Art & Illustration
Creative art comes in many styles, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Choosing the right artistic style for you is the first step to establishing a memorable identity. When choosing an artistic style, your primary consideration should be the mediums where the artwork will be used. Digital artwork is created in three distinct formats: Vector Graphics (or Line Art), Raster Graphics (Photorealistic) and 3-D Renderings. To help you decide, we'll give you a brief overview of these formats, their strengths, weaknesses and common uses:
Vector Graphics (Line Art)
This digital format tends to be limited in color and detail, usually no more than 16 colors in the entire composition and most resembles a hand-drawn illustration. Line art reproduces easily and cleanly especially on fax machines and copiers, making it the most used format for developing branding materials such an identity logo or mascot. Line Art is typically faster and cheaper to create so you will see line art styles on the widest variety of media.
Line art files are also very small in size, usually less than 1MB even for a highly detailed composition. In spite of the small file size, a line art graphic can be scaled up or scaled down without losing detail or quality. This means your graphic will look the same on a 3.5 x 2 inch business card as it would on a 24-foot banner.
Raster Graphics (Photorealistic)
Raster Graphic formats are for highly detailed art and can contain up 16 million colors and shades. Raster graphics look like photographs or directly incorporates photography. Great Raster Graphics take more time to make than Line Art, however, Raster Graphics always have a more realistic look and feel. For best results, Raster Graphics need to be created at a resolution specifically for the size of the media it will be used on, making it more difficult to transfer from one medium to another. In other words: you don't want to take a Raster Graphic created for your business cards and try to use it on a DVD cover, or take a picture from the Internet and use it in a color brochure. For this reason Raster Graphic file sizes are typically very large: anywhere from 5MB to 500MB depending on the medium where it will be used.
Resizing a Raster Graphic larger or smaller than its original size always results in a loss of detail and quality. The most common mistake we see with our new clients is they have Raster Graphics that is too small for the new medium they want to use it on. You will mostly likely see Raster Graphics on all printed media and Audio/Visual media.
Although 3-D Rendering is a raster based graphic with all the advantages and limitations mentioned above, 3-D modeling presents a cost saving alternative to hiring a photographer. A 3-D Rendered Graphic is a computer generated model created with all sides and dimensions as if it were a real object. With time and detail, a 3-D Rendering can be indistinguishable from a photograph. Whereas an illustration or a photograph only captures one side or angle, an unlimited number of still images from different angles can be produced from a single 3-D Model. For this reason, 3-D Rendered Graphics are mostly seen in film and video, animations and technical documentations. Typically inventors, product manufacturers and product retailers gain the most benefit from having a 3D Model created instead of paying for a series of photographs to be taken.