I'm Stephanie, brand and website designer with a love for helping women build their dream business. I'm here to help you get get that custom look for your business - without the custom price.
Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between a png or an eps or a jpg file? Choosing the incorrect file format could be undermining your brand. Here, I’m going to cover some of the most popular file formats and their uses so your final product doesn’t look like a big ol’ mess.
Raster files are made up of tons of little coloured pixels at a specific size. All of these tiny pixels create the illusion of a continuous image. Meaning, it’s actually made of a bunch of dots. They are built at one specific size and cannot be made larger. If you enlarge a raster file, it stretches out the pixels and it becomes blurry. This is why you can’t just grab images from the internet and make them crazy large. More pixels need to be added to an image in order for it to become larger without losing resolution quality. You need the native file (the original editable file, like a Photoshop document) to add more pixels.
In order to size your images appropriately, for screen resolution they need to be 72ppi (pixels per inch) and for print they need to be at least 300ppi.
Typical raster files are .jpg, .gif, or .png.
Typically, JPG’s are used in high quality photography and high resolution online use. They will lose quality if scaled larger and are not transparent, meaning you can’t overlay them on other media without having a white background.
So when should you use a jpeg? General rule of thumb is when:
PNG’s are a transparent, non-scalable file format. If you make them any bigger than the size they are they will get grainy and not be as sharp. They have transparent backgrounds so you can overlay them on other layers without them having a white background. PNGs are best to use for web-related graphics and social media.
PNGs should be used when:
GIF’s are used specifically for online use. They save raster type, logos, graphics to very small file sizes. Uses limited colours, so not ideal for image. They can be transparent as well as animated.
GIFs should be used when:
Vector files are resolution-independent images, meaning they are created with mathematical formulas. These can be scaled as large or as small as you could ever want it to go without loss of image quality. Because of their scalability and crisp clean lines, vector file formats are used for high quality print. You could run your logo in a 1 inch square on your website or blow it up on a billboard, and it would be just as crisp and beautiful in either application. The most common software for creating raster images is Adobe Illustrator.
Typical Vector files are .eps or .pdf.
EPS files are scalable, vector format files. You can scale these files as big as you want and they won’t lose quality. This file format is best used for print graphics when you need to make something really big, like signs, etc.
EPS files should be used when:
PDFs are good for both print and digital. They are used as a way to share documents without losing quality or design. PDFs can be compressed if necessary and embedded online, but often shared as a downloadable file.
PDFs should be used when:
SVG’s are being used more and more as they allow web graphics to be re-scaled to any size screen without distortion. The great thing about this file format is that it can be compressed to very small sizes, saving space on servers and reducing page loading times. SVGs can be used for any vector file, whether it’s a website background, icon or logo.
SVGs should be used when:
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