The Many File Types A Designer May Send To & How To Use Them


If you're a client getting some graphic design work done and your designer finalizes your final files and sends them to you, you may get some files with extensions you have no idea what they mean and where you should use them. Today, I'm letting you know what some of those files mean and when you should use them.

Encapsulated PostScript which is better know as EPS. It is a file format used in Adobe Illustrator for vector based graphic images or text. Your logo that you receive is created as a vector image (A Vector image is made up of mathematically-defined geometric shapes: lines, filled areas, curves, etc., and is scalable). The logo should be sent to you as an EPS file since that is the one thing that you will use the most on a variety of marketing materials. An EPS can be made larger or smaller without losing clarity and definition. EPS files are basically used to transport your artwork or an image into another application such as InDesign, Photoshop etc. You should use this file to send to printers when you're needing a sign made, t-shirts, or if another company requests your logo to use in their promotional printed items and it will be scaled or if you happen to do business with another graphic designer.

JPEG which stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group also known as JPG. It is probably the most widely used file format. A JPG format is commonly used for digital photos and various digital graphics/images. When JPG files are saved they use "lossy compression" meaning the image quality is lost when the file size decreases. You can use JPG files on the internet, in powerpoint presentations and desktop printed documents. If you're sending to a professional printer then it would need to be a hi-resolution JPG at 300dpi. 

PNG which stands for Portable Network Graphics. The PNG file format was created to replace the GIF file format. It offers a full range of color and better image compression. PNG files are saved with a transparent background making it easier to use on patterned backgrounds or as an overlay of other graphics. When saving photographs as a PNG file it creates a larger file size so take that into consideration when using it. If you have a logo and want to use it on the web then this would be the right file format to use.

PDF which stands for Portable Document Format. The PDF file is a universal file format that embeds and preserve fonts, images and graphics in a source document no matter what application was used to create it. I absolutely love PDF's! It's the best way to get a document to someone fast. Using the free Adobe Reader Software the document can be viewed, shared and printed with good quality. PDF's can even be sent to professional printers when saved at Press Quality. 

There are a few more file formats such as GIF Graphics Interchange Format and TIFF Tagged Image File Format but those are rarely sent. The above mentioned are some of the main file formats a graphic designer may send to you. I hope I've explained the formats to where you understand them better and when to use them.

Have a GREAT Wednesday!