What Are the Best File Formats for Printing?
Think GIFs are the tastiest kind of peanut butter? And AI is a weird sci-fi film starring Haley Joel Osment? Well, you're not wrong. But today we're going to talk about image formats and all the small files we use to create visual content for print and the web.
Every appealing graphic that takes your breath away, is an image file! Almost everything you see printed on paper, plastic, or t-shirts comes from image files. These files come in a variety of formats, and each one is optimized for a specific use.
Using the right type for the right job means your design will be perfect and exactly what you planned. Incorrect formatting can mean poor print or web graphics, large downloads, or missing images in emails.
With that being said, we welcome you to the image file format 101! Let’s find the best file type for printing for you!
Let's know about the difference between Raster and Vector file types!
Before we delve into specific file formats, we need to differentiate between bitmaps and vector images. Designed with pixels, bitmaps are traditionally used for photos and detailed web graphics.
They get more pixels when you zoom in, but that's the only option for photos. Meanwhile, vector images with geometric shapes are being created. They can be scaled to almost any size without sacrificing detail.
Now that you know the difference between vector and raster files, let's move on to some high-quality image formats!
1. EPS or .eps: Encapsulated Postscript
Where AI files are used in creating vector graphics, EPS files are finished vector files that are ready to use or sent for use.
For example, a vector file created in Adobe Illustrator can be saved as a .eps file and then sent to a printer, sign maker, or promotional product maker.
Unlike AI files, EPS files can be opened by many types of imaging software, making them easier to share than AI files
2. PSD or .psd: Photoshop Document
Now we come to the bitmap file. This file type is created in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe's image editing software.
It is commonly used by photographers, printers, artists, and designers. Just as AI files can only be opened by Adobe Illustrator, PSDs can only be opened by Adobe Photoshop.
3. AI or .ai: Adobe Illustrator
AI files are vector files commonly used by printers, artists, and graphic designers to create graphics that may need to be resized without sacrificing image quality.
For example, logos are often created as AI files because they have to be used in a variety of media sizes, from business cards to billboards.
However, AI files are proprietary and can therefore only be opened and edited by Adobe Illustrator
4. JPG or .jpg: Collaborative group of photo experts
JPG files are probably one of the most common image files you will see.
As a bitmap file, the resolution is locked. If made with a resolution of 300 PPI (pixels per inch), the resolution may be only 300 ppm or less.
A 72 PPI image could not be created at a higher resolution. 72 PPI would be best. At 300 PPI, JPG is great for printing, but at 72 PPI, it's only great for viewing on the web or via email. Though this file
type does not support transparent backgrounds, however, it’s still classified as a high-quality image format!
5. PNG or .png: Portable Network Graphics
For images on the web, the PNG (.png) file format is very popular due to its low resolution and smaller file size. Hence, both qualities contribute to faster page load times and the like.
Also, unlike JPG, PNG supports transparent backgrounds, which makes it easy to use for websites with different background colors and textures. However, due to its lower quality, it is usually not used in printing environments. As you can imagine, PNGs are bitmap files.
6. PDF or .pdf: Portable Document Format
While EPS files are more flexible as vector files than AI files, PDFs are even more adaptable because they can be opened by any software that can read PDF documents. They can be shared, viewed, and printed as intended in a locked format.
There’s no doubt that .pdf is the most renowned and high-quality image format!
With so many formats for printing available, choosing the best file type for printing can turn out the be a daunting task!
But, we have a firm belief that if only you have made it to this end of the guide, then you now must have a sound knowledge of a versatile range of best file formats
Choose any of the file formats above, and we promise you that, no matter which option you go with, it your surely be a high-quality image format!