What File Types Do I Need?

Not all file types are created equally. Learn about the differences between a PDF and a PNG.

Digital files are categorized into two main types— Bitmaps and Vectors.

Vector files are ideal for logos as they can be scaled infinitely without blurring. Bitmap files are pixel based and have a maximum size. How can you quickly tell the difference? Common file extensions for vectors are ai, eps and svg. Bitmap files are typically png, jpg/jpeg, gif, and tiff. However, vector files can contain both vector and bitmap files, while bitmap will convert vectors elements to bitmap in the saving process.

Both have their purposes and we have a definitive guide here to help you decide which you need for your project.

Image-Bitmap_Vector

What are bitmap files?

  • Pixel-based
  • Can be scaled but will blur if enlarged more than 100%

What are vector files?

  • Not pixel-based
  • Algorithm-based, plots points on an XY axis
  • Can be scaled infinitely without blur

File Type Breakdown

File Type Bitmap or Vector? Other Details
AI / EPS Vector
  • The best logo format we can receive
  • Majority of functions are vector-based but can host bitmap file
  • Allows transparency
GIF Bitmap
  • Mainly used for web animations
  • Used solely for the web
JPG/JPEG Bitmap
  • The most common image file type

  • Does not support transparency
  • Highest compression rate for images; stores more pixel data in less space

  • Best for photography or non-transparent elements and graphics

  • Acceptable for print or web projects

PDF Both
  • Supports both bitmap and vector graphics.
  • Best used for documents but can be used for any graphic information.
PNG Bitmap
  • Supports transparency
  • Higher image quality, smaller file size
SVG Vector
  • Code-based vector image
  • Allows animation and transparency
TIFF Bitmap
  • Typically the largest file size, less pixel data compression occurs
  • Best used for print projects