Graphic Design File Types and Programs


So you hire a design shop - what type of files will you get when the product is finished and how do you use them.


LOGO Files

This is an important question to understand if you are sourcing design services. Let's say you need a logo. If you go through DCFB or most design companies your logo will be done using Adobe Illustrator or a similar program. The resulting file is in a vector format. This file type is perfect for logos since it is completely scaleable. Meaning you can change it's size without worrying about it becoming jaggy or losing resolution. Final logos are usually delivered in a .eps format. This format can be imported into word processor programs or desktop publishing programs such as QuarkXpress.


Make sure you receive the fonts that are required to print the logo, or have your designer create outlines so that you do not need the source fonts at all.


You can still import your .eps files into MSWord however if they are created on a MAC you will need to have them saved with a PC preview. We usually provide a set of logo files in various formats that are compatible with MS Office application. Tiff and BMP files are a good choice for PPT on screen applications. If you import .eps files into MS Office products they will look jaggy on the screen, however will print OK on a postscript printer.


Brochure and Catalogs

QuarkXpress is a program that many designers use to layout and format larger pieces such as brochures, catalogs. Anything that requires images and copy is a good application. DCFB does most of it's work using Quark or InDesign. These files are designed to go to a printer and produce high-end results of either a traditional press or digital press. A typical catalog design job might look like this: One Quark document that references artwork that is liked to the document such as Photoshop eps files, tiff files, Illustrator .eps files such as company logo and Fonts.


Unless you have QuarkXpress or InDesign you will not be able to edit these files, so don't expect to open what you get in Word and be able to modify it yourself. The nice part about having your marketing materials in Quark or a similar program is that the results are very repeatable and predictable. When you are spending money to print you don't want any surprises. Avoid using programs like MS Word for large projects with lots of graphics and copy.


Most Common Customer Errors

Most people get the .eps files on their PC and immediately try to double click on them to open them. If you need to use them in Word, open the program create a document and import the graphics from the file menu. If you do not see a preview it is probably because the graphics were created on a different platform, ask your designer to re-save with a tiff preview.


The above is just a quick guideline and not all designers use the same formats and programs so to be sure ask you graphics person about the finished product and what you should expect.

Chicago Graphic Design