EPS, PNG, PSD… WTH?! File types and when to use them
Do you feel like you’re playing Russian Roulette when you need to send a specific file to a print vendor or coworker? Have you ever been overwhelmed by all the file type options available?
Fear not, this is one of the most common confusions we encounter. Today we are helping you navigate the most commonly used file types for web and print and when to use them.
.AI [Adobe Illustrator]
Basic file format of Adobe Illustrator. This is a type of vector file that keeps all design layers intact meaning you can open the file back up in Illustrator and edit any text or other elements within the graphic.
Best Use: master logo files and graphics/illustrations
.EPS [Encapsulated PostScript]
This is an open format vector file of a graphic, illustration or text. A vector file allows for it to be scaled up or down in size without causing any pixilation or blurriness. EPS files are best used for logos and can be opened in several different applications, unlike AI files which can only be opened in Illustrator.
Best Use: creating logos, graphics, illustrations
.GIF [Graphics Interchange Format]
This is a low-res file that is most commonly used as moving graphics or images on the internet.
Best Use: reactions on text messaging
.INDD [InDesign Document]
Basic file format for a page layout file on Adobe InDesign. This file allows for design elements pertaining to formatting, content, styles, linked files to create documents for publication.
Best Use: designing flyers, brochures, rack cards and various publications in Adobe InDesign
JPEG/.JPG [Joint Photographic Experts Group]
This is the most common image file type and is a raster based image. These files are compressed to make them versatile in sending or uploading. A JPG cannot be transparent and will always appear as a rectangle or square with a solid background.
Best Use: Square & rectangle photos or photos on website
.PDF [Portable Document Format]
This is one of the most versatile file types that can be used for a wide variety of documents. Low-res versions are used for print proofs and sharing quick documents. Hi-res files can be used for high-quality prints. PDFs can be opened using various applications and can be designed to be interactive as forms or to add annotations and track changes to documents.
Best use: Print Proofs, Sending Documents, Forms, etc.
.PNG [Portable Network Graphics]
This file format is most commonly used for web based images and websites. PNG files allow different varying grades of transparency and has a cleaner output compared to JPGs when compressed to smaller sizes.
Best use: Web-based images with transparent backgrounds
.PSD [Photoshop Document]
Basic file format of Adobe Photoshop. This is a type of raster file that keeps all design layers intact meaning you can open the file back up in Photoshop and edit any layers within the image. Due to the layers being left intact they tend to be large image files. Very rarely will you send a native PSD file.
Best use: layered-image files in Photoshop
.TIFF/.TIF [Tagged Image File Format]
This format is a large raster file used for images. It preserves high quality images even when the file size is compressed. Due to the large file size it is generally used for printing. Web based images typically only use JPG or PNG.
Best use: high quality print-based images and photographs
Keep this blog close by for future reference! If you realize that you need a certain file type and don’t have it available, we can help. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.