Create vector objects to decorate postcards, posters, ads, banners, branding, stickers, labels, social media posts, and other designs.
Overhead photo of beach and ocean with a "Make waves" graphic

What is a vector object?

You can work with vector objects as well as raster images in Photoshop. Understanding the differences between them will help you decide which to use when.

  • A vector object has smooth curves connected by points and is created mathematically. The edges of a vector object remain crisp no matter how much you scale the object up or down. This makes a vector object indispensable for logos, icons, and other design products that you plan to use at different sizes.
  • A raster image is made up of pixels—tiny squares of image information arranged in a grid. Raster images are ideal for representing the many tones and colors in a photograph. But when you make a raster image bigger, the small squares at its edges become visible. So raster images are not the best choice for graphics you plan to scale.
Illustration of a colorful bird on a round yellow background

Vector object workflows

  • The simplest way to create a vector object in Photoshop is with the Shape tools. Even if you’re not a graphic artist, you’ll be able to quickly make geometric or custom shapes with these tools.
  • As your skills grow, try making your own vector objects from scratch using Photoshop’s Curvature tool and Pen tool.
  • You also can bring in vector objects from other sources, like Illustrator—Adobe’s dedicated vector drawing app.
Many yellow and black graphic designs on a white background

Explore pre-built custom shapes

  • Photoshop comes with hundreds of pre-built vector shapes called Custom shapes. Just click and drag with the Custom shape tool to instantly create a graphic. 
  • Custom shapes are created on separate Shape layers, so you can edit a shape without affecting the rest of the image. You can quickly replace the color of a shape, scale and transform it, or use Photoshop’s vector editing tools to change the shape.
Three color illustration of buildings and a tree in front of a mountain

Build geometric shapes

Photoshop has dedicated tools for drawing basic geometric shapes, such as rectangles, circles, and lines. Experiment with making unique graphics by combining basic geometric shapes.

Ad for a birdwatching club featuring a hummingbird
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