When it comes to file extensions, things can get a bit confusing rather quickly. .png? .jpg? .gif? It’s like another language, but in abbreviations totaling 3 letters and a dot.

Each file extension has a specific use based on size, (load time), quality, (printing, dots per inch) and multi-platform readability, (Mac VS P.C.). When you’re getting advertising out into the world for your brand, it’s important to know which files to upload when it comes to web VS print.

Common File Types

1) .jpg (Joint Photographic [experts] exchange)

– Versatile, for both web and print
– Photos sized 700K+ (high resolution) are great for print
– Photos sized 700K- (low resolution) are great for web

– No transparent background
– Files sized 700K and smaller WILL pixelate when printed
which diminishes the quality of the printed products
Files sized 700K+ take up a lot of space when uploaded for say, a website.

2) .pdf (portable document format) 

– Highest quality resolution (700K+)
– Has the most, editable information
– Advertiser or Graphic Designer can edit your file
– Fonts are embedded
(you don’t have to install the font to see it, unless you need to edit it)
– Files can usually be E-mailed

– Files are BIG
– Files are not web friendly
unless you’re linking to download say, a resume or a restaurant menu.

2) .png (portable network graphic)

– GREAT for things like, logos for web
– Transparent background

Files pixelate when printed
– Not good for photography
– Not high resolution (700K+)

Thanks dno1967b from Flickr!

Thanks dno1967b from Flickr!

So, which files should I use,  for what?

Let’s take a new logo you’ve just had designed for your company. When you receive your files from M.C. Creative, you’ll see 3 folders within the .zip file you downloaded from your e-mail.

The folder titled, Large, contains logos exported for print- files are lage and have a lot of data so your logo won’t pixelate (get all square-y) when it’s printed. *If you need to send your logo to a printer or advertiser, send the .pdf file. 

The folder titled, Medium, contains logos exported for things like, social media websites, places like, Flickr or Google+ and Facebook.

The folder titled, Small, contains logos exported for your website or blog headers.

In sum, a quick cheat sheet for file extensions:
Print = .pdf
Photos = BIG .jpg
Web – .png
Facebook, Google+ and Flickr = .jpg (less than 10 MB)

Thanks for reading!

Have any questions, interested in having a logo designed for your biz? 
Contact Mollie, Owner and head designer of M.C. Creative or e-mail at, heythereMC (at) gmail.com!

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