, while vector graphics offer scalability and flexibility for clean and precise designs.

With the information above, editing photos, designing logos, or creating illustrations will be a walk in the park. But don't stop there; use Razuna to store, organize, and share your images with your team through the cloud!

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