Digital File Formats

You can prevent many difficulties by knowing which formats work with which programs.
There are dozens of file-format types, and many programs cannot open files created in certain formats. The following list by no means includes all file formats, but it does cover those you probably will encounter.

Acceptable "Camera-Ready" Formats
*.Ai (Adobe Illustrator) this is our preferred program and format. Art is vector based which ensures that it can be scaled and color separated.
*.Eps (Encapsulated PostScript language file) this is universal format that can contain both vector and bitmap graphic images. EPS files can be opened in Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw and Photoshop (the image is rasterized as opened therefore it may not be camera ready).

Require Art Time before “Camera-Ready”
*.TIF (Tagged image File Format) this pixel based raster file also is a universal format for scans and images saved in Photoshop. Since it is pixel-based you can lighten, sharpen, and do other image manipulations but you can’t click on specific colors, color separate and make other changes as you can with vector-based format.
*.PSD (Adobe Photoshop file) Most programs can open or import this Photoshop native format.
*.JPG or .JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group format) this format is known as a loosy format, because information and file quality can be lost. Do not use this format unless absolutely necessary. JPG files generally are used for web graphics or to send files over the internet.
*.GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) This format is commonly used for web graphics. Information and file quality will be lost.
*.BMP (Bitmap format, standard windows image format for pixel-based images) Information and file quality can be lost.
*.WMF (Windows Metafile Format) Like EPS, this vector-based format allows you to scale an image larger in CorelDraw without losing quality.

Font are another issue to consider when working with files from outside sources. Remember to specify that the fonts have to be converted to outlines, curves or paths. Different programs use different terminology to achieve that.