File types explained

File type descriptions & what they are used for

Small Business Logos supplies your final logos in the following 7 formats. We thought we'd describe what each file type is used for, we hope you find it helpful.

To start with here are some general guidelines:

  • If the images are for the Web or online, use JPEG, PNG, or GIF. (72 dpi versions)
  • If the images are for print, use .EPS (Vector), .PDF (Vector) or .TIFF (300dpi).
  • If you want to keep a version that remains editable, choose your software's native file format. (PSD for Photoshop, PSP for Paint Shop Pro, CPT for Corel Photo-Paint, etc.)
  • If you want to supply a file to a printer use a .PDF or .EPS

JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group.

JPEG is a lossy compression technique for color images. It can reduce files sizes to about 5% of their normal size, some detail is lost in the compression. This is why it is used predominately for websites. The file sizes are low which is great for speeding up site loading times.

Best for web

TIFF - Tagged Image File Format. 

TIFF is a lossless file type. In other words no data or quality is lost when saved. TIFF is the most universal and most widely supported format across all platforms, Mac, Windows, Unix. It’s used for storing original images or artwork so they can be manipulated or saved as other formats at a later date.

Best for storing original graphics and for use on printed materials

Best for versatility - can be used with most programmes

GIF - Graphics Interchange Format.

GIF images are compressed using a lossless data technique to reduce the file size without degrading the visual quality. This is why it is widely used on the internet . The colour limitations of the GIF format makes it unsuitable for reproducing colour photographs and other images with continuous colour, but it is suited for less complex images such as graphics or logos with solid areas of colour.

Widely used on the internet and can be animated to make moving graphics


PNG - Portable Network Graphics.

Is a lossless bitmap image format. PNG was developed to deal with some of the limitations of the GIF format and allows storage of images with greater colour depth and other important information. It is commonly used for logos on the internet.

Best for web use

PSD - PhotoShop Document.

The PSD format was developed by Adobe, the maker of the PhotoShop software package which is a graphic design / digital imaging program. PSDs are generally created and manipulated using the PhotoShop application.  They are a predominantly used for editing and manipulating graphics and images.

Best for manipulating images/photographs using the Adobe PhotoShop program

EPS – Encapsulated PostScript File. 

This file may contain 2D vector graphics, bitmap images, and text. EPS files are supported by several different drawing programs and vector graphic editing applications. They are often used to supply graphics in an original and high quality state.

Best for printed materials and manipulating images

PDF – Portable Document File.

This file format is used for representing documents in a way that is independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. Documents are saved in PDF format when users are likely to want to print information and won't need to alter the document. They can also be offered on a website so that immediate access is given to certain information. These files can either be read in a browser or downloaded to your computer.

PDFs are the best files to print from

What do some of the terms mean?

  • Lossy compression - is a data encoding method that compresses data by discarding (losing) some of it. The method aims to lessen the amount of data that needs to be held, and/or sent by a computer.
  • Lossless compression - is a form of data compression that allows the exact original data to be reconstructed from the compressed data. Lossless compression is used in cases where it is important that the original and the decompressed data be identical, or where differences from the original data could be damaging.

 If you need any more help with file types please contact your logo designer

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