What Does Graphics Mean?

In IT, the term graphics generally refers to images generated by a computer or similar tech device. In the most fundamental sense, graphics are images. Over time, there have been radical changes in computer graphics and the ways they are generated.


Techopedia Explains Graphics

A major difference between categories of graphics is raster graphics (or images that use bitmaps) versus newer vector graphics. Most types of computer graphics (or images) use bitmaps, where a single pixel or other unit corresponds to a memory bit. These images are limited in how they can be rescaled. In contrast, vector graphics are made up of scalable parts and provide more versatility.

In the early days of computing, graphics were rough pictures and animations built of few pixels and were represented in limited numbers of colors. Later, as technology began to support more diverse colors and better rendering, graphics became more sophisticated, partly through greater memory capacity. Digital photographs revolutionized computer graphics, as did software technologies like AutoCAD and other similar drafting tools. Gradually, a new and more modern graphics’ world took shape, where animations became more elaborate for visual manipulation, unlike traditional graphics, which were always static, blocky creations.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…