Learn to Differentiate Between a Vector and a Pixel

Learn to Differentiate Between a Vector and a Pixel

Written by Deepak Bhagat, In Technology, Published On
November 3, 2020
Last modified on December 14th, 2021

Have you ever wondered what might be due to the fact that some image is pixelated? Have you tried enlarging your logo but it looks blurry? This is because you don’t know the difference between a vector and a pixel.

In this post I am going to tell you about the differences between pixels and vectors, the “responsible” for making your images look (or not) correctly.
Learn to Differentiate Between a Vector and a Pixel

Everything we see on the screen -be they images, icons, texts, etc.- is made up of pixels or vectors.

The difference between the two often goes unnoticed at first glance.

If you don’t want to be scared when push comes to shove, you should distinguish them and use one or the other depending on what is most convenient.
Learn to Differentiate Between a Vector and a Pixel

The Pixels

If you approach a photograph, printed or on screen, you will notice that it does not have defined edges, but is made up of small squares (in the case of the screen) or dots (if it is printed). These squares or points are what we call pixels. So, in short, the photos are built on pixels.

Each pixel has a specific color (RGB or CMYK), so the more pixels an image has, the more details you can see in the image.

To measure this, you must take into account the DPI (dots per inch) that calculate the number of pixels that must be in a space.

As a general rule, when you go to print images, you should make sure that they have a minimum of 300dpi so that they look good.

While if you are going to use them on screen, they should have about 72dpi. If you want you can increase this number, but not decrease it.

If you do, it is likely that the image will look bad, as it happens in the image that I show you below).

Once you determine the size of an image, if you enlarge it, you will lose a lot of quality in the photo, making it look pixelated.

The images formed by pixels allow you to change in great detail all the colors that make up the photograph.

This is due to what I was saying at the beginning, that each pixel is a box of one color.
So you can imagine the advantage of having millions of color squares that can be changed one by one.

Look at the image that I show you, to which I have changed the tones without problems.

The photographs that you take from your camera and that you upload to your website can never be vectorized.

The maximum you can enlarge them will depend on the number of pixels and original size it has.

The Vectors

Unlike pixels, vectors are the result of complicated mathematical equations that connect different points on the screen.

While in a photograph you need a large number of pixels to create a shape, in a vector a few anchor points are sufficient. Look at the image to understand what I’m saying.

Vectors are used, above all, to create logos and work with fonts, so you can expand them as much as you need.

This is the main advantage of vectors: they can be greatly enlarged without losing quality.

The problem with vectors is that they are much more difficult to work with at the color level.
We can create more or less complex gradients, this is true, but it will always be more difficult to obtain realistic results with vectors.

Now you know the difference between a vector and a pixel

Remember that for everything that is photography you are going to work with pixels. On the other hand, everything that is icons, professional logo designs or fonts, will be in vector.
Did you know the difference between one element and the other, or has this differentiation caught you by surprise? It is very important that you know how to differentiate them so that you can work them correctly.

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