What Is the Difference Between Pixels vs Vector?

Pixels vs Vector

We interact with vectors and pixels every day on digital screens, banners, posters, photos, etc. Both are a part of our day-to-day life. Pixels and Vectors are different in many ways, but the main difference lies in their structures.

Let us put a simple example for pixel. Any photo we take contains millions of pixels. Pixels merge together to make a meaningful scenery. On the other hand, vectors are a combination of outlined shapes. We see the vector works in banners, posters, and Logos.

In this article, we will have a broader view of the difference between Pixels vs. Vector. 

What is Pixels?

Pixels are tiny squared color boxes that combine to create an image. Pixels merge to make Raster Graphics. It is a random placement of millions of colored squared boxes that creates one larger image.

We deal with the Raster Graphics every day. Each photo we take with our phone is a Raster Graphics. Whatever we see on digital screens, such as computer monitors, is a combination of pixels. Display resolutions are the measures of pixels depth – 720p, 1080p, etc.

Pixels help us to get a detailed photo with more elements in it. Although the more we zoom into it, the resolution becomes lower. At a point, we discover the squared pixels, as you can see from the picture.

Raster graphics or pixels can create photo-realistic imagery.

When you zoom in to a Raster Graphics, you will see it pixelates down to small boxes. Those are individual pixels.

What is Vector Graphics?

Vector is a combination of anchor points. In a more straightforward sense, the vectors are shape outlines. The shapes are a mathematical map for creating any imagery.

Vector is easily scalable. And in the scaling process, it always retains the same amount of detail. You can print the same logo on small packaging or a covered van.

Vector Graphics are amazingly sharp and crisp at any zoomed point. The result of a vector is not always photo-realistic. 

Pros and Cons of Pixels and Vectors

So you have got an idea that they are not the same. There is a lot of differences. They will benefit you in different situations. Sometimes you may get a better result in the same scene with one of them. 

Pixel (Prost and Cons)

Here are some of the significant advantages and disadvantages of pixels. 

More color enrichedEditing individual pixels is possibleWorks across all browsersSupports all significant image and vector editing softwareInfinite customizability for color, shapes, texture, adjustmentsResolution dependent – becomes a blur when zoomed or scaled upLarge file size – Scaling more creates more file size to accommodate more pixelsImage tracing is toughCompression leads to loss of qualityImage tracing required for converting to vector graphicsA larger printing size requires more resolution

Vector Graphic (Pros and Cons)

The vectors are better in many ways but also have some disadvantages.

Scalable to any size without the loss of resolutionSmaller file size File size stays the same with the increase and decrease of the scaleEasy change of object properties Easy conversion to Raster Graphics (Pixels) Sharp and Crisp edges Any size of printing is possible by a single fileLimited possibilities of shading, texturesCan not generate a photo-realistic view

File Format and Softwares

The file format is the best way to identify a raster graphics(Pixels) or a vector. The file for pixels comes in PSD, JPEG/JPG, PNG, TIFF format. On the other hand, vector graphics come in AI, SVG, EPS, and PDF.

Vector to pixel conversion is easy. You have to convert your file to the desired format, and that’s it. But the pixel to vector conversion is time-consuming in most cases.

The most common software for manipulating pixels is Adobe Photoshop. It is a raster graphics software that involves the modification of pixels.

Popular software for vector graphics in Adobe illustrator. It helps to create and modify anchor points.

Both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator support all the file formats mentioned above. They enable you to export the file into any of the formats also.

There is some mobile alternative like Snapseed for raster graphics and Picsart for both raster and vector. But there is a catch. You get a limited option and customizability in mobile applications.

How to Convert From Raster to Vector?

This part is tricky. As mentioned in the pros and cons, the vector to raster is an easy conversion process. But for raster to vector, image tracing is the key. This is a lengthy process with a precise workflow. 

Each element of the photo needs individual tracing for generating a vector. Raster to vector is more of a professional job. You can hire someone online for your raster to vector image service. The professionals trace the image precisely with the Pen tool. 


Vectors and pixels have different uses. One is resolution-dependent, while the other is not. Typically for photo editing, we use Pixels, and for detailed printing, the vectors come in handy.

One will quickly become familiar with where to use which one once they start dealing with the files. We hope you have a better understanding of what is the difference between pixels vs. vectors.

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