6 File Types You Should Know

by alariedesign

.jpg, .png, .eps, . ai. Have you ever wondered what these alien language file types are and why there are so many? Below are some of the common file types and information on what these file types are used for. 

Before we get into the breakdowns, let’s take a look at the difference between two sets of file types.

Raster Files: Raster Images are made of pixels and offer a limited range of scalability, but is a common format for photography and high-resolution images. 

Vector Files: Vector files are built with mathematics, created by lines and points to retain sharpness and high resolution – providing infinite scalability regardless of screen or file size. 

Raster Logo Formats

JPG is probably the most common file format type known in our vast universe. JPGs are typically used on the web, in print, and for previewing an image quickly. When it comes to the web, JPGs are good to keep your logo file size down – but if you’re looking to place your logo on various colored backgrounds, keep in mind that this file format does not offer transparency, so if your logo is not rectangular, this might not be the best format for it. 

Gif file formats are typically used when transparency and or animation are needed. Gifs can be animated, and with a logo – it’s a great way to visually tell your story with your logo being animated. When it comes to keeping file sizes down, gifs are best utilized when you’re working with limited colors. 
Always avoid using gifs for printed materials.

PNG is a lossless compressed format, offering high quality at a low file size. PNG offers transparency with millions of colors and is best used in digital formats. 

Protip: When uploading a logo for use on Facebook, it’s best to utilize PNG format. As Facebook automatically compresses images, a JPG file will gain more compression and could possibly lose quality while your PNG file will survive with integrity as it’s already a lossless compress type.

Vector Logo Formats

Most professional quality logos are developed in Adobe Illustrator. Being that these logos are native to this format, it’s always great to have a backup AI file of your logo. AI files are vector and feature infinite scalability. A logo in its native AI format can be exported as any other format, so if you need a logo for web you can simply export a png or gif, or if you need print – you can work natively in illustrator or copy and paste your logo as a vector smart object in both Photoshop and InDesign. 

Much like above, EPS logos can be vector and provide the scalability needed for digital and print. While AI files are proprietary Adobe files, EPS works across a multitude of different platforms, viewable and useable regardless of software and operating system. If a vendor is requesting a vector file of your logo, EPS is the way to go.

Like AI and EPS, PDF logos can be vector and have infinite scalability. While this format has vector attributes, PDF logos on average are best as used to show as drafts. In a pinch, a PDF logo can come in handy though as any professional designers may work with this format for most print and digital scenarios.

There you have it – a brief look at logo file types and where to best use them. 

Don’t recognize these in any of your logo asset folders? Maybe it’s time to upgrade your logo to a professional identity. Contact us today and LET’S GO!


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