How-To Series: Understanding Image File Format Extensions

Understanding file formats

Heyo friend! I’m launching a weekly tips + tools series for you! I wanted to create this type of series to help you learn more about SEO, websites, design, and the basics on understanding WordPress and blogging. The more you learn, the more I learn. Fingers crossed I can stick to my New Year’s resolution! Also, this can be used as a guide for any of my future clients (nudge, nudge) who may not understand a lot of the terms I talk about as well as how to manage a website. So, today I am focusing on understanding file formats, this includes .jpg, .png, .pdf, etc., and when to use them. These different extensions all have different uses and come handy for different types of game plans (web vs. print). Let’s get started!

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How-To Series: Understanding File Formats

Print design

  • PDF: These are usually used with much longer file formats such as articles. There is a longer load time.
  • EPS: This is a vector file of a graphic, text or illustration. It can easily be resized to any size it needs to be.
  • TIFF: This is usually used when organizing a page layout, publishing or playing with photo manipulation. TIFF is super flexible, however it is a large format so takes a long time to transfer.

Web design

  • JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group): The most popular among the image file formats used on the web. JPEG files lose so much information from the original image when you save it in JPEG file. JPEG removes most of the information to keep the image file size small.
  • PNG (Portable Network Graphics): This is designed specifically for the web because of the color is much more efficient. It also supports transparency better than GIF.
  • GIF (Graphics Interchange Format): GIF is making a comeback on the internet and is still super popular because of the small image size used.

Editable files

  • PSD: This creates a proprietary file that allows you to work with the images’ individual layers. You must have Adobe Photoshop to open these files.
  • AI: This helps to create a proprietary, vector file format that can only be created or edited with Adobe Illustrator. It is most commonly used for creating logos, illustrations and print layouts.

So, long story short…

If you want to display a picture of just your cat, save it and upload it in jpeg file format. However, if you want to display a graphic with blocks of colors and text (or unicorn horn), upload it as a png file format.

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