Vector-based drawings are resolution independent. This means that they appear at the maximum resolution of the output device. They can be exported as bitmap images, at any resolution you need.
Vector images, also called object-oriented or draw images, are defined mathematically as a series of points joined by lines. Graphical elements in a vector file are called objects. Each object is a self-contained entity with properties such as colour, shape, outline, size, and position on the screen, included in its definition.
Since each object is self-contained, you can move and change its properties over and over again while maintaining its original clarity and crispness, and without affecting other objects in the illustration.
These characteristics make vector-based programs ideal for illustration purposes, where the design process often requires individual objects to be created and manipulated.
Vector-based drawings are resolution independent. This means that they appear at the maximum resolution of the output device, such as your printer or monitor. As a result, the image quality of your drawing is better if you print from a 600 dots per inch (dpi) printer than from a 300 dpi printer.
Some examples of commercial vector graphic software are Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Xara Designer Pro and not forgetting the completely free, open source Inkscape
It is very easy to change the size of vector graphics without losing any of the detail, as happens with bitmap graphics.
This is a drawing that I created using Expression 3 from Creature House. This is a vector based program. For a demonstration I have exported a bitmap version at two different sizes, then a cropped portion of the image, and finally…
And just to really make the point.
Hopefully this demonstrates the power of vector graphics, the same image can be used for an Artists Trading Card (ATC) or an A3 size print. I actually use this software for creating poster sized images.
Sadly the Creature House version of Expression is no longer being developed (see here for details) Luckily, because it is my favourite drawing program, I can still run it in Windows 7 and Windows 8. I actually use it on a daily basis. UPDATE Since updating all of my computers to Windows 10, I am very pleased to find that this program still works just fine.
Also the Microsoft version of the program is no longer being developed but you can now get a full legal copy of Microsoft Expression Design for free. Get it here. I do have a copy of this on my computer, but as Microsoft dropped out some of my favourite features, I don’t use it so often as the original version.