At BrewingGraphics, our illustrated images are created using advanced software that allows us to produce high-end images to work with practically any application. Once we have created an image, we need to deliver it to client in a form that they are able to use for their projects. With the variety of digital formats available, what are the differences, and which file format is best?
· Not all formats can be viewed on every computer. A format that is perfect for use by a graphic artist using dedicated software may not be usable by other types of software or on other computers. For example, a .jpg file will open on practically any computer with a simple click, but a .ai file made using illustration software may be problematic to open without the right software. Images that are the right format for the end-use of the project may not be visible to authors and content creators who lack the appropriate image-handling software.
· The anticipated size of how the graphic will be used and viewed is an important factor in choosing an appropriate format. Some formats can only be enlarged up to a certain size before they become visibly unsharp, whereas other formats can be infinitely enlarged without a loss of sharpness.
· If the image is to be reused for multiple projects, it helps if the image can be adjusted by the client to meet future needs. Only certain file formats allow for adjustment of the graphics using common software without losing overall quality.
· Those in charge of creating finalized layouts of digital or print formats can stipulate which formats work best for their applications, while content authors can use a different format of the same image to create content that goes to their layout artist. Unfortunately, this can lead to confusion if many files are being processed and handed between authors and layout artists.
These are just some of the issues involved in choosing file formats. BrewingGraphics can provide practically any contemporary file format, and we can also provide advice on which format(s) will best apply to client projects. Ultimately, the decision of which file format is best should fall upon someone who understands how the image will be used in the project as well as what software will be used when handling the image files.
Basics of how graphic file formats affect image quality
Firstly, it is good to know the definitions of the terms “vector” and “raster”, as graphic file formats will fall into either of these two categories. Vector files use digital algorithms that create the points, lines and curves that make up an image. This approach allows the user to change the size and shape freely without affecting image sharpness. A raster file instead creates an image made up of pixels that are fixed in their relative positions, and if you try enlarging the image beyond a certain point, you will begin to see the pixels that make up the image, resulting in a visible lack of sharpness.
Photographs are usually stored as raster files like .jpg and .tif, whereas graphic files are best stored as vector files like .eps, .pdf and .ai . BrewingGraphics stores and ships our original graphics in a vector format, but we can supply any image in a raster format as well. If clients require more than one image format for their images, pricing may reflect that due to the complexity of converting images.
BrewingGraphics can provide illustrations and graphics in the following formats
(* indicates the most popular formats):
· Adobe Illustrator (ai)*
· Adobe PDF (pdf)*
· AutoCAD Drawing (dwg)
· AutoCAD Interchange File (dxf)
· BMP (bmp)
· CSS (css)
· Enhanced Metafile (emf)
· Flash (swf)
· Illustrator EPS(eps)*
· Illustrator Template (ait)
· JPEG (jpg)*
· Macintosh PICT (pct)
· Photoshop (psd)*
· PNG (png)*
· SVG (svg)*
· SVG (svg)
· SVG Compressed (svgz)
· Targa (tga)
· Text Format (txt)
· TIFF (tif)
· Windows Metafile (wmf)
How to used SVG format graphics in Powerpoint presentations