Every graphic you see online is an image file. Almost everything you see printed on paper, plastic or a t-shirt came from an image file. These files come in a variety of formats, and each is optimized for a specific use. Using the right type of file for the right job means your design will come out picture perfect and just how you intended. The wrong format could mean a bad print or a poor web image, a giant download or a missing graphic in an email.
The file size of an image is the digital size of the image file, measured in kilobytes (K), megabytes (MB), or gigabytes (GB). File size is proportional to the pixel dimensions of the image. Images with more pixels may produce more detail at a given printed size, but they require more disk space to store and may be slower to edit and print. Image resolution thus becomes a compromise between image quality (capturing all the data you need) and file size.
Another factor that affects file size is file format. Because of the varying compression methods used by GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, AI, PSD, EPS and TIFF file formats, file sizes can vary considerably for the same pixel dimensions.
So, what’s the difference between them all.
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
Have you seen moving images (not videos) in the web? Most of these files use the GIF format. It is great for graphics and visuals with animation.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
Is the most common file type which can be used online or for hard prints.
A drawback of JPEG files is that unlike PNG files, the layers of a JPEG file are flattened. That means you have very limited ability to tweak past edits.
PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
PNG is a popular format used by photographers and graphic designers. That’s because the format supports lossless data compression, which means a lot of information is retained when you save and reopen your images. PNG also have transparency options. You can easily overlay a PNG image into a background, maintaining transparency and giving the overall photo or graphics a 3D quality.
PDF – Portable Document Format
PDFs were invented by Adobe with the goal of capturing and reviewing rich information from any application, on any computer, with anyone, anywhere. I’d say they’ve been pretty successful so far.
AI- Adobe Illustrator File
Adobe Illustrator Artwork is a file format developed by Adobe Systems for representing vector-based artwork. If you don’t have Adobe Illustrator, you won’t be able to open an ai file.
TIFF- Tagged Image File Format
TIFF, is a very large format in which the information is retained in layers. It is favourited by printers add designers as there’s no loss in quality when the image in printed.
Hope this quick guide helps you identify the difference between each file type and when and how they should used. When we create a logo for a client, they receive all of these files types so whatever the purpose or need they have the correct file types to hand. Check out our blog on the importance of a strong logo and have we can help develop your brand.