Different types Of Graphics

Major classifications :

Vector Graphics:

They are made up of many individual objects. Each of these objects can be defined by mathematical statements and has individual properties assigned to it such as colour, fill and outline. Vector graphics are resolution independent and hence sharp output can be delivered at scale levels. Common vector format includes AI(Adobe Illustrator), CDR ( Coral Draw ), CGM ( Computer Graphics meta file, SWF ( Shockwave Flash ), DXF ( AutoCAD and other CAD software). Vector graphics tend to have much smaller file sizes than raster based bitmaps.


Bitmap/ Raster Graphics: 

They are comprised of pixels in a grid. Each pixel or 'bit' in the image contains information about the colour to be displayed. Bitmap images have a fixed resolutions and can not be resized without losing image quality. Common formats are JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG, PICT and BMP.  Most bitmap images can be converted to other bitmap based formats very easily. Bitmap images tend to have much large file sizes than vector graphics and they are often compressed to reduce their file sizes. But there are situations where the bitmap graphics prove more comfortable than vectors such as representing person or place etc.

Types Of Graphics:

It is obvious that the graphics image need not always be a photograph. A designer must know the various other types so that he can choose the appropriate one for the current requirement. Following is a list of visuals commonly used in a design composition:


They are basically hand drawn pictures. There are varieties of styles ranging from realistic to highly stylized. The designer should carefully select the style which supports his design theme. In a particular project, try to adopt one single style to maintain a unified look. Illustrations are quite useful in the areas where photographs can not describe complicated details, imaginary ideas etc. Technical illustration, Medical illustration, Fashion illustration, editorial, children book, cartoon commercial and digital are some of the branches.

Digital art
It is a recently developed area which grows quite fast as there are a lot of advantages. Still, images as well as animated art both have become popular globally.

The major advantages of this types are:


colouring, texturing, toning etc. are traditionally quite time-consuming processes. A variety of digital manipulating software made this job simple and quick.


Client choices of adjustments in colour, bgs, the angle of views or size anything can be corrected even at the last moment.


A newer range of stunning visual effects are offered by the software. Hence a novice can do the expert's work easily.


Massive as well as tiny printouts / multiple copies are possible with least time wastage.


Clip arts are ready-made digital artworks available in the market in CD /DVDs. Many of them can be downloaded from the net and some software offers free clip arts along with their shipment.

 The advantages of clip arts are :

  • Non-artists can also make visually rich documents.
  • Wide range to select from.
  • Ready to use digital formats; scanning process is avoided.
  • Many clip arts are available in vector format. so scaling doesn't create resolution problems.

Stock photos:

Belong to clip art category. These also can be used for generic purposes. Though some of them are available for free use many are copyrighted.


Custom developed:

If the situations call for only specific images for the design jobs like a company interiors or new product launch etc. Professional photographers are hired for quality images. Technology offers a wide range of digital cameras/camcorders to make the job easier and quicker.

Tables / Timelines:

Tables organize and simplify detailed information such as product model numbers and specifications. Timelines communicate before, during and/ or after time relationships.


Information graphics or infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics are used where complex information needs to be explained quickly and clearly such as in signs, maps journalism, technical writing, and education. They are also used extensively as tools by computer scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians to ease the process of developing and communicating conceptual information. Today information graphics surround us in information and act as a visual shorthand for everyday concepts such as stop and go. In newspapers, infographics are commonly used to show the weather, as well as maps and site plans for newsworthy events, and graphs for statistical data. Traffic signs and other public signs rely heavily on information graphics, such as stylized human figures, icons, and emblems to represent concepts such as yield, caution, and the direction of traffic. Technical manuals make extensive use of diagrams and also common icons to highlight warnings, dangers, and standards certifications.

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