Different File Formats Explained

File Formats for CMYK Print Designs

When designing for print it is important that you use a CMYK color mode. The following files are often used when saving print designs:
  • EPS (Encapsulated PostScript file) is a vector format of your logo. It can be re-sized without losing image quality. Due to it’s high quality, it is commonly used with print elements such as business cards or brochures. If you ever question when to use it, ask yourself, “Will this be used for a high quality print?”

  • TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is widely supported and works in almost any program. It produces a higher quality image than a JPG or PNG, but is not a vector format like EPS. It is widely used among publishing industries and photographers. It is best used in common things like invoices, page layouts or letterheads.

  • PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format developed by Adobe Systems that can be universally downloaded and viewed by any computer that has the Adobe Acrobat plug-in. Today, PDFs are widely favored by most designers — it can be saved as an editable file which is great for clients.

  • AI (Adobe Illustrator Artwork) is a proprietary file format developed by Adobe Systems for representing single-page vector-based drawings in either the EPS or PDF formats. The .ai filename extension is used by Adobe Illustrator.

File Formats for RGB Computer-based Designs

When designing for any electronic or computer device, it is important that you use a RGB color mode. The following files are often used when saving computer-based designs:
  • PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is a web-based file that does not lose quality when compressed. PNG files were created to improve on the quality of GIF files and are best used for the web.

  • JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a raster file best used for web-based designs because their compressed sizes load quickly. JPG images lose some quality but are great to use for emails, banner designs or anything web-based.

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