Understanding the files your Graphic Designer has sent you and how to use them is key to keeping your brand looking consistent and high quality. In most instances you won't need to worry about the particulars of what different file formats have to offer as your designer will choose the best file for the job you've hired them for. However occasionally you might want to send your logo to a printers or quickly put it on a photo for social media and in these moments it's important you know how to choose the right file. I always include my quick file guide inside my brand guidelines for all branding projects but here is an online version for those moments when you find your self wondering "Which one do I use for this?"
What is an EPS / AI file and when should you use them?
EPS and Ai files are high quality vector files and can be made as large or as small as you require. Typically this is the original file for your logo the highest quality version and the file that changes should be made on, using the correct software. Whilst some argue that EPS files are now outdated as software like the adobe suite can happily handle native files from illustrator in it's other programs, most specialist printers and large scale printers still request EPS files and so I always include them as default. EPS files may appear blank on your devices as they require professional software such as Adobe Illustrator to open and edit but don't worry when you send them to a printer or designer and they will be able to use them. EPS files can have transparent backgrounds meaning you can put them on top of any images or colours you like. This, coupled with the infinitely scalable nature of vector files makes them the best choice for all professional printing, embroidery, vinyl and other specialist or large scale formats.
What is a TIFF file and when should you use them?
High quality print ready files using the standard print CMYK colour mode. If you are designing or printing anything yourself and don't have design software such as the Adobe Suite use these. Or for professionally printed items where an EPS or AI file are not available this is your next best option, just be mindful of sizing, ideally your TIFF should be the same size as the finished print or larger. Similar to EPS', TIFF files can be saved with have transparent backgrounds, allowing you to seamlessly place over the top of other design elements.
What is a PNG file and when should you use them?