What is a Rasterized Image?

Rasterized images are a part of design. Unlike vectors, which are mathematically derived graphics formed on cartesian planes or rather grid-based systems, rasterized images rely on pixels that are a specific color. These images are finite in scale before a degradation in quality begins to occur. This is why when scaled, there is a pixelation that begins to occur that is often less than desirable.

What it Is and File Standards

Rasterized images are primarily made up of the following file types.

  • .jpg
  • .png
  • .psd
  • .tiff

Advantages Over Vector Graphics

Traditional raster images do have advantages over vector graphics.

  • Rasterized images are photos, and thus are more detailed than their vector counterparts.
  • Widespread adoption across multiple platforms.

Disadvantages Over Vector Graphics

Traditional raster images do have disadvantages over vector graphics as well.

  • Vectors allow for Infinite Resolution
  • Not scalable without degradation in quality
  • Larger File Size
  • Cannot be Animated
  • Cannot be Interactive

Where to Start

Programs like Adobe Photoshop work mainly in rasterized images. Other programs that work with rasterized images are Adobe Lightroom, Affinity Photo, Procreate, and Gimp, along with a multitude of other photo editing softwares.

When to Use Rasterized Images

Rasterized images are just images, and thus should be used anytime a visual aid is needed that does not need to be infinitely scalable.


All photography in any form is going to produce a rasterized image, which is why generally it is important to have high resolution images whenever possible that can be scaled down for consumption on phones and websites. Upscaling technology has gotten considerably better, however is not a fix for low quality images and should only be used when necessary. Check out the various knowledge centers to learn more about the use of rasterized images as well as our article on vectors.

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