Image file formats

Image file formats

There are many different type of image formats.. jpg, png, gif, psd, ai, eps, pdf.

Below the explanation what each one does and where to use them.


JPG or JPEG files are the most common photo files. You can often use these for online, but possible to use for print as well. Make sure they are high res for print (300 dpi) and as small as possible without losing quality for print (72 dpi is the norm)


PNG is web only, the great thing and biggest difference between JPG and PNG is, is that PNG has a transparent background, where JPG makes the background white by default. Perfectly suitable for logos on your website. Easy to “paste” on top of branded photos.


GIF is web only and should not be your first choice for photos. An interesting one, because besides a plain image it can become a series of images played after each other – an animation. You can use this for banners or buttons on your website or to join the GIF Facebook hype!
GIF’s can have a transparent background.


PDF means Portable Document Format, it’s a type of file that is used for online or print documents. Very useful for interactive forms and it is THE extension you use for delivering your (business cards, flyers, etc.) file to a (professional) printer.


PSD is the work file of Adobe Photoshop.

AI, svg and EPS

All are Adobe Illustrators work files. You will probably have your logo or web-illustrations in either of these file types. They are vector files, which means they exist out of lines instead of pixels. This makes you enlarge this file without losing resolution.
If a designer that is making your new brochure requests your logo, send them either of these files.

You probably shouldn’t touch it if you don’t know your way with Illustrator as this is the original file.

If your question is what photo file to use online, here is the short answer:

JPG: all photos
PNG: images with a transparent background
GIF: buttons or small animations