Understanding Everyday File Types

Let’s talk files! Have you ever wondered what to export a image as, upload artwork to your blog, or compress an image to send an email? Don’t worry, I will get there momentarily. But first, one thing to understand: Lossy vs. Lossless compression. 

Raster images (JPG, PNG, RAW, PSD) all contain a lossy or lossless compression. Lossy compression guesses what your image actually appears as. Meaning, some of the original data might not be recovered when the file is uncompressed. This compression type reduces image size and reduces the quality, too. 

Lossless compression retains all contents of the file, even after it has been uncompressed. The picture quality remains the same and does not get worse, as it is compressed. 


This the most common file type among users. This lossy raster file format is used for images on a webpage, company materials (such as a letterhead), and printed photos. JPG is a lossy compression which means the compression size decreases, but increases pixelation more as the image is compressed. JPG files do not have the ability for transparency. They must have a solid color background. 


PNG files are a lossless raster file formats. This file type is widely used across detailed, high contrast images. PNG files are most known for their transparent backgrounds. They are a web standard graphic, that has a large color display with the ability to support up to millions of colors. 


PDF files are what you see when you receive a contract, download electronic files, or send files to print. These are universal standard file formats, making it ideal for any person to open. PDF keeps the entire design/document just as you saved it in the workspace you created it in. 


EPS images are vector file formats. Vector files like an EPS file, it doesn’t matter the size you scale the image to. The resolution and the image remains the same. This is widely used among designers to send logos to clients or hand drawn items to print. 

I hope this helps any of my fellow creative souls, entrepreneurs, and other people who are always wondering which file to use!

As always, have a blessed week!!

Comments are closed.