File formats for printing

We don’t expect all of our customers to be experts in file formats and printing. While that is indeed a part of the process that we take the lead on, it is important that our customers help us out on certain elements, to ensure we produce the highest quality printing on all packaging, doing logos and branding justice.

What are raster and vector files?

Don’t get put off by the technical sounding names. These are two of the most important graphic types for branded packaging and it’s helpful to know a bit about them before sending your logos and imagery to us.

Vector graphics

Vector graphics are made with geometric primitives and are defined by lines and polygons, based on mathematical formulas. Don’t run away just yet, what you need to understand about vector images is that they’re quick and easy for us to work with, as we can resize without losing any quality. Generally, they are super versatile and easier to use in a number of different configurations. You’ll often find that professional graphic designers always save logos and icons as vectors – a highly essential format.

The file formats that primarily represent vector graphics are AI, EPS, PDF or SVG graphics.

Raster images

Raster graphics work slightly differently to vector. Built off of individual pixel grids (points of colour) that come together to compose an image – meaning you’ll mainly find this image type from pictures taken on cameras, phones or via screenshots.

The file formats that primarily represent raster graphics are JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, BMP graphic formats. 

The key thing to remember with this image type is that they are displayed at one specific resolution, and the quality of the raster image largely depends on that specific images resolution, defined by ‘dpi’ (dots per inch). What does this mean for your packaging? Well, raster images cannot be resized without dramatically losing quality, so we often recommend and prefer you supply us with your branding & logos in Vector files before we go to print for you!

The importance of resolution

Vector files can be used for printing no matter the resolution as they are easily resized without hurting the graphics resolution – so keep that in mind when you send over any imagery.

For printing purposes, the perfect solution would be to supply your graphics in any of the vector formats mentioned above (AI, EPS, PDF or SVG). As always though - if you are stuck, we are here to help so we are happy to chat through this all with you!

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