A vector illustration is a set of "objects" defined by math. Think of a collage of paper cut-out shapes. The image at left is what a vector image looks like on-screen without its color and shading. You can see the colorized version of the same image, an illustration of The Airtel Plaza Hotel, up in the image scroll above.
Vector images are easily scalable. The same piece of art can be shrunk down to desk top icon size or enlarged and applied to a roadside billboard. I once did a background screen for a PIP convention which printed out to 20 feet by 60 feet.
Because vector illustration is a series of over-lapping objects, the art can be easily changed or modified. Branding and Marketing firms, with teams of Designers, love vector illustration because it is more forgiving in a team environment.
Importers and manufactures—particularly Licensees needing approval for their licensed products—love vector illustration because vector art is much easier, therefor faster, to modify or revise to accommodate requests from the Licensor in the approval process.
Printers like vector art because it's easier to work with in building accurate screen separations and applying spot colors. As a print-customer you are likely to hear the phrase, "the printer wants vector art."
Most of the UI (user interface) designs you see, including your browser, were designed with vector object-language programs. Boxes, lines, color areas, most logos and type were all vector illustration at one point, then converted to bitmap for screen use.
Vector Illustration is very useful in screen animation. It allows much smaller, thus faster downloading, files. Even movies can be "vectorized."
Vector Illustration users include, Publishers, Fashion Design, Architects, Industrial Design, Product Design, Packaging, Toy Design, Tech Art, Environment Signage, Cartography, and Typography.
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