File Types

I’m hoping to clear up some of the mystery surrounding graphic file types. I’m often asked about the difference, so here you go:


Some that you’ve probably come across:

  • JPEG – the image type you probably come across most often. It stands for “Joint Photographic Experts Group”. If you use them for print, make sure their resolution is high. There is no difference between a jpg and a jpeg.
  • PNG – great for web or presentations. This is an image which has no background which means it’s wonderful for logos etc. if you need to superimpose them on an image. Not great for print. Stands for “Portable Network Graphic”
  • GIF – Means “Graphics Interchange Format”. These are animated images and are used a lot on social media. These are good for the web since they are generally a smaller file size.
  • TIFF – Don’t use on the web since they tend to slow a site right down. Stands for “Tagged Image File”. Best used for print.
  • PDF – viewable but not editable (unless you have Acrobat Pro). A great way to share documents. Stands for “portable document format”


Please let me know if there are any others that you want to know about, and I hope this clears up some of the mysteries surrounding file types.