Common Graphic Design Formats Every Designer Should Know

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As a graphic designer, you will be required to submit the final outputs in various formats depending on the needs of the clients as well as the purpose of the design. It would therefore be suicidal to work only with one format and fail to know how to covert from one format to other. Having the ability to work in different formats will give you the versatility you need to maneuver your way around so that you are never worried when a client asks you to submit the project in another format. Presented here are the commonly used graphic design formats that every designer needs to know about-:

PNG: Portable Network Graphics

This is one of the most common graphic design formats you will ever come across. Files in this format will have the extension .png and it is majorly used when dealing with photos. Its use is also rampant when working on projects destined for websites and other online uses because of its low resolution. The files in PNG format are mostly bitmap images which use lossless data compression. It is also important to point out the fact that files in this format can have a transparent background.

TIF: Tagged Image File Format

Tagged Image Format is used for the storage of images, art or photography. Files in this format are predominantly used in commercial printing or professional environments. The TIFF graphics design format also happens to be the most widely supported format across most of the platforms. If you want high quality images, then this is the format you will have to work with. Though it is considered as large in size, it offers superior reliability when dealing with high quality images compared to the other formats you will ever come across.

GIF: Graphics Interchange Format

GIF is another common graphic design format you have probably come across multiple times. GIF formats are known to have low resolutions and are majorly used for website and email purposes. Almost all browsers support this format, and it employs the use of compression scheme to keep all the files small. Just like the PNG files, GIF files can also be created with transparent backgrounds.

JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group

You have probably heard of the JPEG graphics design format and maybe used it for a couple of times. JPEG refers to a compressed image file which offers no support for transparent backgrounds. The levels of compression in such files, however, vary with regards to resolution, and also depending on the quality of the printing. Repeated compression will compromise the final quality of JPEG files.

PSD: Photoshop Document

PSD graphics design format is probably known to every graphic designer, especially those who use Photoshop in their designs. This format is usually a raster format, and it is found in graphics and photos created using the Adobe Photoshop image editing software. It is commonly used by designers and printers and files in this format can only be opened using the software program. It is also worth noting that files in PSD file format can be created in separate and distinct layers thus making it one of the most robust graphic design formats available for the designers.

AI: Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a common graphics design tool used by millions of designers across the globe. The AI graphics design format comprises of vector files that designers and commercial printers can use to produce files in other different file formats as well as sizes. Just like the PSD files, AI files can only be opened using Adobe Illustrator, and they also allow for the creation of files in layers. It is the AI graphics file format that is most preferred by promotional product companies, printers, sign and banner companies as well as other third-party creatives.

PDF: Portable Document Format

PDF is considered a universal graphics design format that embeds and preserver the fonts, layout, graphics and images for all source documents irrespective of the application that was used in creating them. It is thus possible to share and view these files as well as print them with any free Adobe Reader software program. Some of the files in this format are also suitable for use in digital, commercial or desktop printing.

EPS: Encapsulated Post Script

The EPS graphics design format is mostly used in the transfer of artwork or images by designers, from vector files into other applications. EPS files can be scaled to any size and can also be opened with various applications such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop or Freehand. EPS graphic design format is another preferred format by printers, sign and banner companies, silk screeners and other third-party creatives due to its versatility when it comes to printing.

These are some of the common graphics design formats which will give you the flexibility when working with various files meant for various applications.

Learn about the basics of branding for designers here!

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