The Right File Type for the Job

Your graphic designer has just sent over your logo, brand assets, and other graphics. But why so many file types for each? Service providers will request specific file types depending on the job and knowing which file to provide in these instances is important to ensure the highest quality representation of your brand. Here’s our crash course on selecting the right file for the job based on the two most common formats, raster and vector graphics.


Raster images, also commonly called bitmaps, are composed of pixels that have the ability to make up highly detailed images. Photos from your cell phone or camera are raster-based. A disadvantage to raster graphics is the file size and loss of detail when resized. Particularly when scaled up, an image will begin to lose its clarity and pixelation will occur.

Some common raster file types include:

  • Bitmap Image File (.bmp)
  • Graphics Interchange Format (.gif)
  • Joint Photographics Expert Group (.jpg)
  • Portable Network Graphic (.png)

Most commonly used images are raster-based, including the majority of those found on the web. You can easily use these images online or in your branded materials as most software can handle these file types. An advantage to PNG and GIF files is that both support transparency allowing these graphics to be overlayed over a coloured background or image.


Vector files are created in specialized software and based on mathematical lines, curves, and points to build an image. These graphics are generally more simplified than raster and are most often used for logos and illustrations. With vector graphics, the data making up the image keeps the file size small and allows for the file to be resized infinitely while remaining sharp with no loss in quality or pixelation.

Often service providers like print, embroidery, or sign shops will request a vector file, or more specifically one of the file types listed below:

  • Adobe Illustrator (.ai)
  • Encapsulated PostScript (.eps)
  • Portable Document Format (.pdf)
  • Scalable Vector Graphic (.svg)

As mentioned vector graphics are created in specialized software, and for that reason, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to preview AI and EPS files. These files require certain software to be installed to open, edit, and view their contents. With PDF and SVG files, however, you should be able to open both using either a web browser or select software already on your computer. One note to keep in mind is that while PDF files do support vector-based graphics, this only applies if the graphics were generated and saved in this format. Your graphic designer will be able to let you know if the file they’ve provided is a vector or not.


Choosing the right file for the job is crucial to ensuring all branded materials have the highest quality final output for your business or organization. All Alpine Creative logo packages and graphics include all common file types to ensure our clients have the files they need for a wide range of scenarios. If you’re in need of a logo, graphics, or even have an existing file that needs to be converted to another format, we can help. For all of your logo and graphic design needs, contact Alpine Creative.