So I’m going to try to explain file types to some of you that don’t understand the basics. Such as the difference between a .jpg and an .eps file or why I can’t view the font in your .ai file even though you saved it as a .pdf.
First, in my opinion there are two main different file types: raster and vector.
A raster file is a single image, like a photo. It is made up of pixels. When you make it bigger than it’s original size, it looses quality and gets pixelated. This is one of our most common problems with customer’s artwork. A raster file can be a .jpg, .jpeg, .tiff, .png, .giff, .raw, plus more. Here is what a raster file looks like too small:
A vector file is made up of points and lines. This makes it possible to enlarge without loosing quality and to cut out on a vinyl cutter. The programs we create these types of files in are Adobe Illustrator and Flexi Sign. Usually, when we receive these files from customers, they are originally from designers. Our most common problem with these files is the designer won’t convert the fonts to outlines, (turn the font into vector format). The cool thing about them is we can alter the file easily (colors, text, size, additions, subtractions)These file types are .ai, .eps, .pdf plus some others.
Here are some basic rules:
- You can’t make a jpeg bigger than it is off the Internet
- You can’t save a raster file (jpg) as a vector file (eps), but you can save a vector into a raster.
- When saving an .eps, convert the fonts into outlines. Or email me the font file along with it.
- When in doubt, save as a .pdf. Every computer can view a .pdf. Then I can attempt to open it in the correct program.
Remember, you can always ask us for help.
Monique Meador – Graphic Designer/Sign Artist