Your Introduction to File Formats
Digital files allow us to gather, share, and store information more efficiently than ever. But, with so many different types out there, how are you supposed to know what does what, and when to use it? Here’s a breakdown of five graphic file types you’re likely to encounter when working with a marketing agency.
JPG / JPEG
This is the most common format for storing and transferring images, and is best suited for showcasing photos on websites. JPGs are often used for logos as well. A large JPG file can be made smaller with almost no loss of detail, but the reverse will result in pixelation and blur. It’s best practice to use high-resolution images when it comes to marketing collateral.
Forms, presentations, and written documents often appear in PDF formats. They’re considered ‘secure’ files as they allow people to view information but not edit it (unless they have specialised software). PDFs also preserve the documents original formatting, so people can view everything as it was designed.
A newer file type, PNG files are excellent for website graphics as they support transparent backgrounds and capture a high level of detail. This ability means they’re often used in logo design, but as PNG files can be quite large, it’s best to use them on sites sparingly so they don’t slow everything down.
ESP files are encrypted with a mathematical equation that allows the image to expand, almost infinitely, without losing any detail or becoming blurred. As such, they’re used for large-scale printing like billboards, car wraps, or building signage.
Just as .doc is the native format for Microsoft Word, PSD files are the native format for Adobe Photoshop — the software most commonly used by professional graphic designers. PSD files support transparency and allow for comprehensive editing. They’re suitable for print materials, but aren’t appropriate for the web.
Still Too Hard?
We’re a group of digital marketing specialists who build great brands, design stunning websites, and map out next-level communication strategies. If you’re getting caught up on the small technical details of a project, perhaps it’s time to have a conversation about how you can leverage us to build your business, so you can focus on what you’re best at.