You will have already noticed that there are quite a few different types of file in your brand assets folder. So which one should you use and where should you use it? Here’s a breakdown of the most common file types:
JPEG or Joint Photographic Experts Group, are the most common file format used. JPEG is a middle ground trade-off between file size and compressibility that swaps high quality for speed of loading, transferring and saving. Ideal for low resolution to medium quality images on websites, social media and photo sharing. JPEG is also supported by all browsers and image editing software.
Best for photography & image applications in RGB.
TIFF or Tagged Image File Format, should be used when looking for high-quality resolution in print and professional applications. They are a lossless and non-compressed format so TIFF files are huge. Sending TIFF files over slow or weak internet connections can cause problems so they need to be sent via an FTP or Zipped. Unsupported by many websites due to size.
For high quality print applications in CMYK.
PNG or Portable Network Graphics are similar in quality to TIFF files and ideal for complex images, vector logo graphics, illustrations etc. PNG allows for the best results when transparency is required, allowing PNG files to be placed within other images or webpages easily.
Best for logos, illustrations etc where transparent backgrounds are required in RGB.
SVG or Scalable Vector Graphics assign code to each element within your design, allowing them to be read by your browser or app. This means they can be sized up or down dynamically to fit screens or windows without a loss in quality. As they are vector based they can retain pin-sharp detail & crispness regardless of resolution and are ideal for logos, icons etc.
For responsive web design and digital applications like animation. RGB only.
EPS or Encapsulated PostScript File Format is a vector file format developed by Adobe in the 1980’s. It is used in high-quality image printing and is compatible with most vector programs.
Used to send vector designs to printers in CMYK.
PDF or Portable Document Format, are used when you need to send uneditable files easily regardless of the software, hardware, or operating systems being used by anyone who views the document. For this reason they are ideal for print projects and can be used to save bitmaps, vectors and combination files.
Best used to send print-ready artwork in CMYK.
Ai files are native files used in Adobe Illustrator, a vector-based design program. Images can be resized without loss of quality. Adobe Illustrator is the software we most commonly use to create your designs and will therefore often be the ‘Master File’ containing logos, illustrations, icons etc.
Ai files can be either RGB or CMYK but is especially useful to our clients when sending artwork, logos or images that will be recreated in large format print production in CMYK.
A quick summary:
Best files for RGB: PNG, JPEG, SVG.
Best files for CMYK: TIFF, EPS, PDF, Ai (large-format printing).