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Adobe Illustrator Essentials Guide: Home

Adobe Illustrator Essentials Guide


Foundation: Lexi Voss, Visualizationist

Designer: Yen Ho, Biomedical Library Intern


Bitmap vs Vector Graphics

Clip art file formats are divided into 2 different types: bitmap or vector graphics

Bitmap or “rasterized” file formats are used to describe images made up of a grid of multicolored or black and white pixels. Bitmap images are always limited in quality by their resolution, which must be fixed at the time the file is created by increasing the resolution.

  • Most common web-based file formats such as GIF, JPEG, PNG, BMP, TGA and TIFF

Vector file formats are mathematical calculations that form shapes. Because a vector image is described using geometric data instead of fixed pixels, the image can be scaled to any size while retaining "resolution independence", meaning that the image can be printed at the highest resolution a printer supports, resulting in a clear, crisp image.

  • In essence, vector images are infinitely scalable without pixilation.





Bitmap Pixelation