Understanding File Types From Your Designer

| June 3, 2014 | 0 Comments

Are you a new business owner ready to get your name out there? One of the exciting steps you’ll take on this journey is creating the Brand, or image for your company. Get ready to meet your creative designer! If this is your first time, you may find yourself frustrated by the amount of new things that you’ll be introduced to.

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Let’s discuss what the various file types are that you may receive from your designer, and where to use them for your business. I’ll help you feel more confident, save you time and money!

Firstly, what kinds of things are you likely to want to do with your files?

-Online for your website, facebook, twitter, blogs.

-Print them. Posters, business cards, flyers all are good examples of designs that generally end in a printed format.

-Send them to another designer. There are many reasons you may need to hand over your files to another designer. You may be adjusting the information that has become out of date on your business card. Your logo needs a fresh new look, or you made a grievous error and forgot someone’s name. Whatever the case, your designer will need more than a JPG.

Websites and social media need things to load fast. No one will be very interested to wait 5 minutes for your logo to load. To make this a fun and hopefully engaging experience, you will want to use file types that are quick to load like JPGs, GIFs and PNGs. Beware of stretching them up though because they can’t get bigger without it looking like you have some bad photos that you took with your disposable camera of your favorite star on tv in 1985. I beg you, stay away!

What about print? This is where PDFs shine. Quite often I actually go ahead and name this file ‘PRINT’ for my clients so that there is no confusion. I won’t go into too much detail here but it’s important to know that files for printing and files used online actually look really bad if you mix them up. Anything online uses light from behind which influences how you see the colours displayed. When you look at something you hold in your hand the light source is outside and we see the colours much differently than we do aided by a back light.

Lastly, let’s look at what your designer secretly hopes for when you send them your files. The best file format here is EPS. This type of file is high quality, allows for edits and your designer can open it in multiple programs. Another file that works well for designers is a TIFF file. Again, it’s a high quality file and allows for editing. The difference between EPS and TIFF file formats is a term called vector. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it simple! A vector file has the ability to be scaled to any size and it will always have beautiful crisp edges and the quality is always the same no matter how big or small it’s scaled to. Vectors are not photographs though so it’s not always the appropriate format to work in. That’s where TIFF comes in. You can save a very high quality TIFF that can be scaled down but it’s not able to be scaled higher without losing quality.

You also save a lot of money by sending the best files for the job. If your designer has to do extensive editing or straight-up recreate your file, that’s a major cost. Suddenly an hour’s editing turns into two days.

So in conclusion…

Online: JPG, PNG, GIF

Print: PDF

Designer files: EPS, TIFF

Yay! So now you know more about the files you have and what will help you work more efficiently with your designer in the future. Always feel free to ask your designer anything you don’t understand. While we don’t expect you to know these things sometimes we forget what is second nature to us can be quite alien to others!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: CANDEE CLARK

Branding strategist, designer, sci-fi lover & pez collector. Owner at Candee Clark Designs and part of Find Your Voice Collective. 
 
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Category: Business Tips, Design, small business, Startups

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