The Role of Vector Art in Professional Websites

Have you ever thought about the photos that you take from your smartphone? What about the memes that you save from social media to share with your friends? Do you normally edit the pictures from your phone’s gallery?

If you notice, when you resize the images on your phone, they usually get blurry. In technical terms, they become ‘pixelated’. That’s where the role of vector art comes in.

You might have never heard the term ‘vector art’ before, but it’s important that you know what it is if you deal with any kind of digital photo. So let’s discuss what is vector art first, and then we’ll explain how do vector graphics work.

What is Vector Art?

‘Vector art’ is a technical term that refers to images and illustrations created using various mathematical algorithms. Vector art is made with software such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW. These images are easy to scale, edit, modify, resize, or even change in color saturation without reducing or spoiling the image quality.

To understand better, have a look at the image below.

Photo of a rooster

The image above is like a picture that you would take with your phone or camera. If you reduce this image in size, it’s going to get blurry as shown in the image below.

Photo of a rooster resized

The image became blurry and distorted because this photo was taken from a camera and not created in photo editing software.

If you create a picture of a rooster in a software in the form of vector art, it will look something like the image shown below.

If you crop or resize this image, it will still be very clear and have sharp contours. It will look something like the image shown below.

Vector art of a rooster resized

Do you see any difference between the original vector artwork of the rooster and the edited one? No, right? That is because vector graphics do not lose their image quality when they are resized, so they are very resourceful for use in professional websites.

Types of Vector Files

Generally, you’ll find two types of images on the internet: rasters or bitmaps and vectors. These two can be easily confused but are quite simple to differentiate. Raster graphics comprise of pixels and each pixel has a precise color. Vectors are not made of pixels. Vector graphics are made of mathematical algorithms or shapes like curves and lines. Vector art needs compatible apps for editing but can be viewed with most web browsers or image programs.

Like raster files have different types or formats (.JPG, PNG etc.), vector artwork also has several formats. The most common vector art formats are as discussed below.

1. AI

AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. This is the native image file format of Adobe Illustrator, the most popular editing software for vector graphics. It is used for designing and creating vector art for logos, illustrations, drawings, characters for animation, apps and more.

2. EPS

EPS stands for Encapsulated Postscript. This vector art file format is relatively older than AI. A disadvantage of EPS is that it doesn’t work with image transparency, so it is not as popular as AI. But a good thing about EPS is that it can contain a page that includes both kinds of images: vector graphics and raster images.

3. PDF

You must have heard of PDF in official documents or files because it is commonly used for those. PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It is an ancient vector art file format, and most people are familiar with it. A good thing about PDF files is that they create cross-platform documents, which means you can view them differently with different apps or software. Whichever program you use to open a PDF file, it will look the same. PDF files were built initially in Adobe systems and could be viewed in only Adobe Reader, but now there are so many programs that work well with PDF files.

4. SVG

SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. This is a modern format that not many people have heard of. It is easier to work with than other file formats. SVG files are commonly used in web content because you can easily insert them into web pages. They look appealing and are therefore used for online product displays.

There were the common vector art file formats. When using a specific app for editing images, the app would let you select among the file formats that are compatible with it to save your vector art.

How do Vector Graphics Work?

There are different ways to open a vector art file. Depending on what you need to do with the file, here are some of your options:

  • If you just need to print or view the vector graphics file, pretty much any vector art program can serve the purpose. In fact, for merely viewing a file, you can even open it in a program that’s made for raster images. Adobe Photoshop is one option. Adobe Photoshop can open EPS, SVG, PDF as well as AI files. But you won’t be able to edit it and still keep it in vector art format.
  • You can also view most vector graphics files in a web browser. All you need to do is drag the file and drop it into the browser, and the image will appear. Unfortunately, again, you cannot edit the file in the web browser.
  • If you want to open a vector graphics file and edit it, then you need to choose a vector art application, such as Adobe Illustrator. Another option to edit a vector graphics file is CorelDRAW, which is slightly less popular than Adobe Illustrator. There is also an open-source app to edit vector artwork called Inkscape.

