File Types

In the last blog post I discussed the different color types : CMYK, RGB and Pantones which are the different colors I export for logo graphics in a branding project. To elaborate on these different logo files, I want to talk about the different file types I export these graphics in: jpgs, pngs and eps.


jpg, png, eps, cmyk, rgb…what?

So if you’re not in the design or art industry, you might be thinking: What is up with all these abcs and xyzs?!
Since jpgs and pngs are common file types for saving images, you may have already come across them when uploading pictures to your facebook or blog.

But what is the difference?

Digital Trends actually does a very good job at defining the difference between jpgs and pngs, specifically when it comes to compression and transparency. They even throw in GIFs into the comparisson. However, when it comes to exporting logo files, here is the type of files I choose to export and why I do it this way:

For Print

For print files, I prepare CMYK files in jpg and eps format. Here are several reasons:

  1. jpg files have a vast color palette which supports the CMYK format.
    Although the compression does blend the pixels of the image together, as long as the file is saved in the size that it is printed as there is no visible difference in most print applications.
  2. jpg files are images with backgrounds
    Since the images will always be printed on paper or another medium, it is okay for the jpg logo to have a background.
  3. eps files are vector image files that can be resized infinitely.
    Vector images contain no pixels which allows for modifications, and high resolution printing.
    However it is important to note that eps files can only be edited using design programs such as those from the Creative Suite.***TIFF files are often used for print as well because they produce higher quality images with no compression, however the file sizes are very large and may cause problems depending on your computer whereas jpgs are more user friendly. Generally unless you are printing something massive, it is difficult to tell the difference in a printed format.

For Web

For web files, I prepare RGB files in png and eps format. Here’s why:

  1. png files do not change the quality of the image
    To maximize web performance, most webfiles should be saved in the smallest format possible to reduce loading speed. However with today’s internet technology and screen resolutions I find that it is better to have higher quality images for web use. While png files are larger than jpg files, settings can be adjusted to keep the files smaller if it’s necessary.
  2. png files can have transparent backgrounds
    Since most web graphics are sitting on a separate background, it is more convenient for the user if their graphics don’t have backgrounds.
  3. eps files are vector image files that can be resized infinitely.
    Although it is unlikely that you would upload an eps file to the internet, eps files allow the user to edit the file as they see fit, to resize, or re-export into different file types. For instance, if you are working with a web developer who may be needing an svg file (or in simpler terms, vector files for web and other applications) then it can be created using the eps file. 

For Pantones

For pantone files, I only send out the eps formats. This is because in most situations where you would be printing pantone, you would be working with a print shop or a graphic designer. In these situations the eps format keeps your logo in the highest quality while keeping editing abilities.

Why should I care about this?

Okay so now you may be thinking: Why should I care about this? I just want to use my logo, tell me what to use!

Long story short, if you are printing something from your home computer, printing with jpg/cmyk should suffice. If you are uploading a graphic to a web format, then png/rgb is the way to go. However, since eps files can only be opened with design programs, it gets a little more technical. Think of it this way: you need a business card/poster/ad made, so you need to send your designer your logo files. In this case they will most likely use your eps file because they can resize it and edit it however they please, whereas the jpg file is set in stone—it has been converted into a format with pixels in a certain size, it cannot be any high quality or any size larger than it already is. The eps file will allow your designer to use your logo to it’s maximum capability while also allowing your designs to be communicated to your print shop. Think of it as a super pdf, or the king of logo files.

With that being said, these file types can be used interchangeably. This is simply the way I choose to export my logo files based on each file type’s benefits. Of course, I also export my files in other formats if it is requested.
Hopefully this post gives you some insight on what these files are, and eliminate some of the confusion when you’re opening those logo folders, feeling unsure about which file to use.

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