Image Formats Explained – A Closer Look at the Accepted File Formats for 5 Star’s Publications
Are you confused by the endless stream of acronyms that spell the multitude of image formats out there? In what follows, we’ll discuss the characteristics of various image formats and specifically point out the formats that 5 Star accepts in our publications.
Image File Formats That 5 Star Accepts for Print
When you advertise in 5 Star print publications—including Up North Action, Up North Home Showcase, visitor guides, maps, or brochures—you will be asked to supply either a print-ready ad or your logo and graphics from which our designers construct an ad for you. For these purposes, we accept PDF, JPEG, TIFF, and EPS file formats.
PDF (Portable Document Format) was developed by Adobe in 1993. This type of file captures the formatting of a document—including text and images—so the document will appear the same to different users, using different software. The PDF presents data in a manner that is independent of application hardware, software, and operating system.
JPEG (also known as JPG) was named for the group that created it—Joint Photographic Experts Group. This is the most widely used image file format, especially for use on the web. This format can be used in Microsoft software (such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) and Adobe software that a designer may use (Acrobat, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and more). While this format is convenient for many purposes, it does have some limitations. It is a lossy format, meaning that it degrades an image that is compressed down to a smaller file size. While larger file sizes are ideal for print materials, smaller file sizes should be used when uploading an image to a website or social media so the images will load quickly when a user opens your page. It is also worth notes that designers’ ability to edit a JPEG is also somewhat limited because the layers of the image have been flattened.
TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format. This format is the industry standard for handling raster or bitmapped images, which means that it is often used for professional photography. TIFF files offer non-lossy compression, which means that, when compressed, the image data does not degrade—it maintains its clarity and integrity—but the file size becomes smaller.
EPS, which stands for Encapsulated PostScrip, is a vector format designed for printing to PostScript printers and imagesetters. But what does that mean for you, our advertisers? Simply that EPS is the best choice of file formats for high-resolution printing of illustrations. Your company logo, for example, would be well served in an EPS format so it can be scaled very small without losing detail and very large without becoming blurry or pixelated.
File Formats That 5 Star Uses for Digital Media
We use the file formats listed above for both print and digital media. While we do not accept the following file formats for print media, we do use them for digital media.
GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. In case you’re wondering, both “jif” and “gif” (soft or hard g sound) are acceptable pronunciations. This format supports up to 256 colors. It is very popular for creating low-resolution and small-file-size animations for use on the internet because this file format can contain multiple images simultaneously. Although they are a convenient format to use for sharing an image, GIF has the disadvantage of lossy compression, meaning that its quality and data degrade when the image is compressed to a smaller size.
The PNG, or Portable Graphics Format, is similar to GIF in that it, too, can be animated. It has the added advantages of not being restricted to 256 and boasting better (lossless) compression than that of the GIF and JPEG. It can also support transparent backgrounds. The PNG is frequently used on company websites and social media.
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