Does something seem a little fuzzy?

Vector images verses bitmap: Understanding the difference.

Are you trying to stand out from your competitors? Do you want your audience to notice you, but something seems a little fuzzy?

It’s tough trying to stand out these days with so many companies competing to be at the top of their game. You want your brand to stand up against your competitors and be the best it can, portraying clearing what you offer and what your brand stands for. You’ve worked hard to design your logo, but it’s not working wonders for your brand’s value because it appears to be a bit fuzzy around the edges. Fuzzy logos on your printed artwork, such as a flyer or pixelated images on a website can put a huge dent in your brand’s image. To avoid this, you must use the correct file types.

There are two main file formats in the digital world; vector graphics and bitmap images. Bitmap images are made up of different colour dots known as pixels. Vector graphics consist of shapes that are known as pathways. Both file formats have their pros and cons, so let’s help you understand what makes them different as this is a problem that pops up all the time.

Vector verses Bitmap Graphics

What is a vector?

Vector graphics are comprised of paths, which join together between a start and an end point. A path can be a curve, line, square, triangle, circle, etc. Due to the nature of this type of image, the edges of each shape will appear very sharp and clean. A vector can be scaled and enlarged to any size without losing image quality, meaning it will never become pixelated. Vector graphics are also relatively small in file size compared to a bitmap image of the same scale.

What is a bitmap?

Bitmap images (or raster) are made up of a series of dots or pixels. Each tiny pixel comprises of a small coloured square. All of these squares form an image. You will be able to see these squares if you zoom in on an image. Bitmap images are often used for photographs or graphics that consists of a wide range of colours or effects. Unlike vector graphics, bitmaps can’t be enlarged to any size without pixelating.

So, how do you work out whether to use vector over bitmap? Ask yourself the following three questions:

  1. 1Am I working with shapes or a real-life image?
  2. Will I need to enlarge the image?
  3. Are you worried about file size?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to the above, then we would suggest a vector image.

In the design industry, there are so many factors to take into consideration. We are often sent bitmap logos, especially when working with signage, which are not suitable to use in many situations. We will always be honest with you and let you know if there is an issue with your supplied artwork, but if you are ever in any doubt, we are always happy to help and guide you. We want to ensure your end product is the best it can be, just as much as you do!

If after reading this article, you are still feeling a bit fuzzy, we’d be more than happy to help you understand. Give us a call on 01278 783273 or email

Mel is the Creative Director/Owner of The Design Hive. Mel has put her heart and soul into building up the business and is truly passionate about the the industry and our clients.