You may be familiar with .JPG and .PDF, but do you understand what designers are talking about when they start referring to other digital file formats such as .EPS or .SVG? A file can be identified by its extension, such as [filename].PDF. Our Small Giants Creative Team wants to ensure you are comfortable talking with them about the files for your designs. Below they have assembled a reference guide for different file formats.


When thinking about printing on business cards, brochures, posters or clothing, you may need a .AI, .EPS or .PDF file.


.AI – Adobe Illustrator: This is considered the original, editable, working file. AI files should contain the original fonts (ask your designer to do this if they do not already). The user will need to own those fonts to be able to edit, manipulate and save this file format.


.EPS – Encapsulated PostScript: This is what you want to send to someone who asks for a “vector” file (Think of when you see sponsor logos all together and one sticks out with a disruptive white background, that is when a non-vector version of the logo was being used). It is mostly used for large formats, embroidery or when your logo needs to be placed on a color/image background. It can be scaled to large sizes and can be edited by a designer. All fonts in this file type should be outlined so there is no need to own the font to view it properly.


.PDF – Adobe Acrobat: PDF files are more accessible than illustrator files because Acrobat files can be viewed on most computers. Press-ready PDF is typically preferred by a printer and should include crop marks and a .125” bleed around all edges. Specs for that changes depending on the size and type of project.


The best types to send to a printer are EPS or PDF, but you can always ask the printer what they prefer.


Also note that AI and EPS can be manipulated by others so it is important to send your brand standards with the file. It gives them access to place the logo on a color/image background.


If your firm needs assistance in creating design files, email to schedule a meeting with our design team. For more tips, reference our Digital File Guide here.

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