File Types

File type differences

One of the biggest challenges for a sign company is working with clients pre-made logos and artwork that we didn’t do. EPS, AI, JPG, BMP and other file formats can get very confusing. Here we will shed some light on the differences and why there can be extra art charges and time involved in projects where we do not have the proper file type to make your signs or t shirts.

RASTER

(Rastor) VS vector

Raster Graphics (Bitmaps)

When dealing with image types, you should first know the difference between these 2 types of files. A raster graphic is essentially a grid of pixels or points of color. BMP, JPEG, JPG, TIFF, PNG, and GIF are common file extensions for a rastor graphic. This type of file can work fine when dealing with strictly printing and small image printing, but cutting this type of file for vinyl is not possible, we need a vector to be able to do this.  Raster images are based on pixels and so when scaled there is a loss of clarity, while vector-based graphics can be scaled by any amount without degrading quality.

Vector

A vector is a line based file. Vector graphics are based on line paths within the file, which lead to locations called control points. Each of these points has a definite position on the x and y axis of the work plane and determines the direction of the path; each path may be assigned a stroke color, shape, thickness, and fill. This is the best file type for us to have as we can re-size and manipulate the file to the sign, without a loss of quality.

VECTOR

Rastor VS vector

VECTOR

Rastor VS vector1

VS.

This shows the deference between the 2 files types when blown up. Notice that there is no loss of data on the vector file.

RASTER

Rastor VS vector2

File types and formats

At the end of your file name your computer can display what type of file it is. You can also see this by right clicking on the file and selecting properties. These are the extensions that explain the different types of files.

RASTER FILE TYPES

  • ANI, ANIM, APNG, ART, BMP, BSAVE, CAL, CIN, CPC, CPT, DPX, ECW, EXR, FITS, FLIC, FPX, GIF, HDRi, HEVC, ICER, ICNS, ICO / CUR, ICS, ILBM, JBIG, JBIG2, JNG, JPEG, JPEG 2000, JPEG-LS, JPEG, XR, MNG, MIFF, NRRD, PAM, PBM / PGM / PPM / PNM, PCX, PGF, PICtor, PNG, PSD / PSB, PSP, QTVR, RAS, RBE, JPEG-HDR, Logluv, TIFF, SGI, TGA, TIFF, TIFF/EP, TIFF/IT, WBMP, WebP, XBM, XCF, XPM, XWD

VECTOR FILE TYPES

  • AI, CDR, CGM, DXF, EVA, EMF, Gerber, HVIF, IGES, PGML, SVG, VML, WMF, Xar

COMPOUND FILE TYPES (These file types can contain both vector and raster data)

  • CDF, DjVu, EPS, PDF, PICT, PS, SWF, XAML

OK, that’s great but what type of file do we want? Generally speaking .EPS will work most of the time if the file was created as a vector, .AI and .DXF will work as well.

If we are printing a small banner or sign a .JPG or .BMP will work fine. You will need your file to have a decent resolution size (a pic from the internet is usually to low of res). Low res blown up will result in an unclear print, see the VS. pic above. Just remember that we wont be able to cut your logo as vinyl with this type of file without an additional art charge.

Our art charges run at $50.00/hour so getting a vector logo from your original designer can save you a substantial amount of money.

PLEASE SEND ARTWORK TO SALES@CAINSIGNS.COM

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