Adobe Illustrator: What’s the Difference between Vectors and Pixels?

For beginning users of Adobe Illustrator, one of the first things you should know about is the difference between vectors and pixels. A helpful video explaining and demonstrating the difference is made by Atlanta, Georgia-based freelance designer and Illustrator instructor, Laura Coyle.


In the video ‘Beginning Illustrator: Vectors vs. Pixels explained,’ Laura Coyle eases through foundational concepts, explaining how Adobe Photoshop is used for pixel art, while Adobe Illustrator is for vectors. The video also explains other basic concepts of Illustrator and its distinction from Photoshop.


Photoshop is definitely the right program for manipulating photos and painterly artworks with lots of tones, textures, and colors in it. Illustrator on the other hand has objects and each object is an outlined shape consisting of points called anchor points and paths that connect the anchor points.


Essentially, with Photoshop, when zooming in on the image, the image gets jagged edges due to the pixels. With Illustrator, when zoomed in, shows crisp lines on the image since it does not use pixels. Designers using Illustrator do not have to worry about resolution, unlike with using Photoshop.



Laura Coyle has been a freelance artist for more than 20 years and uses her skills to work as an Adobe Illustrator instructor and provide video tutorials for an online software training school which offers Illustrator training to hundreds of students online.


Aside from providing training and tutorial videos through her YouTube channel, she also provides Illustrator references and resources on her website. Here at MicroCreatives, Illustrator and Photoshop are only some of the programs we use for design projects. We always look for ways to refresh and improve our skills through various resources such as design blogs and tutorials.