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Graphic Design Basics: File Extensions & Color Defined

September 20, 2010

 

Often times I will ask a client to send me their logo as an eps file and they have no idea what I am talking about. So I provide them with a bookmark that I designed to help them with the graphic design basics. I want to share these graphic design basics with you so when you’re asked for a certain file or color you’ll be prepared.

FILE EXTENSIONS

.tiff = Tiff files are used for high resolution image files that are placed in printed materials.

.eps = EPS or encapsulated postscript files are vector-based files that can be enlarged without losing any quality.

.ai = AI files are native Adobe Illustrator files which are vector-based files that can be enlarged without losing quality. Printers and designers prefer using these or .eps files.

.psd = PSD are native Adobe Photoshop files that are used for creating and editing image files.

.jpg = JPG files are typically used in web applications but can also be saved and used for print purposes.

.gif = GIF files are used for web graphics that contain text and have a “transparent” background. These images are typically used for the web and not print materials.

hi res files = High resolution files  are high quality files that are used for printing and are saved at at least 300 dpi (dots per inch).

lo res files = Low resolution files are smaller files that are typically used for the web and are saved mostly at 72 dpi (dots per inch).

COLOR

RGB = Red, Green, Blue. RGB colors or files that are saved as RGB are used for the web or in photography when editing photos.

CMYK = Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. CMYK files are used for 4 color printed material.

PMS = Pantone Matching System. This is a universal color system that designers and printers use to ensure consistent color quality when printing.

SPOT Color = Spot color is used when a project has a specific PMS color and is printed using only the specific PMS spot color. You’ll typically see this in letterhead, logo, and envelope printing.

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