Tech Blog

Introduction to Design: Understanding Graphic Image Types & Color Modes

Graphic Image Types



Raster images use rows and columns. Each square that makes up this grid is called a picture element, or pixel. Pixels are lost when the image size becomes smaller and pixels are added when the image is enlarged, so it is best not to drastically change the size of the image.
The image’s resolution is the same thing as the pixel size, which is displayed as ppi (pixels per inch) or dpi (dots per inch). 300 ppi is the standard for images that will be printed, while 72 ppi is the standard for images displayed on the web.
Once a raster image is completed, it can be placed in a vector graphics program. For example, a photograph could be added to a magazine or brochure layout.


Vector images use a system of anchor points and non-uniform nerves instead of pixels, which can be seen in the blue selection in the above image.This allows for perfect scaling, as no pixels are lost when the image size is reduced and no pixels are added if the size is increased.
It is also important to set up your document’s resolution for 300 ppi to guarantee that any raster objects in the same document will be high-quality for print. Vector images can also be placed in a raster image program to create a web-friendly image or include in a photo.
Adobe PhotoShop is the raster graphics editing program I will use for future tutorials. I will also utilize Adobe Illustrator and InDesign for vector graphics tutorials. There are many other options available, but the Adobe Creative Suite is the industry standard for graphic design.

Color Modes



RGB color uses additive color where red, green, and blue light is added to create different colors on your computer’s monitor. RGB is best used for images that will go straight to the web or for silk screen printing jobs. Color is created by three beams of red, green, and blue light that are emitted from the black computer screen. The intensity of each color depends on which model is being used.


The CMYK color mode uses subtractive color, which includes the four inks used in color printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black). This color mode should only be used for printing, since it masks colors on a lighter (usually white) background. The inks subtract brightness from the white background, reducing the amount of light that would otherwise be reflected.
Make sure to select either RGB or CMYK color when you first create your document to ensure that the colors will look their best whether you are designing for the web or for print. Monitors with In-Plane Switching technology (IPS) or Super PLS (Plane to Line Switching) are the best to use for graphic design, as they display a clear picture with minimal glare and true color that does not change depending on the angle that you are viewing the screen.

    Posts by Email:

    %d bloggers like this: