What is the main difference between vector and raster graphics? And how does this influence graphic design work?

You may be new to these terms, and want to understand the differences (especially how it influences your graphic design projects) so you’re well-informed heading into working with a designer on your next project.

I thought I’d dedicate a post into breaking down the Vector vs Raster dilemma – after all you’re looking for quality, professional design work so it’s useful to know how each may factor in and influence the final printed product fresh from the printer.

These as terms that many production artists deal with in setting files up accurately for print. And for graphic designers building designs from the ground up, it’s still a very important part of their tool kit as well – especially if you’re responsible for the entire life cycle of a project.


One of the most important differentiating factors is the Raster Graphics are made up of pixels which in great quantity will form detailed images such as photographs. The more pixels an image has, the better quality it will be! For print, 300dpi is standard for high-quality, whereas for digital only 72dpi is required.

Zoom in on an image and you can start to see these same individual pixels.

Common raster file types are:


vector graphics

A vector graphic, in contrast, is made up of mathematical equations, lines, and curves with fixed points on a grid to produce an image.

Pixels don’t exist in Vector files, and as such, you can scale the design up to any size without loss of resolution or quality.

If you need your logo on a poster, or any larger format size your projects dictates, you’ll need your files created in this format.

I should also point out you can only create logos in this format in Adobe Illustrator, where .EPS files are the gold standard for scaling without any loss of resolution. It’s common practice to start out in Adobe Illustrator and deliver the same file formats mentioned in the raster graphics section in additional to the scalable eps file.


An easy way to tell if your file is raster or vector is simply to increase it’s size – if it becomes blurry there’s a good chance it’s a raster file.

I hope that clears up the vector vs raster graphic dilemma so you’re informed going into your next design project! If you’d like a breakdown on common print design terms used in the graphic design industry, head on over to this post!

Want to learn more about GRAPHIC DESIGN?

Subscribe to my newsletter! You’ll receive a FREE Website Content Planner and stay in the know on recent Business Trends, Graphic Design mistakes to Avoid, Website Design & Development hacks, and more!

February 12th, 2023


the blog

owner & creative director of
by stephanie design 

Let's work together 

By Stephanie Hamilton