What is Vector Art Used for?

Since vector art looks good and doesn’t lose its quality when it’s edited, it can be used for many different purposes by businesses. It is commonly used in all kinds of marketing campaigns. Vector graphics can make up your billboards, logo, printed advertisements, website theme elements, illustrations, promotional merchandise, Reddit art and more.

Here’s a list of items that you can create with vector art.

1. Illustrations

Many expert illustrators create their drawings on a tablet or computer. They like to use vector graphics because they make their work look professional and neat. In addition, illustrations made in vector art formats are attractive for displaying in a gallery or art show.

2. Logos

Logos of famous brands that we see on billboards and websites every day are often created using vector art. Examples are Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Facebook and Disney.

3. Websites

Since many people and businesses are building their websites using website builders these days, it is easier for them to use vector art in their web designs. Vector graphics make websites look stylish, elegant, professional and slick. Many websites insert vector art into every web page. They are also good to use on websites because they look clear on all screen sizes. So whether someone is viewing your website on desktop or mobile, your vector art will constantly adjust itself and not get distorted.

4. Cartoons

Before apps and app games were common, children were more into watching cartoons and animations. Many popular programs were using hand drawings, but some were also created using computer graphics, i.e. vector art.

5. Video Games

Some of the companies making video games create their images purely with vector art. An example is Sega, which was full of vector graphics at the time it launched Atari. They used vector art to create the classics called ‘Battlezone’ and ‘Asteroids’.

6. Books

Vector art also has a place in the world of published books. Vector graphics are commonly used in books to illustrate concepts and beautify stories. Comic books use vector art even more. In addition, many book covers are made with vector artwork.

7. Printed Ads

The printed ads that you see in brochures and magazines are made by professional designers, many of whom like using vector art.

8. Billboards

Vector artwork usually occupies most of the space on billboard advertisements. This is because images on billboards need to be crystal clear to be seen clearly from a distance. That’s why using vector art in billboards is very common. Billboards that do not use vector art do not look very professional.

9. Movie Posters

You must have come across fancy movie posters on your way to a cinema. If you see a movie poster that looks almost as sharp as a 3D screenshot from the movie, know that it is made with vector art.

10. Branded Merchandise

Many businesses that create branded merchandise to present their product lines use vector art to create their images. They can then easily enlarge or shrink their images to fit on different sized items. Vector artwork can be printed on T-shirts, mugs, pens and keychains, all without losing its preciseness.

Examples of Websites Using Vector Art Design

To understand how vector graphics look on a web design, below are some examples of websites that have used vector art images in their web pages.

1. Future Bristol

Future Bristol landing page screenshot

Image taken from Future Bristol

2. Minergie Anniversary Website

Minergie Anniversary Website home page screenshot

Image taken from Minergie Anniversary Website

3. My Phone & Me

My Phone & Me landing page screenshot

Image taken from My Phone & Me

4. MixPanel

Mixpanel website product analytics page screenshot

Image taken from MixPanel

5. Fieldwork

Fieldwork landing page screenshot

Image taken from Fieldwork

6. Legwork Studio

Legwork Studio landing page screenshot

Image taken from Legwork Studio

7. Brenda Chen

Brenda Chen website's home page screenshot

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

8. Julianne Feir

Julianne Feir website's home page screenshot

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

9. When Pandas Attack

When Pandas Attack landing page screenshot

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

10. Borisz

Borisz landing page screenshot

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

As you can see, the graphics on these websites look very clear and attractive. This is because they are in the form of vector art which doesn’t lose its quality even when it’s edited or resized.

If you build a website in Strikingly, it is very easy to add vector art. You can upload vector images into your Strikingly website by using the drag-and-drop feature of your Strikingly editor. Good quality images help you make your website look colorful, neat, and fancy!