Lackey Designs

Common Design File Types

Vector vs. Raster

First things first, what is the difference between vector and raster?

Raster images are constructed by a series of pixels, or individual blocks, to form an image. JPEGs, GIFs and PNGs are all raster images. Every photo you find online or in print is a raster image. Pixels have a defined proportion based on their resolution (high or low), and when the pixels are stretched to fill space they were not originally intended to fit, they distort resulting in blurry or unclear images. In order to retain pixel quality, you cannot resize raster images without compromising their resolution. As a result, it is important to remember to save raster files at the exact dimensions needed for the application.

Vector images are far more flexible. They are constructed using proportional formulas rather than pixels. EPS, AI and PDF are perfect for creating graphics that require frequent resizing. Your logo and brand graphics should have been created as a vector, and you should always have a master file on hand. The real beauty of vectors lies in their ability to be sized as small as a postage stamp, or large enough to fit on an 18-wheeler!

Common File Types

.psd – Adobe Photo Shop File.  Must have Adobe Photo Shop on a computer to view and edit.

.png – Portable Network Graphics are great for interactive documents such as web pages, but are not suitable for print. While PNGs are “lossless”, meaning you can edit them and not lose quality, they are still low resolution.

.eps –  AKA Encapsulated Postscript. A common vector file format allowing a graphic to be resized without altering the quality or resolution. Designers often request this type of file when needing a business’ logo if used on multiple mediums or large formats.

.ai – Adobe Illustrator Document(AI) is, by far, the image format most preferred by designers and the most reliable type of file format for using images in all types of projects from web to print, etcA vector file can be resized to any size without loosing any data. Ideal for large graphics.

.jpg – This file extension is used for JPEG files. A JPEG is created with lossy compression. Lossy compression removes portions of the data of a particular file allowing it to be easily viewable on the web in a smaller file size.

.dst – AKA Digitezed File. A file with a .dst file extension is a design file intended for embroidery machines.  It will need to be done by integrating stitch types. Below are 3 of the most common embroidery machine stitches. Contact us for more information or if you are in need of a .dst file.