Difference Between Bitmap and Vector

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Our social media world is filled with images. Marketing agencies are also realizing the importance of using graphics and visuals to expand their business.

The reason is that visuals attract the audience more than anything. Our brain perceives quickly to information in the images. So a good graphic with colors and design has become essential for marketing and content strategy.

There are different types of graphic formats and they have their advantages and disadvantages. Two most commonly used types of graphic are bitmap and vector graphics

Bitmap vs Vector

The main difference between bitmap and vector is that bitmap images are made up of dots called pixels. A pixel is the smallest square that is combined to form a whole image.

Bitmap vs Vector

Vector images are made up of lines and curves that are combined to form a whole graphic. They use objects like circles and polygons to make a whole illustration.

If you zoom out bitmap images, you can see the pixels and the image starts to blur out. But if you zoom out vector images, the image does not blur out but stays smooth.

One format has certain advantages and disadvantages over the other. Some other features that differentiate between bitmap and vector graphics are given in the comparison table below.


Comparison Table Between Bitmap and Vector (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonBitmapVector
DefinitionA type of graphics that are made up of small elements called pixels.A type of graphics that are made up of lines and curves.
Formats.jpg, .gif, .png, .psd, .tiff.ai, .svg, .ps, .eps, .svf
ElementsIt uses pixels.It uses geometric shapes.
ResolutionResizing the image affects its resolution.Resizing the image does not affect its resolution.
Suitable forThis type is suitable for photographs.This type is suitable for logos, clip arts, and icons.
Software programIt can be edited using Adobe Photoshop.It can be edited using Adobe Illustrator.
File SizeComparatively larger than vector images.Comparatively less than bitmap images.


What is Bitmap?

A Bitmap is a type of graphic that consists of small elements called pixels. Bitmap graphics are also called raster images.

The pixels hold some color and when they are arranged together, they form an image. Whenever you look at some screen, you see tiny dots called pixels.

Bitmap graphics are resolution-dependent. That means, if you scale them too much, you can lose the image quality.

If you zoom out the picture too much, you can see the blurry edges, and the image becomes jagged.

So it is advised that you do not scale bitmap images too much. Only slight resizing is possible. The term to define the resolution of a picture is dots per inch (dpi).

Photographs are bitmap or raster images. Some of the most popular bitmap formats are Photographic Expert Group (.jpg), Graphics Interchange Format (.gif), Portable Network Graphics (.png), and Tagged Image File Format (.tiff).

The outputs of printers and scanners are also bitmap. The input-output devices like digital cameras, monitors, etc produce bitmap images.

The software that is most widely used for editing photographs in Adobe Photoshop.


What is Vector?

A vector graphic is a type of graphic that uses geometric shapes like lines, curves, circles, and polygons to compose an image. The mathematical formulas establish those points on the grid.

Vector graphics are not resolution-dependent. That means, it is possible to scale them without worrying about the picture quality because the mathematical formulas redraw the image at that required scale.

This feature has a certain advantage over other types of graphics. That is why vector graphics are quite popular all over the world. They appear smooth at any resolution.

The most commonly used vector formats are Adobe Illustrator File (.ai), Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg) and Encapsulated PostScript (.esp).

The software used worldwide to make and edit vector graphics are Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Adobe InDesign, and also CAD Systems. Logos, clip arts, posters, and abstract images are all vector graphics.

In the world of graphic design, vector graphics are used almost anywhere. Due to their scalable feature, the logo can be put on a billboard and it would still have solid colors and consistency.

Animations also require vector graphics because of the resolution independency. The animation industry makes billions every year so vector graphics are always in demand.


Main Differences Between Bitmap and Vector

Some of the features that differentiate between Bitmap and Vector are given below:

  1. A bitmap is a type of graphics that are made up of small elements called pixels while a vector is a type of graphics that is made up of lines and curves.
  2. The commonly used formats for bitmap are .jpg, .gif, .png, .psd, .tiff while the commonly used vector graphics are .ai, .svg, .ps, .eps, .svf.
  3. The basic element of bitmap images is pixels whereas the basic element of vector graphics is geometric shapes.
  4. Resizing a bitmap graphic affects the quality of the picture while resizing a vector graphic does not affect its quality.
  5. Bitmap graphics are mostly photographs while vector graphics are mostly logos, icons, and clip arts.
  6. Bitmap images can be edited through Adobe Photoshop while vector graphics can be edited through Adobe Illustrator.
  7. Bitmap images are comparatively larger than vector images. Vector images have a smaller file size as compared to bitmap images.
Difference Between Bitmap and Vector



Both types of graphics have their pros and cons in terms of file size, resolution, elements but both of them are used to convey some information to the audience. Both of them solve specific types of tasks.

It is all up to your purpose to choose which type of graphic you require.

Both types are widely in demand in industries like marketing, social media, animation, graphics, content creation, and business. They are all utilizing the power of graphics to expand their audience and create their brand reputation.

Key Differences Between Bitmap and Vector (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between Bitmap and Vector



  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/5579713/
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/1317331.1317339
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So in terms of size, do vector take more size than a bitmap or vice versa?

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  Priety

If we are speaking about the same image then a bitmap is bound to take more size due to the fact that it stores more details about the image.