File formats in graphic design are usually divided into two categories - Raster Files and Vector Files. Depending on the application for your design, you’ll need to use a specific file type. This guide will help you to know what you’ll need. Contact KP A&D for further help or to request new files for your project.

Raster Images
Raster images are composed of pixels. A pixel is a block of color that is used to compose an image. Raster images and limited by their size and resolution, which is the number of pixels contained in the image. Raster images are not suitable for expanding in size and will become pixelated once they the limits of proportion and resolution. Raster images can easily be scaled down without issue.

Images found online or in print will be raster. 

File types included .JPG and .PNG.

Vector Images
Vector images are composed of mathematical equations which are calculated by your computer and then displayed as a design. These equations assign color, size, width, and appearance to shapes. Vector images are not formed with pixels, so this makes them perfect for scaling up. They will never become blurry or pixelated and are not constrained by proportion and resolution.

Vector files are great for logo design projects because they are so easy to scale.

File types include:

High Resolution vs. Low Resolution
DPI and PPI are units used to define whether an image is High-Resolution or Low-Resolution. DPI is dots per inch and PPI is pixels per inch. In essence, they are the same, but you may see either unit used. These units of measurement are used to define the overall number of dots or pixels contained within 1 inch of the image.

Recognized standards in graphic design are:
72dpi low-resolution - used for graphics on websites.
300dpi high-resolution - used for printing designs.

Raster File Formats
There are two color models that are important to define when using your design. CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) is used primarily for printing purposes. RGB (Red, Blue, Green) is used for web and other digital applications. Be sure to select the file with the correct color model when submitting your logo for print or digital applications.

JPEG or JPG is probably the most well-known file format. The JPEG file format is commonly used in online formats, photography, email graphics, and large web images.

Use JPEG files for:
Online photos and artwork.
Printed photos and artwork.

Don’t use JPEG files for:
Images requiring a transparent background.

PNG or Portable Network Graphic is recognized as the new and improved GIF. PNGs have the ability to display transparency and also to display a higher color depth. This makes them perfect for web design.

Use PNG for:
High-Quality transparent web graphics.
Images with small storage size.

Don’t use PNG files for:
Photos or artwork. Due to the high color depth, the file size may be very large.
Printing projects.

Vector File Formats
PDF Files or Portable Document Format is an image file format used to display graphics and documents in the correct way on any device, application, web browser, or operating system. PDF Files can display vector images, raster images, fillable form fields, and much more. PDFs are a very popular file format used to send the final design into production by printers.

Use PDF Files for:
Print. It is the preferred file format among printers.
Displaying documents on the web.

Don’t use PDF files for:
Editing your design.

SVG or Scalable Vector Graphics is an XML-based vector image file format. The main characteristic of SVG files is that you can scale your design and compress it to make the file size less than other file formats.

Use SVG File Format for:
Computer Generated Graphics.

Don’t Use SVG File Format for:
Printed projects.

AI Files are used by Adobe Illustrator to save and edit Vector Images. EPS or Encapsulated PostScript files are also used by Adobe Illustrator, and printers for large printing projects.

Use AI file Format for:
Editing your Vector Design.
Setting or editing type in your design.

Don’t use AI files for:
Editing Raster Images.
Printing design.
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