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Common Design File Formats Explained

File extensions explained

I provide #design files to my clients and/or #printers for final output. It is unlikely that clients will be able to open some of these files. Typically the file formats the average person will not be able to open are the ones with the extensions .ai, .eps, and .psd.

Each of these file formats can be opened with a software program used by #designers, printers, signage manufacturers, etc.

Here is a quick list of the different file extensions you may come across when working with a #graphic #designer, what each of them stand for, and how the file format is used.

.ai – Adobe Illustrator
These files are vector-based and are scalable to any size. Used by designers and #commercial printers, they can only be opened using #Adobe #Illustrator. They are one of the preferred formats by printers, promotional product companies, silk screeners, banner and sign companies, and other third party creatives. #ai

.eps – Encapsulated Postscript
These files are vector-based and are scalable to any size. They can be opened using design programmes such as Adobe Illustrator and Adobe #Photoshop. They are one of the preferred formats by printers, promotional product companies, silk screeners, banner and sign companies, and other third party creatives. #eps

.pdf – Portable Document Format
A #universal file #format that preserves/embeds the fonts, images, layout and graphics of any source document, regardless of the application used to create it. These files can be shared, viewed and printed by anyone with the free Adobe #Reader software. Some files can be used for commercial, digital, and/or desktop printing. #pdf

.psd – Photoshop Document
This file format, usually a #raster format, contains graphics and photos created in the Adobe Photoshop image editing software. Most commonly used by designers and printers. They can only be opened using Adobe Photoshop. #psd

.jpg / .jpeg – Joint Photographic Experts Group
This file is a #compressed #image file that does not support a #transparent background. The level of compression in these files can vary in #resolution with high quality for desktop printing, medium quality for web viewing and low quality for email. When compressed repeatedly the overall quality of a jpeg image is reduced. #jpg #jpeg

.gif – Graphics Interchange Format
A low resolution file, most commonly used for web and email purposes. Almost all #browsers can support the use of these files, which use a compression scheme to keep the file size small. They can be created with a transparent background. #gif

.tif / .tiff – Tagged Image File Format
Most commonly used for storing images, photography, or art. Used in professional environments and commercial printing, it is the most widely supported format across all platforms. Though large in size, these files are considered to be the most reliable format for high #quality images. #tif #tiff

.png – Portable Network Graphics
Mainly for use online and on websites due to their low resolution. They are #bitmap images that employ lossless data compression. They can be created with a transparent background. #png


If you have any questions or need clarification, please feel free to contact me.



 

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