Image file formats: when to use each file type
October 31, 2020 | 0 min read
If you’re a graphic designer by experience, you’ve never had to consider stuff like what distinguishes a TIF from a PDF or a PSD. Although it may seem daunting to the wide assortment of picture formats, there is a strategy for the chaos.
To enable you to realize the distinction between and file format and what they are suitable to use, Glorify has put together a helpful overview.
Vector vs. Raster
Raster Image Files
Raster images are built to shape an image through a set of pixels, or specific blocks. Raster image extensions include JPEG, GIF, and PNG. A raster image is any picture you see online or in print. Depending on their resolution (high or low), pixels have a fixed proportion and when the pixels are expanded to fill space they were not designed to suit, they become blurred, resulting in pixilated or ambiguous images.
You cannot resize raster images without losing their resolution, to maintain pixel accuracy. As a consequence, it is necessary to note that raster files are saved to the exact dimensions specified for the application.
Vector Image Files
Far more versatile are vector images. Using proportional formulas rather than pixels, they are built. For editing photos that need regular resizing, EPS, AI, and PDF are fine. You should also design your logo and brand graphics as a vector, and you must always have a master file on hand. The true beauty of vectors comes from its potential to be sized as small or big enough to fit on an 18-wheeler as a postcard!
Here’s a little hack for you if you’re not confident if you have a vector version of your logo: Contact the company that printed your brochures or the supplier that embossed your sticker on a shirt. They will also have a vector file with your logo, which can be sent to you for your information.
Types of Image Format-
1. JPEG (or JPG) – Joint Photographic Experts Group
JPEGs may be the most common type of file you come across on the web and, more than likely, the type of picture that is in the letterhead version of your company’s MS Phrase. JPEGs are noted for their “lossy” compression, which means that as the file size decreases, the image’s quality significantly reduces.
For projects on the internet, in Microsoft Office papers, or for projects that demand high-resolution printing, you can use JPEGs. To create a nice-looking project, making progress to the resolution and file size with JPEGs is valuable.
2. PNG – Portable Network Graphics
For digital documents such as web pages, PNGs are incredible but are not appropriate for printing. Although PNGs are “lossless,” they are still low resolution, ensuring you can tweak them but not lose quality.
In many other web projects, the reason PNGs are used is that you can save your image on a transparent background with more colors. This produces a much crisper, web-quality image.
3. GIF – Graphics Interchange Format
GIFs, which are all the buzz on Tumblr pages and in banner advertising, are most popular in their animated form. It appears like we have an animated GIF every other day. GIFs are created from up to 256 colors in the RGB color space in their more primitive form. The file size is significantly decreased due to the small number of colors.
This is a typical type of file for web projects where, as compared to one that needs to maintain a higher degree of quality, an image needs to download very quickly.
4. TIFF – Tagged Image File
A TIF is a wide raster file with no loss of consistency. This type of file is renowned for using “lossless compression,” meaning that the original image data is preserved regardless of how much the original file can be copied, saved, or compressed.
Despite the ability of TIFF images to regain their effectiveness after modification, you should avoid using this form of a file on the web — loading it can take forever. When saving images for print, TIFF files are also widely used.
5. PSD – Photoshop Document
In Adobe Photoshop, the most influential graphics editing software ever, PSDs are files developed and preserved. This form of the file includes “layers” that make it much easier to manage image alteration. This is also the software that produces the latter raster file forms.
The greatest downside to PSDs is that, as compared to vector images, Photoshop deals with raster images.
6. PDF – Portable Document Format
To collect and evaluate extensive data from any software, on any device, with anybody, anywhere, PDFs were invented by Adobe.
If your vector logo is saved in PDF format by a developer, you can access it without any design editing software and they can create more contortions using this file. This is the greatest universal method to share graphics, by far.
7. EPS – Encapsulated Postscript
EPS is a vector format file needed to elicit high-resolution graphics for printing purposes. An EPS can be created by almost any kind of design software.
The EPS extension is more of a versatile file form (much like the PDF) that can be used to open vector-based artwork in any design editor, not just the on popular Adobe products. This protects the transfer of files to creators who do not yet use Adobe products but may use Corel Draw or Quark.
8. AI – Adobe Illustrator Document
AI is by far the most favored image format for artists as well as the most stable type of file format for using images in all forms of web-to-print projects, etc.
Adobe Illustrator is the ideal tool for the production of illustrations from start to finish, so the software in which your logo was initially designed is more than likely. Vector artwork is created by Illustrator, the simplest file form to manipulate. It can also build all the file types listed above. Super awesome isn’t it! That is by far the perfect method in any designer’s kit.
9. INDD – Adobe Indesign Document
Indesign Document (INDD) files are files that have been generated and stored in Adobe Indesign. Indesign is widely used, such as newspapers, magazines, and digital books, to produce massive publications.
In Indesign, files from both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator can be designed to create content-rich projects with professional fonts, integrated graphics, web pages, data styling, and other advanced layout-related options.
10. RAW – Raw Image Formats
The least-processed type of image on this list is a RAW image — it is always the first design that a picture acquires when it is made. When you take a picture with your camera, it’s stored in a raw file format automatically. It is only saved using one of the picture extensions mentioned above when you upload your files to a new computer and alter it using picture software.
RAW images are useful because, without editing and losing tiny visual information, they capture every aspect of a picture. However, you will finally want to bundle them into a form of raster or vector file so that they can be moved and resized for diverse uses.
You can generate several raw image files – many of which come from several cameras (and many more formats are not yet displayed). Here is a concise overview of the above four raw files:
- CR2: This extension of the image stands for Canon RAW 2, and Canon developed it for pictures taken using its digital cameras. They’re based on the type of TIFF file, making them inherently high in quality.
- CRW: Canon also developed this image extension before the life of the CR2.
- NEF: Nikon Electric Format stands for this image extension, which is a RAW file type created by (you guessed it) Nikon Cameras. Using a Nikon computer or Nikon Photoshop plugin, these image files allow for comprehensive editing without modifying file types, provided the editing takes place.
- PEF: This image extension stands for Pentax Electronic Format, a Pentax Digital Cameras generated RAW image file sort.
Thoughts to complete –
It’s much harder to work with photos than at first glance you would think. Hopefully, this article has made the typical file types easier to understand and best suited for your project.
• It has a larger file size.
• Animation can not be done in PNG file formats.
FAQs Image file formats
1) Which is the highest quality amongst JPEG, PNG, or GIF?
2) Which format is best for Instagram?
3) Disadvantages of a PNG file format?
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