Vector and Bitmap are two different image file formats.
I get asked this all the time by my clients. “Why do I need an eps of my logo, what is a vector and why is it better than my png file? You’re not alone if you’re confused over the difference between a vector and a bitmap file type. Here’s a brief comparison between them:
The name “vector” is a term that came from geometry. It’s not only the name that resembles a math term. Vector-based file format stores images as a collection of mathematical formulas and instructions rather than individual pixels. It uses curves, points and shapes to define the image, allowing for scalability without losing quality. Vector files are resolution-independent and can be resized without losing detail or clarity. They are commonly used for illustrations, logos, and other graphics that require scalability. Vector file types such as EPS, and AI PDF are excellent for creating graphics that frequently require resizing.
Bitmap, also known as raster or pixel-based image format, represents images as a grid of individual pixels or small boxes. Each pixel contains specific colour information, and when combined, these pixels create the overall image. Bitmap files store colour information for each pixel, which means they are resolution-dependent. If a bitmap image is resized, the individual pixels are either added or removed, resulting in a loss or degradation of image quality each time you resave. To determine whether your bitmap images are suitable for a specific application, you need to check their resolution or pixel density. Dots per inch (DPI) or pixels per inch (PPI) refer to the number of pixels in one inch of the image. These measurements become important when you attempt to use bitmap images in specific places, like the web or in print. Standard bitmap formats include JPEG, PNG, and GIF.
In simple terms, vectors can be resized up or down, re-saved and not lose quality. Bitmaps lose quality by simply re-sizing, and re-saving, the quality maintained depends on the DPI.
Having a vector file of your logo is important because a vector file format means that you can use your logo at any size on a range of promotional materials, from business cards to websites to billboards. A bitmap file, on the other hand, will become blurry and pixelated when scaled beyond its intended size.