As with any image related content, website graphics need to be drawn, for which you have two options; vector and raster. Seeing that both of them deserve a dedicated post, focusing on the pros and cons of each method, I’ve decided to make it a two-part series. The first one is the one you’re reading right now, and with it, I’ll try to explain why vector graphics are the go-to way of creating website graphics.
What Are Vector Graphics
Because I’m focusing on vector graphics for this part of the series, I’ll share why they’ve become the industry standard for websites. That being said, let’s start with what they are.
Since vectors are a mathematical term, it’s no wonder that vector graphics use math. They are, in essence, mathematical operations that the CPU uses to scale every line using specific algorithms. Every line is made up of points that have a specific X and Y coordinate, where every point contains specific information detailing how it looks regarding color, size, and direction.
When you scale up a raster image, it loses quality because all you do is physically enlarge the pixels, reducing resolution. On the other hand, vector graphics use math to bridge the pixels when you expand. As you scale a line, the number of points it contains changes with the scale, which means you always have the same resolution.
Why Your Website Graphics Need To Be Vectors
Every website contains some graphical content. The first thing that comes to mind is, of course, logos. They need to be nice and crispy no matter the size since you’ll probably use it in more than one place. Then you have clickable links in the form of stylized text or small images, which link to sponsors or any other URL of your choice.
And lastly, a whole array of art that on your front page and posts, that makes the website look eye-catching.
There are a couple of reasons why you should use vector graphics for your website.
Firstly, vector graphics possess unmatched quality compared to raster graphics. They are incredibly flexible when it comes to size since they always look the same.
Secondly, using vector graphics saves you memory space, because they don’t contain nearly as much data as raster graphics do. This comes in handy when you’re dealing with a lot of graphics, especially large ones, as used bytes accumulate fast.
And lastly, the look and feel. Vector graphics have a certain vibe to them that makes them so attractive. They are simple, elegant and to the point, without too much going on.
The Downsides Of Vector Graphics
Everything in existence has a flaw, and vector graphics are no different. But, the flaws are minor.
Unlike raster graphics, vector graphics are simple. They contain only solid colors and gradients, limiting what you can achieve with them. Don’t expect photo-realistic graphics from vectors as it probably won’t happen.
The second drawback can be easily evaded by using a good vector artist because it depends on the artist to be precise. You see, with scaling vectors, any mistakes that a particular graphic has, are scaled as well.
If the artist does a mediocre job, the mediocrity will reduce or increase with the scale of the artwork. It makes perfect sense to invest into a good vector artist if you want your website to look professional.
For me, vector graphics and websites go hand in hand like butter and toast. The advantages of vectors graphics are much more noticeable than it’s drawbacks. They save space, look good in all sizes and are just so nice to look at. Plus, the bonus is that you need only one artwork of the same style for as many sizes as you want.