Er, what’s the difference? A brief overview on file formats

*IMPORTANT NOTE:* if it doesn’t contain the AI or EPS file, you were not provided the original vector logo, which you should have received if you truly own your logo. Trust us, you will want these two file types when it comes to future projects.

When you purchase a logo package here at Rock Paper Simple you own your logo. It’s that simple. We provide you with every industry standard file type, as well as an explanation so you can better understand what all these files should be used for.

Anyway, the files you receive may contain file extensions like JPG, PDF, PNG, AI and EPS…So what’s the difference? Here’s what you need to know when it comes to file formats:

 

.JPG

This is the most common web file type you’ll see and a file format most everyone is familiar with. JPG, also spelled JPEG, can be opened on almost all computers. This file type does experience “lossy” compression, meaning the quality of the image decreases as the file size decreases.

Please note that a JPG is NOT a vector file. Rather, it is locked in at a certain size and can only be scaled down in size. It is also non-transparent, meaning a white background surrounds the image.

.PNG

PNGs are amazing for interactive documents such as web pages, but are not suitable for print. The reason PNGs are used in web projects is because your image is saved with more colors on a TRANSPARENT background. This makes for a much sharper, web-quality image.

While PNGs are “lossless,” meaning you can edit them and not lose quality, they are still low resolution. A PNG file is similar to a JPG with the exception that it does allow for transparency. Similar to a JPG, a high-resolution PNG is necessary for printing and a low-resolution version is ideal for use on screens and other digital displays.

.GIF

GIFs are another option when it comes to having a transparent background, but involve less colors than a PNG. It is almost always a better option to use a PNG.

An animated GIF file is a graphic image that moves on a Web page. Within a single file, a set of images is presented in a specific order to make up the GIF, which stands for graphics interchange format. An animated GIF can loop endlessly or it can stop animation after one or two sequences. GIFs are most frequently used as Web banner ads.

.PDF

Invented by Adobe, PDFs capture and review rich information from any application, on any computer, with anyone, anywhere. PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It can embed and encapsulate graphics, fonts, colors and other information required to view a file. It is the most requested file type by most professional printers today.

When a vector logo is saved in a PDF format you can view it without any design editing software (as long as you have downloaded the free Acrobat Reader software.) This is by far the best universal tool for sharing graphics.

.EPS

EPS is a vector file format that is designed to produce high-resolution graphics for print. It is more of a universal file type (like the PDF) that can be used to open vector-based artwork in any design editor, not just the more common Adobe products. In the design world, an EPS file type is an industry-standard.

Out of all the file types, you most likely won’t be able to open it. Don’t worry if you can’t. It is advised that you hold on to it should another designer or an industry partner request a vector format logo.

If you need a large banner or a business card, a logo in EPS will always scale to fit your needs.

.AI

This is by far the image format most preferred by designers and the most reliable type of file format. Adobe Illustrator is the industry-standard for creating artwork from scratch, therefore is the program in which your logo was created. Illustrator produces vector artwork; this is the easiest type of file to manipulate. They are constructed using proportional formulas rather than pixels.

 

Your logo and brand graphics were created as a vector, and you should always keep the 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!

To learn more about Rock Paper Simple’s branding services contact us here or give us a call today at 321-626-2172!

What is W3C validation?

What is W3C validation and why is it important?

What is W3C validation?

We in the “web world” tend to use scary words and acronyms when talking about what we do and it is very possible you have heard of “W3C” or “W3C standards” or maybe even “W3C validation” and wondered what in the world a this strange jumble of letters and numbers has to do with your website! I’ll translate this from “Tech” into English for you.

 

First, let’s define who and what the W3C is. (w3c definition)

W3C stands for the World Wide Web Consortium who are the recognized standards organization for the world wide web. This organization was founded by Tim Berners-Lee and is run by a full-time staff to continue to develop and maintain web standards. These standards are then used to help guide web developers and browsers to develop code that lives up to certain standards. In a nutshell, they write the rule-book that helps to define if our code is well-written or poorly written. This is how we know if our markup (code) is awesome or not-so-awesome.

 

Ok, so what is W3C Validation? (w3c validation definition)

We have established that there is a “rule-book” to define how we write our HTML, CSS, Javascript, etc and make sure we do a good job, right? Well the programming languages we use all have their own grammar, vocabulary and syntax just like a spoken language and that means that it can be written wrong if it does not follow the rules. When we say we write “W3C valid code” or that “our websites pass W3C validation”, we are saying that the code we write and websites we build will pass W3C validation tests without errors because our syntax and “grammar” is correct. It means we wrote awesome code that was done right.

It’s all a very complicated way of saying that W3C Validation is a test that makes sure we follow the rules!

A tool is provided by the W3C to test websites and can be found this link: http://validator.w3.org. We use this tool on all of our websites to give us insight as we work on the websites and especially once we have launched them.

 

Why is it important that your site is W3C Valid?

A great question! I’m glad you asked. It’s important that your site is W3C valid to ensure the site works properly on your browser as well as the other major browsers such as Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome, etc. A website that contains many errors can suffer from many ill-effects.

The following are just some of those ill-effects:

  • Not displaying properly or consistently
  • Not compatible with all major browsers
  • Not displaying properly on devices of varying sizes like mobile devices
  • Ranks badly in search engines (because they can’t read the code)
  • Loads elements slowly

Additionally, websites that are coded to standards last longer and are “future-proofed” for the most part against browser updates and the like. If your code is poorly done, the chances of your website breaking as browsers and other software updates is greater than if the code validated. We believe in value for our clients and what good is a website that breaks a few months later!? When working with websites we have not built, one of the first things we do is check the W3c Validator tool to see what we are in for!

Here is an article on the W3C website “Why Validate”. Click here to take a look.

 

Wrapping it up.

Keeping in mind that a website can be coded with valid W3C markup, but still not be done well or properly in other ways, however this is generally a good test to see how well the site was coded. For example, our own website doesn’t 100% validate due to some of the features we have decided we must have for marketing purposes, but it avoids the major errors that could be damaging our user experience or search engine exposure. The real red flag is raised when there are lots and lots of errors.

Every website should meet W3C validation standards if at all possible. It is not only the “right” way to do it, but it has many lasting benefits, such extending the sites life expectancy, ensuring compatibility across browsers, increasing load-speed in many cases and much more. Hopefully this helps you understand why we think it is so important and why we test all of our websites for W3C validation before deeming a project complete.

 

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