Swirl and Curl Craze – Vector and Vexel Graphics

April 22nd, 2010 Posted in Graphics

Vector graphics are very popular on the Web. Vector graphics are not difficult to use and they do not require strong drawing skills. Do not miss the boat with vector graphics, an outstanding implement that will surely enhance your graphic designs and speed up your production. The most amazing thing about vector graphics is the plethora of free vector images and tutorials available. Many of the free graphics are available for commercial use, but be sure to check the license before you use them.

Here are a few links to some of the sites that offer free vector graphics.

123 Free Vectors

Vecteezy – Stupid name. Cool Vectors!

Free Vector Art, Images & Graphics

Vector Junky Free Vector Download

Vector Madness

50 Websites for Free Vector Images

What makes vector graphics desirable is their scalability. You are only dealing with points and lines; you can enlarge them quite easily without any loss of detail. Vector graphics are suitable for logos and diagrams because they might need to be output at different sizes. Many designers use vector graphics for the initial file and produce a raster version for an optimized, web-ready file.

Vector graphics tend to have a small file size because raster graphics stores information about each pixel, but vector graphics stores information only about the point location on the axis. To edit vector art you will need software that can accommodate vector art. The most common software is Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash and Corel Draw, but there is open source software available too. You can learn more about editing vector graphics at these tutorial sites.

How to Create Groovy Vector Art
Vector Art Tutorial For Near Dummies
Create Vector Graphics in Illustrator or Freehand
How to use Vector Files in Web Design
Creating Cool Twirls & Spirals with Illustrator
How to Make Custom Swooshes, Swirls and Curls
Photoshop – A Vector Image of a Face Tutorial

Vexel art is the newest trend in vector graphics. The word vexel comes from the combining the words vector and pixel. Some artists create vectors and pixel combinations with pixels as the result. Vexel art is pixel-based art that imitates vector art. Vexel designs are composed of multiple layers using shapes usually designed with a pen tool. There is a wide range of vexel images produced and many ways to enhance the look of automobiles or other objects in advertising. Vexel art is similar to photo retouching in that it can make a person or object appear super real, more attractive, and even cartoonish. Vexel artwork can be very time consuming particularly when it involves realism. However many vexel art designs take less time such as this tutorial on designing a vexel web banner.

Find more information about vexel art at these sites:

Vector Vexel Art in Photoshop
Vexel Art – Hidden Pixels
Inspirational Vexel Style Artwork
50 Beautiful Examples of Vexel Artworks and Tutorials
50 Most Awesome Vexel Art and Tutorials
10 Awesome Tutorials on Vexel Art

While you can create vector designs in Adobe Photoshop using a pen tool you might want to experiment with Photoshop vector brushes. The result gives you the look of a vector image. Photoshop vector brushes are much faster than working with points and a pen tool. The downside is it will be a rasterized image and will not be as scalable as a vector image. There are plenty of free Photoshop vector brush plugins on the web and here are a few links to get you started.

Free Photoshop Brushes
40 Sets of Vector Brushes
25 Free Vector Icons and Graphics for Commercial Use

In addition, you can use software that converts raster images to vector images. Vector Magic is very popular and here is a link to a list of vector conversion software. Many people are blogging about vectors because vectors are so useful, abundant and free to use. Check out this blog for more information.

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2 Responses to “Swirl and Curl Craze – Vector and Vexel Graphics”

  1. Rob Cubbon Says:

    Good post covering the basics of vectors. There’s a lot of good stuff out there about them. Thanks for including a link to my tutorial about swirls and twirls!

  2. Smashing Share Says:

    Some of the sites are really new for them. Thanks for sharing them!

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