Today, I am well and truly getting my geek hat on. If you are a blogger or someone with a website, you’ve probably seen many file types you don’t understand. Today, I am going to explain some of the different file types and when to use them. Read on to find out the difference between png and jpg files and more.

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Different File Types And Uses

Images (Or Raster files if you prefer jargon) are made up of pixels. They come in a huge array of sizes, and include high and low res images. Here’s a breakdown of image file types and their meanings…

PNG (Portable Network Graphics) 

These are best used for online images. They are perfect for websites, but not great for printing. Their load speed is faster than jpg files but they don’t lose quality. They are definitely the best file type for standard web images, in my opinion.

JPEG / JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

These are the most common image file types on the web. They can be printed and used as website images too. They tend to lose their sharpness in smaller file sizes, so really shouldn’t be used on websites with lots of imagery.

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)

If you ever use mock ups, chances are you’ll use SVG’s. Companies which sell printed t-shirts, mugs and such like will use SVG’s to show you what the finished design will look like, before they have actually made it. You can buy SVG mock up bundles which allow you to produce great quality products, even if you don’t have much graphic design skills or experience. The majority of personalised T-shirt companies, for example start out using an SVG mock up bundle.

Different File Types And Uses Pinterest pin

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)

GIF is an ideal file type for web projects where an image needs to load very quickly. However, if you need to retain a high level of quality, GIFs are best avoided. They are, of course popular on social media now. They load quickly but due to the limited 256 colour palette available in GIFs, they will rarely be suitable for professional looking designs.

PSD (Photoshop Document)

If (like me) you’re an apple user, chances are you have seen a PSD file. It is a photoshop document, but unless the person receiving the file is also a photoshop user… it’s useless to them! I save templates as PSD files so that I can swap out text and images quickly, but leave the main image design the same.

PDF (Portable Document Format)

PDF was invented by Adobe, and as long as you have downloaded the free acrobat reader software to your device, you can view and edit PDFs. They are great for documents as they can be opened by anyone. Personally, I send all of my invoices in PDF format.

TIFF (Tagged Image File)

These files are perfect for photos you will print as they retain their high resolution. BUT they are no good for use online as they’ll slow your website down massively. Your load time will be high, and your user retention could drop massively too.

I hope this breakdown of different file types and uses has helped you to understand which file type is best for you to use and when. Finally, why not check out more of my geeky stuff here.


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