Image Formats Demystified

This is a list of the most popular images formats used at Graphics Factory and on the Web. Using the right image format will give you the best results.

It's a balance between file size and image quality. You want a small file size so the images load fast but you also want the quality of the image to look its best.

The GIF, JPG, and PNG images at Graphics Factory are already optimized and ready-to-use, but if you are going to edit the vector images (AI, EPS) and save your own images you can use this page as a guide.

.GIF

Graphics Interchange Format

GIF images today are generally used for animated memes but can be used for emails, forums, and Web sites. They are small in file size, very compatible, and load very fast for the end viewer.

File Type : Raster

General Usage : .gif images are generally used for images that contain less then 256 colors, such as clipart and small animated movie clips.

Best Results : Save with 64 colors or less.

Best Usage : Used on web sites or in emails.

.PNG

Portable Network Graphic

Can contain 24-bit or 32-bit transparency and uses lossless compression, similar to a .GIF file but without copyright limitations and much better transparency results.

File Type : Raster

General Usage : PNG files are commonly used today for transparent images on the web and smart phones. For photos use .jpg.

Best Results : 24-bit with transparency.

.JPG

Joint Photographic Experts Group

JPG images should be used for photos. They allow different levels of compression to help maximize image quality while keeping file size small.

File Type : Raster

General Usage : Used for photographs.

Best Print Results : 300dpi and zero compression.

Best Web Results : 70% compression.

.SVG

Joint Photographic Experts Group

SVG files have been developed as a standard format for displaying vector graphics on the web. They have became popular for cut files using the Cricut and Silhouette Cameo.

File Type : Vector

General Usage : For Web and cut files

Use for Print : Yes

Use on the Web : Yes

.PDF

Portable Document Format

PDF is a file format that has captured all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image that you can view, navigate, print, or forward to someone else. They're very compatiable and easy for user to view.

File Type : Vector or Raster (can be both)

General Usage : For documents on the Web

Use for Print : Yes

Use on the Web : Yes

.WMF

Windows Metafile

WMF vector files are very flexible and small in file size. You can resize, change colors, and print .wmf files with perfect results.

File Type : Vector

General Usage : For printing and with Microsoft Office.

Use for Print : Yes

Use on the Web : No

.EPS

Encapsulated PostScript

EPS vector files can be printed at high-resolution of 300 dpi and they can be resized to any size needed without losing quality. You can also change the colors using a vector image editing program.

File Type : Vector

General Usage : For printing and with Microsoft Office.

Use for Print : Yes

Use on the Web : No

.AI

Adobe Illustrator File

You can open these files in Adobe Illustrator to edit and change the colors and then export the images as needed.

File Type : Vector

General Usage : For editing with Illustrator.

.SWF

Adobe Flash File

SWF vector files are a very flexible animation file. You can use .swf files in PowerPoint Presentations and Web sites. They can also be resized with perfect results.

File Type : Vector

General Usage : For games or animations on the Web.

Use for Print : No

Use on the Web : Yes

Animated : Yes

.FLA

Adobe Flash Source File

FLA files are the actual source file so you can edit them in Adobe Animate CC.

File Type : Vector

General Usage : For games or animations on the Web.

Use for Print : No

Use on the Web : No

Use for editing : Yes

.ZIP

Zip File

Zip files contains multiple files. You must right-click them to extract the contents before use.

General Usage : Saving multiple files in one package.

.DXF

Auto Cad File

DXF files are great for cut files and laser cut files.

File Type : Vector

General Usage : For laser or other cutting files.

.POT

Powerpoint Templates

POT files are PowerPoint template files.

File Type : Raster

General Usage : Open with Powerpoint.

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