Understanding Different File Types
Working with graphic designers (or even just in Canva) can mean working in a coded language that can be overwhelming and confusing. What’s an EPS? When should I use a JPEG?
Fear not! Below is a short list of simple definitions for the most commonly used image and design file formats.
EPS stands for "Encapsulated PostScript" and is a type of file format that can contain both text and graphics. This format is often used for transferring files between various types of software. Usually, company logos, artwork and graphics are saved as an EPS as these files contain code to store fonts and vector image information. (Vector images are digital images that can be resized without losing any image quality because a sequence of mathematical statements are involved in the image makeup… just go with it). This is especially handy as EPS files can be opened across various platforms and the contents will not be compromised (like being able to open up an EPS file in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop).
This one might sound a little more familiar, as it's often used to store photos in digital cameras! JPEG stands for "Joint Photographic Experts Group". JPEG (sometimes referred to as JPG) is a popular image file format that always has a white background and is ideal for print jobs. This is because JPEG's are compressed image files that can still retain the most colours. But be aware that JPEG files are “lossy graphic files”, meaning that a certain amount of data will be lost when saving the file. This means that the overall quality of your image may be compromised (however, this does result in a smaller file size overall). We recommend using JPEGs only when dealing with highly detailed images, and images with lots of different colours. When posting JPEGs online, it’s best to use higher resolution images to preserve image quality.
Pronounced "ping" or "P-N-G", PNG stands for “Portable Network Graphics” and is a format that allows for transparency. This enables your logo files to be created without any type of background, making it the perfect format to use on your website. PNG images are also great because they use lossless compression, so they do not have any blurring that may appear in JPEG images when you resize them. But note, it being a lossless file format means larger file sizes. PNGs are better used for saving logos and brand graphics than detailed images.
The great debate continues: Do you say “GIF”, like gift without the letter “t”, or “JIF”, like the beloved peanut butter brand? Whichever way you decide is the way you want to pronounce it (apparently there is a correct way though) GIF file formats, which stands for “Graphics Interchange Format”, are especially useful when animated images are involved. Similar to PNGs, GIFs are lossless file formats that can be made transparent, but supports less colours overall. This means it’s not great for photos, but wonderful when creating simple animation.