File Formats & Descriptions
We accept files in every standard desktop application, for Windows or MacIntosh, including, but not limited to: Adobe Creative Suite products
- Adobe Creative Suite products
- Quark XPress
- All Print-Ready PDF Files
- Microsoft Office Applications
Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) language file format can contain both vector and bitmap graphics and is supported by virtually all graphic, illustration, and page-layout programs. EPS format is used to transfer PostScript-language artwork between applications.
We recommend EPS graphics for vector and bitmap images.
Tagged-Image File Format (TIFF) is used to exchange files between applications and computer platforms. TIFF is a flexible bitmap image format supported by virtually all paint, image-editing, and page-layout applications. Also, virtually all desktop scanners can produce TIFF images.
We recommend TIFF graphics for bitmap images.
Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format is commonly used to display photographs and other continuous-tone images in hypertext markup language (HTML) documents over the World Wide Web and other online services. JPEG format supports CMYK, RGB, and Grayscale color modes, and does not support alpha channels. Unlike GIF format, JPEG retains all color information in an RGB image but compresses file size by selectively discarding data.
Due to the fact the the JPEG format discards data, we do not recommend it for any images. If you must use the JPEG format, please make sure all quality settings are at their maximum and the resolution is at least 300 dpi.
BMP is a standard Windows image format on DOS and Windows-compatible computers. BMP format supports RGB, Indexed Color, Grayscale, and Bitmap color modes, and does not support alpha channels. We DO NOT recommend the BMP format for any images.
PICT format is widely used among Mac OS graphics and page-layout applications as an intermediary file format for transferring images between applications. PICT format supports RGB images with a single alpha channel, and indexed-color, grayscale, and Bitmap-mode images without alpha channels. PICT format is especially effective at compressing images with large areas of solid color. This compression can be dramatic for alpha channels with their large areas of white and black. We DO NOT recommend the PICT format for any images.
Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is the file format commonly used to display indexed-color graphics and images in hypertext markup language (HTML) documents over the World Wide Web and other online services. GIF is an LZW-compressed format designed to minimize file size and electronic transfer time. GIF format preserves transparency in indexed-color images; however, it does not support alpha channels. We DO NOT recommend the GIF format for any images.
Vector Graphics vs. Bitmap Graphics
Vector graphics are made up of lines and curves defined by mathematical objects called vectors. Vectors describe an image according to its geometric characteristics. For example, a bicycle tire in a vector graphic is made up of a mathematical definition of a circle drawn with a certain radius, set at a specific location, and filled with a specific color. You can move, resize, or change the color of the tire without losing the quality of the graphic.
Vector graphics are resolution-independent—that is, they can be scaled to any size and printed at any resolution without losing detail or clarity. As a result, vector graphics are the best choice for representing bold graphics that must retain crisp lines when scaled to various sizes—for example, logos.
Bitmap images—technically called raster images—use a grid of colors known as pixels to represent images. Each pixel is assigned a specific location and color value. For example, a bicycle tire in a bitmap image is made up of a mosaic of pixels in that location. When working with bitmap images, you edit pixels rather than objects or shapes.
Bitmap images are the most common electronic medium for continuous-tone images, such as photographs or digital paintings, because they can represent subtle gradations of shades and color. Bitmap images are resolution-dependent—that is, they contain a fixed number of pixels. As a result, they can lose detail and appear jagged if they are scaled on-screen or if they are printed at a lower resolution than they were created for.
The number of pixels displayed per unit of printed length in an image, usually measured in pixels per inch (ppi, often referred to as dpi). In Photoshop, image resolution and pixel dimensions are interdependent. The amount of detail in an image depends on its pixel dimensions, while the image resolution controls how much space the pixels are printed over. For example, you can modify an image's resolution without changing the actual pixel data in the image—all you change is the printed size of the image. However, if you want to maintain the same output dimensions, changing the image's resolution requires a change in the total number of pixels.
When printed, an image with a high resolution contains more, and therefore smaller, pixels than an image with a low resolution. For example, a 1-by-1-inch image with a resolution of 72 ppi contains a total of 5184 pixels (72 pixels wide x 72 pixels high = 5184). The same 1-by-1-inch image with a resolution of 300 ppi contains a total of 90,000 pixels. Higher-resolution images usually reproduce more detail and subtler color transitions than lower-resolution images. However, increasing the resolution of a low-resolution image only spreads the original pixel information across a greater number of pixels; it rarely improves image quality.
Using too low a resolution for a printed image results in pixelation—output with large, coarse-looking pixels. Using too high a resolution (pixels smaller than the output device can produce) increases the file size and slows the printing of the image; furthermore, the device will be unable to reproduce the extra detail provided by the higher resolution image.
The CMYK model is based on the light-absorbing quality of ink printed on paper. As white light strikes translucent inks, part of the spectrum is absorbed and part is reflected back to your eyes. In theory, pure cyan (C), magenta (M), and yellow (Y) pigments should combine to absorb all color and produce black. For this reason these colors are called subtractive colors. Because all printing inks contain some impurities, these three inks actually produce a muddy brown and must be combined with black (K) ink to produce a true black. (K is used instead of B to avoid confusion with blue.) Combining these inks to reproduce color is called four-color process printing. We recommend the CMYK model for all, full-color images.