Vector graphics are basically digital images created using a sequence of commands or mathematical statements that place lines and shapes in a 2D (two-dimensional) or 3D (three-dimensional) space.
Since, vector graphics are comprised of paths, which are defined and created by a start and end point, along with other points, curves, and angles along the way. This path can be a line, a square, a triangle, or a curvy shape. These paths can be used to create simple drawings or complex diagrams.
With the help of Vector graphics creatives can build high-quality works of art, with clean lines and shapes that can be easy scaled to any size.
In a simplified way, we can say, vector graphics are like connect-the-dots drawings.
Advantages and disadvantages of vector graphics
- Small file size – Vector graphics normally have a small file size because they only store a small number of points and the mathematical relationships between them. Those relationships are expressed in coded form, which consumes less memory compared to storing pixels.
- Scalability – This is the major advantage of vector graphics, vector graphics are derived from mathematical vector relationships, or relationships between points that create lines and curves, they appear clean and exact at any size.
- Easy to edit – Vector files are easy to edit since its users can change vector relationships fast to swap out colors or change line shapes, for example. This is useful in an iterative process, like graphic design, that requires a lot of editing.
- Easy to load – Vector files sizes are smaller and it is easy to port and load vector files to different devices and programs.
- Easy to duplicate – It is easy to create clones of a vector image and copy certain features of one graphic to another as well.
- Precision – The ability to scale vector graphics up or down means they have a precise look and feel.
- Inconsistency – Vector images can vary from one application to another, It depends on how compatible the rendering and creating applications are, among all other factors.
- Less Detail – Vector files are limited in dealing with complex and typical images. For instance, photographs require color shading and blending that vector files cannot provide like raster files.
- Skill and Time Requirements – To create, Vector files require more skill and time .
- Limited Browser Support – There is less support for vector graphics on web browser.