2 Mistakes With Images That Will Make You Look Unprofessional


Do you know the difference between a Bitmap and Vector Image?

You don’t? Well, now is the time to put that right, because not understanding this can make you look unprofessional if your visual content comes out looking blurry and wonky (that’s a technical term, by the way).

What is a Bitmap Image

 A Bitmap (also called Raster) image is simply a large grid with a lot of little squares (aka Pixels or Dots) in it.

If you then place colour in each of these squares, you can build up an image square by square, and then when you stand back from this, you’ll see that the individual colours in the squares blend together and you’ll see a complete photographic image.

What is a Vector image

Vector graphics are basically  points connected by various lines of various shapes. The line that connect the points is called a path and the points are called ‘anchor points’.

A path can be a line, a square, a triangle or a curvy shape. the paths can be assigned a colour, shape, thickness (stroke) and fill and they are used to make highly detailed images.

Images made up of shapes, like line drawings and illustrations and logos, are often well suited for vector formats.

In fact, we all use Vector graphics every day! Fonts are vector graphics shaped like letters and in some programmes you can even convert these text shapes into editable shapes or paths.

Here’s some visuals that explain it better

At this point I’m going to suggest that you look at some pictures – lots of them and so here’s a slideshow I prepared earlier!

(PS. Try refreshing the page if you don’t see the first slide..)

Liked it? Please do share it! Thanks 🙂


I did a little chart to make this easy, and there will likely be some people out there who will be saying “it’s not as straight forward as that” and they would be right, but if you follow this then you won’t go far wrong.

Bitmap and Vector - What's the difference

The key differences between a bitmap and vector image









Want to know how you can get more tips on visuals, PLUS gain the knowledge on how to make your own images? CLICK HERE to find out how to make your own graphics using our free Graphics Resource Checklist


About The Author

Caroline Jones

I'm Caroline and I look to help small business owners create their own graphics by writing tutorials and tips on graphics editing software. I live in Wales , love Tartan and Coffee Ice Cream. You can read more about me here

  • Dennis, ListsUK

    Great set of explanatory slides, thank you ladies.

    As Einstein (I think?!) said, you know you truly understand something when you could explain it to your Grandparents – and I think with those slides, I could do just that*

    *Well, I couldn’t really; sadly they’re dead, but you get my point!

    • Hi Dennis – yep, I do understand 🙂
      And that’s great to hear that you’ve found the explanation clear. It can be a tad tricky to grasp..

  • Delia @ Blog Formatting

    Loving the slideshow and the easy explanations. Great stuff as usual, Caroline!

    • Hi Delia – thanks for the feedback. Appreciate it.

  • Lisa Mallis

    Fabulous slide show! I had NO idea of the difference – and you presented the information in such a clear manner – I feel confident I’ll choose the correct format moving forward! Thank you!!!

    • Lisa – it’s sort of something that people just ‘assume’ you know, but you know what happens when people assume 🙂

  • Dizee

    Excellent!!! And written in an easy, understandable language! Love the slideshow as well! I liked you on facebook – I look forward to learning more! 🙂

    • Hi Dizee – so glad to welcome you to our Blog. We like easy to understand over here 🙂 I shall go and catch you on Facebook.

  • Robin Strohmaier

    Excellent article, Caroline!The slide share is a great addition, too! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise.

    • Robin – I’m sure you find that people get confused between these 2 formats also..

  • This is very helpful. One big thing I learned today is that pdf files are vector. I had no idea! I learn a ton from you two. Thanks so much.

    • Hi Susan – so glad you are learning stuff from us! Here’s the best part about PDF files – they are so brilliant because you can work with a vector file *and* a raster file. So if you import a PDF into Inkscape you can ungroup all the elements – Viola – and much more user friendly than those temperamental/crappy EPS files.
      Conversely, if you import a PDF to Gimp (or Photoshop) you can work with them in that programme too!

  • Eva Synnergren

    Thanks for the good info. Very useful.

    • Eva Synnergren

      I have shared this with my community. I have seen your video before and that helped a lot.

      • Hi Eva – it’s one (of several) things that people aren’t sure about but it really helps (in all sorts of ways) to know the difference. Lovely to see you over here, as always.

  • more good info, thanks ladies. I’m bookmarking this to return again later.

    • Thanks Sandra – hope you find it useful.

  • Seana Turner

    Every time I visit your site I learn so much! I had no idea, especially about the different file extensions being for the different formats. Thanks so much… you make these topics easy to understand:)

    • Hi Seana – thanks for your feedback. It is gratifying to know that we are adding to your knowledge in a way that’s easy to understand – which is our goal.