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Help with Image File Formats

  • Picture ImagesWhen it comes to creating marketing materials for print or web use, it’s important to know the differences between image file formats. Here is a brief overview of the most common file formats:

    • EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) is designed for sending/exporting vector graphics (such as logos) for print. Vector EPS files will print clear and crisp and can easily be resized without compromising print quality or losing detail.

    • TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is a recommended format for printing high quality imagery for both MAC and PC platforms. TIFF files are designed to print clear and crisp at high resolutions (usually 300dpi) and support a transparent background.

    • A JPEG/JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a compressed image file that is ideal for creating and exchanging digital photographs. JPGs use lossy compression, meaning you will lose image quality if the file is enlarged or edited. Also, there is no support for transparency in a JPEG file.

    • GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is a bit-mapped graphics file that is gradually being replaced by the PNG format. GIF has been popular for images with large areas of solid colors, such as logos and text as graphics. GIF does not compress your pictures, which mean that they do not loose image quality, resulting in large files. GIF can be used for animation and supports a transparent background. NOTE: GIFs are not suitable for professional printing (they are ideal for web use).

    • PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is a newer file format that features lossless compression of data, meaning an image can be compressed without losing image quality. PNG files also support transparency and are ideal for web use, but because of the lack of CMYK color support and inability for color separations, PNG is not a good fit for professional printing.

    If you need help understanding different file formats, remember we’re just a phone call away. Give us a call today – we look forward to answering all of your printing questions.

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