We know that file formats and their usage can be super confusing. Here’s a little breakdown on file types used for printing, web and other uses in the industry.
When you receive files from your graphic designer or branding agency, they will more than likely give you a folder of all your logos and a brand style guide. First, we always recommend making a duplicate copy of this final files folder. Keep one on your server for you and your team to use as and one tucked away on a hard drive.
When sending to a certain vendor it’s important to send the full branding package, that way they have the files they need. They may need an .eps file and you give them a .png. You don’t want them working with the wrong file or you can lose quality control fast.
So what exactly are the file formats? You may hear words like JPEG, PNG, and EPS. Let us walk you though.
JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group
Typically known as the “default” file type. A JPEG, often shortened to JPG, supports a full range of colors and can be compressed to small file size. Their small file size makes them perfect for easy sharing and email. They’re also super versatile. They can be opened in almost any program. Not recommended for print use. Does not support transparency online.
PNG – Portable Network Graphic
PNG files can be used for nearly all digital purposes. They are best used for high quality online text and graphics. This file format has a number of benefits for the user. Transparent backgrounds allow for users to layer this file on top of an image or colored background graphic. You can easily resize the file without any degradation of the image quality. Be aware that they are not ideal for printing because they do not support CMYK color mode. We do not recommend scaling larger than its original pixel width.
GIF – Graphics Interchange Format
A GIF (pronounced “jiff”) is an animated image file. Similar to a JPEG or PNG, it can be used to make still images. However, it has become widely popular to create animated images with GIF file formats. These are not considered videos and they do not include sound. They are simply holding multiple picture files at once that load sequentially. Think of these as a digital flipbook.
PSD – Photoshop Documents
As the name suggests, photoshop documents are working files within Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop files are used for photo editing, layered graphics, and sometimes animation. A PSD is a proprietary file that allows you to work with the images’ individual layers to edit after the file has been saved. Always be sure to save a PSD version when exporting your file. Once a PSD image has been flattened (saved as a JPEG) it cannot be converted back to PSD, meaning you lose the ability to modify the layers.
EPS / AI – Encapsulated PostScript and Adobe Illustrator
EPS and AI files are vector-based graphic formats considered the best choice for high resolution printing, from small business cards to billboard sized signs. The number one advantage of using vector graphics is the scalability. With vector logos, you can scale it up or down as much as you want without losing quality. This file format has your logo Pantone Matching System (PMS) spot color or CMYK full color values embedded within so this is the file that your print shop will require. Your EPS logo file should be delivered with a transparent background to serve different printing and editing needs.
Being used specifically for print and editing purposes, they are commonly referred to as “master” or “working” files. They can only be opened in programs like Illustrator or Photoshop.
PDF – Portable Document Format
PDF file formats are commonly used for document and presentation purposes. They are easy to share since formatting stays consistent across all devices. Being an easy-to-read file format, you can view the file on any computer with Adobe Acrobat. It’s even possible to preserve illustrator-editing capabilities when saving in this format, which means it can be edited in Adobe Illustrator.
– The Honor Team