A guest post by Brian Morris who writes for the PsPrint Design & Printing Blog

Can you tell the difference between a vector and a vexel? Without zooming in, it’s almost impossible to tell. But while vector artwork employs geometry to retain image quality at any size, vexels are just like pixelated images; that is to say, they become pixelated and blurred when zoomed. Vexels are essentially pixel-based raster art that is made to mimic vectors.

Vexels have become popular among some designs due to their ease of creation: A cursory knowledge of Photoshop’s layers is all that is needed to create a stunning vexel. At the same time, vexels aren’t often given respect by those who believe they’re below true vector art. I say the end result is what is important, and when a graphic will only be a specific size, who cares? To the casual viewer, a vexel is every bit as good as a true vector, as demonstrated by the following 10 vexing vexel designs.

1. Clay Aseo by Vincent Rhafael Aseo

vexels 1 illustration

This vexel employs a glow effect to showcase the headphones and wires. It might have been made from a pre-existing photo, sliced and layered.

2. Jack by Orlando Abarca

vexels 2

Vexel art is a quick and easy to way to accentuate prominent features, as evidenced by this vexel of Jack Nicholson.

3. Bliss by Kimo Rama

vexels 3

With vexels, distinctive lines and custom colors can be easily added to a closeup.

4. Seducing Vexel by Zareena Ayoub

vexels 4

Shading with similar hues is a hallmark of vexel art, such as with this vexel design featuring seductive lips.

5. Stop and Sing by Lina Garzon

vexels 5

That same layered shading effect can make a vexel mimic a painting in appearance.

6. Face by Ed Favila

vexels 6

This example demonstrates how vexels can be employed to add a touch of surrealism to a face.

7. Lemon by Emilie Gourmanel

vexels 7

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but too many colors can be distracting. This vexel art shows how a few simple hues can be used to create a distinctive design.

8. Vexels by Kat Craig

vexels 8

Heavy strokes can be applied to vector layers for an illustrated outline or sketched appearance.

9. Arla Project by Dennis Salvatier

vexels 9

This vexel appears highly-detailed at a glance, but closer inspection reveals that just three colors were used to create it.

10. Bubblegum by Jestoni Santella

vexels 10

This vexel reminds me of the 1990s, a period in which the artwork was featured on everything from posters to CD covers.

Author’s Bio: Brian Morris writes for the PsPrint Design & Printing Blog. PsPrint is an online commercial printing company. Follow PsPrint on Twitter @PsPrint and Facebook.