• Matt Reeves

File Types

With hundreds of file types out there, each with their specific purpose and application, we don’t expect our clients to understand the best file types for their project. For that reason, we have pulled together a list of the popular files that we work within.


Let’s start with the basics - Raster vs. Vector

There are two ways of creating graphics; Raster and Vector. But what does that mean? Vector graphic files store the lines, shapes, and colours that make up an image as mathematical formulae.


Unlike raster images, vector shapes can be resized without losing quality. If you created an A4 image, you would be able to blow it up to the size of a building, and it would remain crisp. This trait is especially useful for logos where the size of application can vary. A raster image is an image file format which is made up using a grid of coloured pixels. Most images you see on the Internet and pictures taken with a digital camera are raster images.


Raster images are commonly .BMP, .GIF, .JPEG, .PNG, and .TIFF files.


One of the most significant disadvantages of a raster image is their inability to be resized without getting distorted. For example, if you have a small image which you scale up, it will become distorted/blurry because each individual pixel in the image is being stretched.


Next, we take a look at the various file types that the IC team use daily.



INDD

INDESIGN DOCUMENT

Native file type for Adobe InDesign. Used to combine raster and vector content for print and digital applications.

Type: Raster & Vector



AI

ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR

Native file type for Adobe Illustrator - the industry standard for creating graphics from scratch for print and digital.

Type: Raster & Vector



EPS

Encapsulated Postscript

Designed to produce high-resolution graphics for print. Like PDF, EPS is used to contain vector files which can then be opened in design software.

Type: Vector



GIF

GRAPHIC INTERCHANGE FORMAT

Best known for its animation capabilities and small file sizes. Ideal for digital graphics.

Type: Raster



PDF

PORTABLE DOCUMENT FORMAT

Used to view and send both raster and vector formats without the need for specialist software. Print files are often saved as pdf to encase complete artwork with any trim and crop marks for the printers.

Type: Raster & Vector



TIFF

TAGGED IMAGE FILE FORMAT

Supports layers and masks. Uses “Lossless compression," meaning the original image data is maintained regardless of how often you might re-save or compress the original file. Good for print.

Type: Raster



PSD

Photoshop Document

Native file for Adobe Photoshop. Supports image layers, transparency, image masks, paths, and more. Used to create composite images for print and digital.

Type: Raster



JPG

JOINT PHOTO EXPERT GROUP

Compressed image file which loses information each time it is compressed. Can be used for digital and print (at high resolution).

Type: Raster



PNG

PORTABLE NETWORK GRAPHIC

Great for digital use as it supports transparency. Uses limited colour so not great for print.

Type: Raster


Browse our blog for more creative updates and how-to's. ignitioncollective.com/blog

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