Raster and Vector Graphics – What’s the Difference?

In the graphic design world there are two main types of graphics. Vector graphics and raster (or Bitmap) graphics. There are some major differences between the two graphic formats, and you need to understand these differences to know when you should be using each format. This article will look at the two different formats and when you should use each.

Vector Graphics

Vector graphics are a graphic image format that are created by applications such as Adobe Illustrator, Coral draw, or free open-source application inkscape. They are sometimes referred to as drawing applications. A vector graphic stores information differently to raster graphics in that it doesn’t use pixels. A vector graphic records specific coordinates within your file as reference points, then records other information such as line gradients, and thickness as a formula. So when you are editing the file you are not editing pixels on a screen, you are adding to and altering the formula’s information. Because of this, vector graphics are completely scalable. It doesn’t matter how small or how large your image is on the screen, it is not size that determines how large the file size of your image is. Vector graphic images come in a range of different file types depending on the application that created them. Typical formats include EPS, AI, CDR, and SVG.

Raster Graphics

Raster graphics are a graphic image format that are created by applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Paint, Corel Paint and free open-source application Gimp. They are sometimes referred to as painting applications. Raster graphic image formats store information about the file as pixels. Pixel are small dots that are used to make up your image. The larger the resolution, the more pixels there are, the larger the file size the image will be. There are different types of raster graphics used to compress file size using a range of different techniques. For example Gif file format compresses file size of an image by simplifying colour information of an image. It only uses 256 colours. Jpeg is another raster image format, that saves file size by using an algorithm that simplifies detail by analysis of pixel information. The higher the compression of the file, the more detail is discarded.

Which Application should I use?

Both applications have their strengths and weaknesses. Raster graphic applications typically have a range of photo effects, and photo editing functions. This makes raster graphic application ideal for editing photos. Also any image where you require a full colour range, raster graphics are more appropriate. Vector graphics are more appropriate for drawing images from scratch. For example, if you were designing a logo from scratch or drawing a cartoon character. Both of these projects would benefit from the scalability of vector graphic applications, and the other tools within the vector applications designed specifically to help with drawing projects.

Should I Get a Graphic Design Certificate?

Having graduated from college 20 years ago I have spent a large part of my working life keeping up with technology that was not available when I was in school. Currently I am considering a graphic design certificate for several reasons. In my current position I am called upon to work with graphics and design all of the time. I have learned through my job but I do not have a certificate in graphic design to show that I have completed courses. That combined with my portfolio of completed projects could propel me into a better job.

There are numerous schools that offer online programs for a graphic design certificate. That could work well for me and anyone who is working full time and trying to go to school. from what I have learned on the internet most people recommend getting a certificate from a school with a well know and positive reputation. I am looking forward to taking some of the courses that I have read about including Digital Illustration, Multimedia Courses, Audio/Video and Presentation Graphics Classes and so much more. In my current position I have only learned what I need to know to get my job done. Now I will have the opportunity to become fully educated and feel as if I am up to date with technology.

Some of the programs that I have looked into have more focus on one area or another. A few had more courses on web based design classes while others were more broad spectrum and had all types of art, design, and computer graphics.

There are some programs that allow a person to complete an Associates Degree. I will consider all of my options but right now I think a certificate program in graphic design will be exactly what I need. My confidence level will be so much better after I complete the certificate program. No longer will I feel like I have a limited knowledge of graphic design.

Years ago everything was drawn on paper but now with all of the technical and digital options available it is next to impossible to design anything without the aid of a computer. My hope is that a graphic design certificate will not only increase my confidence level for designing but that it will increase my future job opportunities and help me create good work for my portfolio.

Louis Zhang, Accrgraphicdesigncourses dot com

Graphic Design 101

With the rise of the technology over the past few decades, the rate at which the industry is constantly improved upon is astonishing. Almost every few months, the big names within the technology industry release a new and improved version of a tablet, notebook, television or stereo system. Such extreme growth means big business and many people are gearing their careers towards software engineering, information technology, and other technologically driven fields. One of the most interesting aspects of the growth of technology is its effect on photography, art, design, and ads. As a result of technologic growth, professions such as graphic design become not only possible, but also necessary.

Graphic design is a fundamental part of almost every business that fuses art and technology. Those who are artistically inclined, have an eye for design and are computer savvy are ideal candidates for a career field within design. Although design requires a strong, innate sense of taste and style, students must all have strong business and communication skills. Graphic artists can work in a variety of settings such as for one particular company, an ad agency or even as a freelancer.

However, to first receive a job offer, individuals must first receive the proper training. Most designers are expected to have a four-year bachelor’s degree or at the very least, a two-year associate degree. Those who wish to earn their degree in graphic design must complete classes in areas such as art, computer design, web design, print techniques, and many more. Since graphic artists are virtually used in almost all business models they must be extremely versatile in their talents. A wide range of courses provides an excellent education and preparation as a graphic design professional. Additionally, budding design students will take courses in writing, communication, business and other professional courses. As graphic artists can work in a variety of professional settings as a free lancer, own their own business or work within an agency or company, it is essential that graphic artists are equipped to efficiently and effectively work in a professional business atmosphere. Individuals who are not interested in completing a four-year degree within the graphic design field but still wish to work professionally within the field can become certified in specific graphic design software and programs such as Photoshop, InDesign, and many others.

Once individuals have completed their studies, they are ready to progress into the professional world of graphic design. As mentioned above, individuals can enter the field in a variety of ways such as working for themselves or for an organization. Typically those that have just completed their degree will be hired into entry-level positions just as junior graphic designers but can build their career to high management levels to positions such as creative director, marketing director or art director. Salaries for entry-level positions can range from about $25,000 to $40,000 depending on the area and organization. Salaries for upper level management positions can range from round $50,000 to upwards of $150,000.