Hello everyone! It’s been a few weeks since the last blog post, but today I am going to briefly go over and explain some of the most popular file types in the world of design. Whether you’re a designer that wants to refresh your mind on some of the file extensions, or someone with no design experience, I hope this entry will be beneficial to you!
In the world of design, there are many different file formats. It is important to understand the differences between these file formats in order to get the most out of your designs. Not all file formats are created equally. Depending on the programs and software that you have on your computer, there may be some file types that you cannot open.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) – The jpeg is the most common file type, and is a compressed, raster based file type. Typically the JPEG is used for high quality photography (300 pixels per inch) as well as low resolution web use (72 pixels per inch). JPEG images do not support transparent backgrounds. In other words, if you design a logo and save it as a JPEG for example, you will see a white background surrounding it. Each time a JPEG file is resized, it looses quality. JPEG images will be able to be accessed from all computers.
PNG (Portable Network Graphics) – Unlike JPEG files, PNG files do support transparency. PNG formats can display higher color depths than JPEG files, which in turn means higher resolution. PNG files are usually used for text and online graphics. This file type is not typically used for print.
EPS (Encapsulated Postscript File) – EPS files are vector based. This means they can be scaled to any size without loosing any quality. EPS files do support transparency, and are most often used for large format printing. Designers will use this format to transfer vector graphics (such as logos) into other applications. EPS files will not be able to be opened unless your computer has Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator.
GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) – GIFs are used for animated graphics and are specifically for online use. GIFs do support transparency, and are similar to PNGs, but are lower quality. GIFs are commonly used for banner ads, email images and social media memes.
PDF (Portable Document Format) – PDFs are used to share documents from person to person without losing design and quality. PDF embeds document images and elements. They are generally used in e-mails, and can be opened by any user that has some sort of Adobe Reader software on their computer. Adobe Reader can be downloaded for free from the Adobe site.
AI (Adobe Illustrator) – Adobe Illustrator files are used by designers, and are vector based. This means that the graphics created in this program can be scaled to any size without loosing any quality. Illustrator files are preferred by printers, and can only be accessed if the application is installed on the user/viewers computer.
PSD (Adobe Photoshop) – Photoshop is used for editing photos and graphics, as well as some web design. Photoshop is a raster based program, which means it is pixel based. Photoshop works with layers, masks, transparency, text, actions and filters. Graphics created in Photoshop cannot be increased or decreased in size without loosing some quality. PSD files can only be opened using Photoshop.
INDD (Adobe InDesign) – Adobe InDesign is a page layout application. This program is used for desktop publishing to create books, magazines, newspapers, flyers, etc. INDD documents can only be opened using Adobe InDesign.
I hope that helps with the understanding of some of the most commonly used file extensions! Until next time, have a great day!