6 Min Read | Mon, 15 May 2023
You would be able to choose the right graphic design software for your business only after you know about the different types of programs available in the market and how each of them can help you meet your goals.
This blog covers the key software types like Raster, Vector graphics and 3D, along with their pros and cons, and uses and formats, to make your task simple.
“A picture is worth a thousand words”, an old saying goes.
It especially holds true in today’s world, when images, whether moving or still, are the primary mode of information disbursal.
As attention spans shrink, visual displays reign supreme, and to capture such an audience, you need the best of skills and software to create impactful images. The right graphic design software can make all the difference.
Comprising types like 3D, Raster, and Vector graphics, such software can range from simple to complex and meet a variety of needs.
Before choosing a graphic design software for your business, understand the advantages of using such a software and how each type can help.
Here are the top advantages of using a graphic design software:
Helps combine colors, text, shapes in multiple ways to create original, top-quality illustrations
Helps create and edit anything from simple images to animations and 3D models
Helps save images in various Raster or Vector formats
Allows easy image sharing
Often suitable for those with zero or little experience in editing images
Many features available to generate professional and creative images
Helps create images for printing, websites, mobile apps, social media etc.
Can be used with spreadsheets and word processors to produce complete presentations or documents
This software type helps produce images composed of shapes and lines.
Most importantly, you can scale Vector graphics infinitely without any loss in quality or precision.
The graphics consist of paths that have starting and end points and the vector elements have smooth, clean edges. In other words, you use geometric commands and mathematical formulas to create and edit the images. You can explore and compare the options available on Zoftware to pick the right tool and create various Vector files easily.
Vector graphics pros:
Scalable, which means exact and clean at any size
Compact file size
Easy loading of Vector files to different programs/devices
Vector graphics cons:
Less detailing in complex images
Takes time and skill to create Vector files
Limited support on web browsers
Logos and illustrations for digital/print media
Printing on clothes, magazines, ads, etc.
Open and closed signs, banners, yard signs etc.
Animation with high-definition images and smooth videos
Computer Aided Design/CAD for technical and design documents
Backgrounds and characters in video games
Maps in Geographic Information System/GIS
.cdr - CorelDRAW Image File
.dxf - Drawing Exchange Format File
.ai - Adobe Illustrator File
.svg - Scalable Vector Graphics File
.eps - Encapsulated PostScript File
.wmf - Windows Metafile
.pdf – Portable Document Format
Different Vector formats are used for different purposes. For instance, EPS files are apt for sending logos or small design elements usually embedded in bigger designs. On the other hand, AI files are widely used in digital and print media graphics.
You can use Raster software to produce and edit images composed of pixels or tiny squares of color. They cannot be scaled without quality loss.
So, if you are wondering what is a Raster image, it is like a rectangular grid or matrix of square pixels. The higher the number of pixels, the better is the image quality.
Raster graphics pros:
Easy to edit with Microsoft Paint or Photoshop
Color and shade gradations
Quality depends on number of pixels
You can edit each pixel individually
Save in multiple file formats
Raster graphics cons:
Lack of scalability, may lead to blurred details/contours, color errors
High-resolution images require large file size
Conversion to Vector graphics impacts quality
.jpg – Joint Photographic Experts Group
.gif – Graphics Interchange Format
.png – Portable Network Graphics
.tiff – Tagged Image File Format
.bmp – Bitmap Image File
Different Raster file formats serve different purposes, just like in case of Vector file types. While .jpg is ideal for photographs, .gif is suitable for simple graphics, logos and animation. The .bmp format is preferred for desktop applications and .tiff offers various compression options. To choose the right software, explore the Raster and Vector options Zoftware has to offer.
When it comes to choosing one design software over the other, you need to know their differences across several parameters, as listed below:
Raster – Photographs, print materials
Vector – Logos, fonts, digital printing, animation, video games
Raster – Depends on number of pixels and device
Vector – Scalable
Raster – .jpg, .bmp, .tiff, .gif, .png
Vector – .ai, .cdr, .eps, .dxf, .wmf, .svg
Size of file
Raster – Large, dependent on exported resolution
Vector – Small
Conversion and compatibility
Raster – Can be opened in different web browsers and apps
Vector – Special software often required for opening and editing Vector files
Now that you know about Raster and Vector graphics, it is time to review 3D graphic design before you move on to choosing your ideal tool from Zoftware.
Photographs and drawings are two-dimensional. 3D design means creating a mathematical representation of a 3-dimensional shape or object using software.
Think of it as artists using points in the virtual space to craft a mesh and design the object in question.
3D graphics can help shape, analyze, document, and share concepts and ideas in a realistic manner across industries.
3D graphic design software can:
Reduce design costs and time by allowing reviewing, testing and tweaking of products before production starts
Create and personalize digital renderings quickly
Reduce the need for physical prototypes
Assure precision and quality before the actual designing begins
Detect design flaws in advance
Allow easy data access for all stakeholders
Ease product presentation and promotion
Solid modelling – Creates objects with a basic geometric shape, for easy modification, rotation, manipulation etc.
Wireframe modelling – Demonstrates an object’s basic structure with lines, curves, edges
Surface modelling – Focused on exterior object view, elaborate, with organic shapes and complex features
Polygonal modelling – Starts as a simple shape and details are added gradually to create a 3D polygonal mesh
CAD – Uses angles, lines, symmetrical and conventional geometric figures
Digital sculpting – Mostly used for organic objects and characters, this technique deforms a flat block to make it look like the target
3D modelling for visualization, simulation, rendering of graphic designs
Virtual reality for immersive, interactive experiences
3D CAD for accurate design visualization in architecture/engineering
Visual effects to create amazing environments and characters in entertainment
Product designing for cars, industrial equipment, factories etc.
STL – Standard Triangle Language
STP – Straight Through Processing
OBJ – Object File
3MF – 3D Manufacturing Format
Graphic design software can help create, modify, share, save and use images in various ways
Vector graphics software uses mathematical and geometric commands to create images that can be scaled infinitely without quality loss
Raster graphics software helps create and edit images made of pixels, which gives superior control over image modification, however, it cannot be scaled without quality loss
Raster and Vector differ based on parameters like resolution, usage, file size etc.
3D graphic design software can reduce design time and costs, minimize prototypes, identify design flaws on time, produce high quality, and help create deeper visual impact.
Compare Vector Graphics Software