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Digital illustration, a true form of art

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

Digital illustration is a type of digital art in which images such as paintings, sketches, and designs are produced using computer technology. It has a rich history that begins in the early years of computer graphics.


Vector graphics were used to create one of the earliest types of digital illustration. Shapes and lines in vector graphics are produced by mathematical techniques and can be scaled and manipulated without losing quality. Technical drawings and other sorts of diagrams were the first to employ vector graphics in the 1950s and 1960s. Vector graphics programmes like Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Freehand were well-liked tools for producing graphics for print and the web in the 1970s and 1980s.



Another sort of computer illustration is raster graphics, also referred to as bitmap graphics. A grid of pixels is used in raster graphics to represent a picture. They are resolution-dependent, so if the image is resized or altered, the quality may be impacted. In the 1960s, raster graphics were first applied to CAD software, and later to the creation of digital pictures for print and the web.


Digital illustration has grown in popularity as a kind of art thanks to the internet and the ubiquitous usage of computers. Today, digital illustration is employed in a wide range of industries, such as graphic design, video game production, and advertising. Additionally, it is used to produce art for websites, social media, and other online venues.

  • 1950s and 1960s: Technical diagrams and drawings are the first to employ vector graphics.

  • 1970s and 1980s: Graphics creation software for print and the web, such as Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Freehand, gains popularity. Bitmap images, also known as raster graphics, were originally utilised in computer-aided design (CAD) programmes in the 1960s.

  • 1990s: With the extensive use of computers and the internet, digital illustration is increasingly used to produce art for websites and other online platforms.

  • 2000s: Digital illustration grows in popularity as a tool for producing artwork in industries like graphic design, video game development, and advertisi

  • The usage of digital illustration to create artwork for social media, websites, and other online platforms has increased in the 2010s and beyond due to the widespread availability of smartphones and tablets with high-resolution displays. With the creation of user-friendly software and apps, digital illustration has also become more widely available.

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