Vector Files - (Accepted)
Sometimes called a geometric file, most images created with tools such as Adobe Illustrator are in the form of vector image files. Vector image files are easier to modify than raster images. (which can, sometimes be reconverted to vector files for further refinement) Another way to look at it is that every pixel in the image has a X and a Y axis, this allows easy resizing without loss of quality.
PNG Files - (Accepted)
Portable Network Graphics format is a completely loss-less compression (when saved as 24-bit). Gradients come out much smoother and do not have the distortions that may appear in a JPG. 24-bit PNG is recommended for photo-quality image uploads. We do NOT recommend palette-based PNGs unless you are uploading line art.
Bitmap Files - (Usually not Accepted)
Images are exactly what their name says they are: a collection of bits that form an image. The image consists of a matrix of individual dots (or pixels) that all have their own color (described using bits, the smallest possible units of information for a computer). Unless these are in very large sized resolution (600 DPI or better), they are unusable in the printing process.
PDF Files - (Accepted)
Adobe® Portable Document Format: Preserves the visually rich content of original files, and are easier to read than HTML content that appears in a Web browser. Adobe PDF files print cleanly and quickly, and anyone can share Adobe PDF files, regardless of their platform or software application. This is good to show the end result you would like, but usually not good for sending artwork that needs to be printed.
TIFF - (Accepted)
Tagged Image File Format: A file format for exchanging bitmapped images between different applications.
EPS - (Accepted)
Encapsulated Postscript: An alternative picture file format that allow PostScript data to be stored and edited and is easy to transfer between platforms.
AI - (Accepted)
Adobe Illustrator: The very best in quality to recreate your artwork in the printing process. (Please make sure all artwork and fonts are outlined in curves or vector format.)
JPG - (Accepted)
Commonly used on the web due to its excellent ability to compress photographic (8 bits/channel) images in order to decrease download time. This format will work but needs to be at least 300 DPI (see, "What is DPI?" above), black and white, and saved with no additional compression.
GIF - (Usually not Accepted)
Commonly used on the web due to its ability to reduce the number of colors for non-photographic images (to decrease webpage download time) and for handling transparencies. This format will not work in the printing process.
BMP - (Usually not Accepted)
Generally a low resolution image format and not usable in the printing process. (see, "Bitmap Files" above.)
Doc - (Usually not Accepted)
Word .doc files can only be used if you would like to display typeset text. Any images in a Word .doc will not print correctly.
Web Pages - (Not Usable)
As a general rule, if it came from a web page, the quality will most likely be too low for printing. Web graphics are made to load quickly, often times sacrificing the true quality of the image. The eye may not notice this when viewed with a browser, but becomes obvious when printed.
For full color products, save all files in CMYK color mode.
|To the right you can see differences between JPG (Jpeg) and PNG file formats. See how JPG's typically display artifacting around the letters (due to compression) and how PNG's better preserve the original.