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Understanding Different Filetypes: JPG, PNG, SVG, and More

Understanding Different Filetypes: JPG, PNG, SVG, and More

As you know, there are many different types of files that your images can be displayed, such as JPG, PNG, SVG, PDF, AI, or EPS. The reason for having multiple different file types is to utilize them for its specific purpose. Each of them has unique qualities for different applications such as the web or printing.

Here’s a quick reference guide to help you understand the applications for each file extension. Usually, you can ask the designer what type of file they will need, or you should be notified about which files are acceptable for submission.

 JPG: (Joint Photograph Group) Pixel-based image, which is commonly used in diverse applications. JPG’s are very good to use on the Internet, and possibly printing if the resolution matches the project that is being printed. JPG’s are compressed image files. If it’s resized larger than it’s original form, then information is lost, which is the cause for blurriness.

 PNG: (Portable Network Graphics) Pixel-based image that is primarily used for its transparent background. This gives you the same application as a JPG, but a designer will not have to take the time to eliminate a background if it’s not desired. You can easily use PNG’s over any image without worrying about the rectangular bounding shape of a normal image.

 SVG: (Scalable Vector Graphic) Strictly vector-based image that may usually be used for web-based applications, such as websites, or html files. Sizeable to any measure on the web without distortion.

 PDF: (Portable Document Format) A PDF is a universal file type, which can restrain from distortion in images with vector elements. It also makes anyone able to view vector files with out programs such as Adobe Illustrator. A PDF can be opened in many different programs but especially Adobe Illustrator, and Photoshop, as it’s original file, to be manipulated in any sizeable form (normally for printing).

 AI: (Adobe Illustrator) It is strictly a vector-based file type, which may contain JPG’s if incorporated within the design. This file is directly saved from Adobe Illustrator. Besides a PDF, an AI file is most likely preferred to send to printer designers for it’s raw information that can be transferred easily to printers.

 EPS: (Encapsulated PostScript) Almost identical to an AI file, except this can be opened in any may other graphic editing software, including Adobe applications. You can convert EPS files to standard bitmap formats such as PDF, JPG, PNG, and TIFF.

Here are some terms that may help you understand the design process a little better:

Raster: Pixel-based imagery. Any image used in Photoshop, or graphics seen commonly that use
pixels to determine information. Can be used for printing if the resolution matches the project. If
they are re-sized larger than the original, then the result will cause loss of information and

Resolution: All raster images have a resolution, it is also known as DPI (Dots Per Inch) or PPI (Pixels
Per Inch). Screen resolution is always 72 ppi, or contains images that are set to 72. Printed images
carry a resolution of 96 – 150 dpi on magazines or smaller printed material. On larger printed
materials it’s common to use 300 dpi, or even boost it up to 600 dpi for fine art printing, or very
large scale prints.

Vector: Imagery that is designed using points and shapes rather than pixels. Designers can
manipulate or create shapes to form designs with very crisp edges. Vector-based artwork can
never lose quality and can be scaled at any imaginable size without the distortion that you would
expect from a raster-based image or jpg / png.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please take a look at some of the artwork on the site or contact me for your own custom artwork. We can work together to get you everything that you need!

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