Which is the best file format for printing logos, photos and other kinds of graphics? I’m pretty sure we’ve all made to ourselves this question at least once in our lifetime, especially after experiencing disastrous results with our printouts.
.PDFThe Portable Document Format (also known as PDF) is Adobe’s landmark format for compact, independent document distribution; for this reason, it stands as one of the most popular formats worldwide. PDFs faithfully captures the formatting information from any desktop publishing application, making it possible to print it the way they look and are intended. Because of this, this is the one we recommend for most images: whatever is in the PDF, it will print out exactly the same.
Best File Format for Printing LogoIf you’re looking for the highest quality file format, then you are in the right place. Believe it or not, but there’s not exactly one best file format for printing photos, logos and graphics, but rather several; you just need to find the most adequate for you. For example, there are standard printing formats for photos, just as there are standard logo formats too. However, if you want to know which is the best for your personal project, scroll down and check each format individually.
.EPSThe Encapsulated PostScript (or EPS for short) is the standard format designed for PostScript printers and imagesetters. This is a vector format that is best recommended for high resolution illustrations, such as the ones created in Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW. If you don’t know what a vector format is, they’re basically a scalable, editable format composed of individual parts that could be altered without affecting its final quality. Because of this, EPS are best recommended for logo designs and images needed to be used in several sizes, such as banners.
.JPGThe Joint Photographic Experts Group (or JPG) is the best format for images because of its lossy compression feature. “Lossy”, by the way, means that some image quality will be lost if the JPG data is compressed, meaning that it won’t be recovered if you try to de-compress it. As an example, let’s say that you resize a small file and make it much larger than what it originally was; if you do this on a lossy compression format, such as JPG, it will look blurry and unusable because it eliminated some data. It just kept the “basic” features that it deemed competent for a portable resolution. Although for some this might sound frightening, we actually recommend this format for most types of images, not only because it’s the standard format for most of them, but also because it makes it easier to share them online. It’s far more efficient than the lossless files.
.TIFFThe Tagged Image File Format (also known as TIFF) is the industry standard for raster or bitmapped images; that is, for high quality, non-scalable images. TIFFs are basically an example of lossless format: these ones maintain the image’s integrity, clarity and quality to a T, which marks it as the default – and must – option for every professional photographer.
.GIF and .PNGThe Graphics Interchange Format (or GIF, as it is more famously known) is a lossless compression file format that stores up to 256 colors, mostly famous because it allows static and animated images. This is perhaps one of the most popular formats in the internet, precisely because it provides high quality animations that everybody can share freely. However, its color limitation caused the birth of a more powerful alternative called PNG. PNGs (short for Portable Network Graphics) is a more powerful version of the GIF. This one doesn’t use animated images, but rather transparent backgrounds that makes it possible to place it on top of other images without the pesky outlining white box. Also, it’s not restricted to the color limitation of GIF files and has a better compression resolution than the GIFs. Although GIF files remain the most popular for logos and normal images among web users, PNGs are a much better option for those who want higher printing quality.
.ZIPThe ZIP is famous for its data archiving and compression ability, and for a good reason. This format reduces the file size for easier and smoother online transfers, without affecting its content’s quality at all. However, this format only works as an auxiliary tool, as it doesn’t provide exactly a proper printing presentation. It’s just a means of image transportation and that’s it.
FAQsWhat is the best file format for Tshirt printing? We recommend those files that are compatible with Illustrator and Photoshop (PSD and DCS 2.0), as those two provide excellent tools for compressing and decompressing images without altering the overall quality. As for formats, we recommend PNG, PDF, and TIFF. You could also try JPEG, but remember that, if you compress and decompress it a lot, the final product might get damaged. What is a high quality image size? A picture’s quality can be measured through its resolution, which in turn refers to the number of pixels in an image. If you want a high-quality image, the number of pixels should be vast both in width and height. For example, 2048 pixels wide and 1536 pixels high photo (that is, 2048 x 1536) totals 3,145,728 pixels (or 3.1 Megapixels), which is a rather huge resolution. Now that you know a little bit more about the formats and their main features, we’re pretty sure that you know now which is the best file format for printing logos, photos and other graphics. As we said, the best file format for printing photos tends to be the PNG, TIFF and PDF, or even JPG if you need smaller photos, whereas the EPS and PNG are two standard logo formats that will always take you out of trouble. Either way, PDF tends to be the safest solution for all options, but as we said, there’s no “best format” for everything, but rather there is an infinitude of formats that you can use for different kinds of needs.
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