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Which file to use?

File Types

What does it all mean when it comes to a logo? If you don’t live in the graphic’s world and know these by heart, here is a quick reference to help you know what they are and why they are so important.

Four types of logo files are available for download from Boise State University’s Logo Library.  More details are below.  For a quick reference summary to print, click here: LOGO ASSISTANCE SHEET.2013-03-21

EPS

EPS, or Encapsulated PostScript, is created from mathematical curves and lines that stay in focus and in proportion no matter the file size. This means there is no pixelation and a graphic will look the same at 1 inch as it does at 10 feet. These files are ideal for uses from letterhead to billboards. An EPS of your graphic should be the first thing sent when is to be designed and printed.

  • Files are resizable, print worthy, and transparent
  • Require Adobe Illustrator CS2+
  • Should always be used for printed files

Two EPS logos come packaged in a ZIP file: a CMYK and PMS version. Learn more under Color Modes.

JPG

JPGs are good for Powerpoint presentations and other digital applications that do not demand much of an image. Like TIFFs, JPGs are pixel based. They are also compressed and generally have a low resolution to keep the file size low. A JPG graphic may appear acceptable on screen, however JPGs are not recommended for printing. JPGs do not support a transparent background.

PNG

PNGs are for digital use. Unlike JPGs, PNGs have a transparent background. They have replaced the GIF format.

  • Should be used for on screen applications, such as Microsoft Powerpoint.
  • Should not be used for printed documents

TIFF

TIFFs are pixel-based images put together from thousands of tiny blocks. If you blow a TIFF up large enough you will see pixelation (blur). All professional image editing programs have the ability to edit TIFF files.

Color Modes

CMYK, PMS, and RGB refer to the color format of the image.

RGB files are used for computers and televised screens – never for printing. CMYK is for four color printing and is not always accurate when it comes to reproducing a specific brand color. PMS solves this problem. The Pantone Matching System, or PMS, is a universally recognized color scheme to which every printing press subscribes. It is often referred to as spot colors, whereas CMYK is referred to process.

In summary:

EPSHighest quality graphic imagePrinted material
JPGLower quality image.  Small file sizePowerPoint and other digital applications
Do not use on printed documents
PNGLower quality image.  Small file sizeDigital use
PowerPoint
Do not use for printed documents
TIFFHigh quality raster imageTo be used as small image (if enlarged may become pixelated).  Use EPS for larger files.
CMYKPrinting
RGBDigital