Here's which ones to use, and when!

Not all file types are created equal

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Towards the end of a branding project with KEO, you get a logo package containing all your logo variations, file types and a handy guide on which file to use for different applications. But what does it look like if you use the wrong file?

No doubt you've seen an image, whether it be printed or on a website, that is super pixelated, maybe even sitting in a white box that seems out of place. This is a common example of using the wrong file type, at the wrong resolution. The reason it's a common mistake is that with around 10 file types, and a number of factors that affect each one, it's easy to get them mixed up and use the wrong image.

To simplify your understanding of these files, you can group them into two main categories; Raster and Vector.

Raster graphics, composed of a set amount of pixels arranged to display an image, cannot be scaled up from their original size without enlarging pixels and lowering the quality of the image. You wouldn't have much success trying to enlarge a 50x50 pixel image to fit on a billboard!

Whereas vector graphics are made up of paths, each with a mathematical formula (vector) that tells the path how it's shaped. In simple terms, this means you can make the image as big as you want, and it will stay crisp and clear.

Raster vs Vector comparison

Why is it so important to use the right file anyway? 

How is a potential client meant to trust you with their business, if you can't ensure quality control of something as basic as a clear and legible logo on your website? Would you trust us if we handed you a business card that looked like this?

pixelated image

 It's important to ensure your businesses image is schmick, from the tiniest piece of copy to the biggest billboard on the highway (Think back to our blog 'You have a stain on your shirt'), this consistency in quality shows potential and existing customers that you care; not just about them, but your business too. 

To end, we have a few checks you can do before selecting a file:

  1. While designers and printers usually instruct you on the file type they need, always check with them before sending if unsure. This saves you both from playing a game of back and forth!
  2. Check the size of the image you’re using, against its destination. Do you need your logo extra large for a billboard? It's best to use a vector file, rather than a JPG the size of a postcard.
  3. Check if the image needs a transparent background, for digital purposes, this is when you would use a PNG! 

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the different file types and which ones are best for your project! Still unsure? Get in touch with us!

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