File types / suffixes & general printing terms...


.PDF_ ( Portable Document Format )
the most universal format that has been adopted by the majority of the printing industry because of the flexibility and consistency of creating an electronic document that can be viewed, printed or easily transmitted across platforms.

.PS_ ( PostScript )
a computer language that printers use to define page images. There are different "standards" ( i.e.- levels 1,2,3 ) of which have been developed to further expedite the printing of images, colors and other graphic elements.

.BMP _ ( BitMaP )
format that defines a display space of an image and the color for each pixel or "bit" in that given display space. A bitmap uses a fixed or raster graphics (pixel-based) method of specifying an image, where the image cannot be immediately rescaled by a user without losing definition (resolution).

.EPS _ ( Encapsulated PostScript )
a vector format designed for printing to PostScript printers and imagesetters. It is considered the best choice of graphics format for high resolution printing of illustrations. EPS files are created and edited in illustration programs such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW.

.GIF _ ( Graphic Interchange Format )
a file format for storing graphical images up to 256 colors. It uses a lossless compression method which makes for higher quality output. GIF files are the most popular on the web for being used in logos, color images and animations.

.JPG _ ( Joint Photographic Expert Group )
a file format best used for photo images which must be very small files, for example, for web sites or for email. JPG uses lossy compression (lossy meaning "with losses to quality"). Lossy means that some image quality is lost when the JPG data is compressed and saved, and this quality can never be recovered.

.PNG _ ( Portable Network Graphic )
a more powerful alternative to the GIF file format. PNGs are not restricted to the 256 color limitation of GIF files and have better compression. A PNG file can be saved with a transparent background which allows you to place your image on top of another image without an outlining white box.

.TIF _ ( Tagged Image File Format )
an industry standard designed for handling raster or bitmapped images. TIFF files can be saved in a variety of color formats and in various forms of compression. TIFFs use lossless compression to maintain image integrity and clarity and are often used for professional photography.

_CMYK ( colorspace )
stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black.
The standard color model used for "pigment-based" printing. Often referred to as (4)-color printing or process printing, these four primary colors of pigment add to one another to create millions of colors in the visible spectrum. .

_RGB ( colorspace )
stands for Red, Green, Blue.
The standard color model used for "light-based" systems and devices. Red, green, and blue are the primary colors of light used to display images on devices such as televisions, computer monitors, digital cameras, cell phones, etc. .

_SPOT ( colorspace )
An independent ink that is printed with its own custom pigment mix - mostly utilized in printing involving 1-3 colors. PantoneĀ® is the dominant spot color system used among the printing industry in the United States and Europe.

short for "picture element," referring to the smallest single component in an image. Depending on the context, they can be represented as printed (on a piece of paper) or as an electronic carrier of a digital signal (as in a display device). A pixel is a "dot" that contains color information. The more pixels available in an image or device, the better the resolution and image / display quality.

the amount of detail an image contains. The higher the resolution/dpi, the more color information exists resulting in a higher quality image. In relation, DPI (or "dots per inch") is a printing term that correlates to the amount of pixels within a square inch. Printers and images with higher DPI produce a clearer and more detailed output.