Graphic images are stored in several forms like PNG, JPG, TIFF, GIF, and more; and all these formats are readily available on the Internet. Graphic designers should know and understand all these formats.
Before going into each of the graphic formats, we have to start with the two major brackets: vector vs. raster.
This type of format incorporates images that consist of pixels, which are the smallest component of an image. When these images are placed within a grid, all the pixels together lead to a larger picture.
Since the raster pictures are pixel-based, this puts certain constraints on the resolution and capability of such images. For instance, on enlarging raster images, you will compromise on clarity or resolution. The enlarging will most certainly lead to pixelation, which results in blurriness.
Raster graphic formats are:
- JPEG: The acronym stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. It is sometimes also referred to as JPG. It is a graphic file format that allows you to remove the pixels. This will create a close match to the image. JPG images also enable you to retain control over the compression and consequently, the size of the file.
- GIF: This is titled Graphics Interchange Formats, and as you all are familiar, it is often used for animated posters and memes. Given the fact that people spend half their time scrolling through memes on social media, today GIFs have become quite the talk of the town.
- PNG: Portable Network Graphics is the full form of the acronym PNG. Unlike JPEGs, these use lossless compression, which means that these images can be detailed as well as high-contrast. Each time you open and save an image without diminishing the quality, which is a plus point. Furthermore, the PNG format is used when you desire a clear background behind an image or a logo.
- TIFF: Tagged Image File Format is abbreviated to TIFF. Like the PNG format, it also provides you with lossless compression. It is a great option when you wish to retain the quality of a photo or image. An image saved in the TIFF file format is compatible with editing in photo editing platforms such as Photoshop. This format of TIFF is a popular choice in case of professional photographs.
Vector images are another type of graphic format, which find their basis in mathematical calculations. Due to this factor, they can be sized up or down to any dimension. So, in cases when you are working on logos or icons, vector file formats are the way to go because images of such nature practically have to function in all sizes.
Vector graphic formats are:
- AI: This is the acronym for Adobe Illustrator. Most designers favour this AI file format. When you have finished creating something in Adobe Illustrator, you have the option to export your image in various file formats like SVG and including raster file formats like JPG, PNG, TIFF, or even PDF.
- INDD: This is known as InDesign Document and such images or pictures are developed in Adobe InDesign. This platform is frequently utilized to produce publications like books, newsletters or brochures, and even magazines.
- EPS: This is called an Encapsulated Postscript. This file format is basically images or designs that are vector-based. Such work is usually created in programs like Adobe Illustrator. In terms of compatibility, EPS file extension is supported by professional printers and can also be converted to other graphic formats like JPG and PDF.
- SVG: Images saved in SVG format, that is Scalable Vector Graphics, are vector pictures, but they are code-based. Such photos are compatible with all web browsers. Moreover, such files can also incorporate interactive elements. They are capable of appearing in searches, can be indexed, compressed, or scripted as well. SVG graphic format is similar to PNG format because it also allows you to work with transparent backgrounds. As mentioned before, the PNG file extension is raster-based, which means there is some compromise with resolution; however, since SVG is a vector-based format, there are no issues with image quality or resolution.
Knowing the different formats of storing an image is important. It is also important to stay updated with the latest versions of the different formats to ensure best services to clients.