Do I Look Like I Know What A Jpeg Is?
Ok, I admit it. One of the main reasons I wanted to write this blog post was ENTIRELY so I could use this meme. It’s seriously my favourite tune getting around on Instagram Reels right now! If you haven’t heard it, it’s Hank from King of the Hill asking “Do I look like I know what a jpeg is? I just want a picture of a goddamn hotdog!” remixed to techno dance music. Trust me, it’s hilarious.
Anyway … moving on to the task at hand. There are loads of different file formats out there, and when you are setting up your business it feels like every platform wants your logo in a fricken’ different file format! Annoying right!? So, instead of having to Google what a .jpeg, .png, or vector file is every single time, I thought I would put together this super handy blog post.
Plus as an extra bonus, you can also sign up to download your very own cheat sheet so you can quickly and easily reference what file type to use when. Sound good? Scroll to the bottom of the page to download.
Ok so, let’s get into it.
WHAT’S A JPEG?
Written as either JPEG or JPG but are exactly the same thing, Jpegs are probably one of the most popular and well-known file types.
Jpegs are image-based files, also called raster graphics as they are made up of a grid of pixels. They are widely used because you can significantly compress the image to reduce the size of the file, so they are great for storing, sharing, and using on websites.
However, as they are compressed this can also reduce the quality of the image. Jpegs are considered ‘lossy’ — which basically means that when the data is compressed, unnecessary information is deleted from the file. You know how on CSI when they magically zoom in on a license plate and somehow reveal the previously blurred numbers — yeah you can’t do that. You can’t add pixels back into an image. This is why you may have also run into problems if you have ever tried to enlarge a Jpeg bigger than what it was saved. It will likely become blurry or pixelated which is not a great look. Yuk.
Luckily you can save high-resolution Jpegs at 300 dpi which can be used for printing. But just remember, a saved Jpeg is always a flat image. So if you have an image of your logo the background will be saved too, whether it’s just on white or a colour, it will never have a transparent background which can be annoying AF.
WHAT’S A PNG?
PNG stands for Portable Network Graphic. They are commonly used for digital web graphics, digital drawings, and images that need a transparent background — win!
They are similar to a Jpeg but are compressed with a lossless compression so they tend to not get that blurry look like Jpegs can so they are perfect for social media.
Great for digital but sadly a no-go for print. They are also a bigger file than Jpegs so if you have a whole page of images on your website just keep this in mind as it can slow things down.
WHAT’S A GIF?
You may have heard of this file type based on its most awesome feature — animation! Another great web-based file format, Gifs are perfect for creating reduced files without degrading the visual quality. Supporting both simple animation and static images, GIFs also keep their transparency and can better display images that have gradients.
WHAT’S A TIFF?
Great for photography and images, TIFFs are a handy way to create and store high-quality images.
TIFFs aren’t the smallest file types getting around, but due to their high quality, they are primarily used for editing and printing images. Avoid using TIFFs on social media and websites though as they are large in size and therefore slow to download.
WHAT’S A VECTOR FILE?
A vector file can be scaled to any resolution and to virtually any size and still maintain the highest quality. This means you could blow your file up to the size of a billboard or reduce it down super small and it will still look crisp and delightful.
Vector images are constructed using mathematical formulas rather than pixels so they are the preferred format for printing, creating merchandise, or when you need to scale. Vector files generally need to be created by a designer using design software such as Illustrator or InDesign. It’s super important you have a vector version of your logo even if you don’t have the software to open it yourself.
Types of common vector files include SVG, AI, EPS, and PDF (depending on how the PDF was created).
Ok, so there you have it! A brief rundown of the most common file formats getting around these days. To download a summary of this article to keep as an easy reference guide — simply sign up below. I’ll also let you know when a new blog post comes out that also might be of interest to you — enjoy!
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