Understanding file extensions

We explain the differences between the different file extensions that you might see on your computer. We need the right one to be able to print your signage correctly
Understanding file extensions

What are file extensions & which ones to use to get signs printed?

  • There are many different types of file extensions
  • Some are more suitable to sign design and printing than others
  • A sign writer can help you create the right file extensions
 

Our sign shop in Cardiff on the Central Coast of NSW can help you get signs designed and printed. We produce a wide variety of different sign types that are used indoors or outdoors. Our graphic designers can help prepare the right files and formats needed to produce high quality signage.

Popular file extensions and how they are used

JPG
JPG (or JPEG) is a raster image that is often used for photographs on the web. JPGs can be optimized, when saving them out of photoshop, to find the perfect balance of small file size and high quality. On the web, you want your images files to be as small as they can be so your site loads quickly, but large enough to still appear crisp and not pixilated. A JPG can’t have a transparent background so they are always in the shape of a rectangle or square with a solid background.

Best use = rectangle or square photos and photographs on your website.

PNG
PNG is another raster image type. For the general marketer, the main difference to understand between a PNG and JPG is that a PNG can have a transparent background and is generally larger and higher quality. Therefore a PNG is ideal for saving logo files for websites because they can be placed over a colored background.

Best use = logos, icons and other images where a transparent background is preferred.

GIF
A GIF is another raster image type. A GIF is formed from up to 256 colors from the RBG colorspace. The fewer colors and shades contained in an image, the smaller the file size. Therefore a GIF is ideal for images that use just a few solid colors and don’t have gradients or natural shades. You wouldn’t want to use a GIF for a photograph.

Best use = simple web graphics such as web buttons, charts and icons.

TIF
A TIF (or TIFF) is a large raster file. It has no loss in quality and therefore is primarily used for images used in printing. On the web, because of load time, you generally want to use smaller images such as JPG or PNG.

Best use = images and photographs for high quality print.

EPS
An EPS file is a vector file of a graphic, text or illustration. Because it is vector it can easily be resized to any size it needs to be. An EPS file can be reopened and edited.

Best use = master logo files and graphics and print designs.

AI
An AI file is a proprietary, vector file type created by Adobe that can only be created or edited with Adobe Illustrator. It is most commonly used for creating logos, illustrations and print layouts.

Best use = creating logos, graphics, illustrations.

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Kylie Wells
Kylie Wells

Kylie is the Director of Screen Signs and is passionate about helping local businesses promote themselves with signage for their building, retail shop, vehicles or other locations.

Kylie and her husband run Screen Signs, a local sign writing business serving the Central Coast & Hunter region from their sign shop in Cardiff near Newcastle in Australia.

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Sign writing service in Cardiff Newcastle that can design and print signage