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Making Sense of File Formats (Part 2)

Last time on "Making Sense of File Formats (Part 1)" we covered raster image formats including JPEGs, PNGs, GIFs, and PSDs; this time we'll talk about the other type of images - vector image formats.

Making Sense of File Formats
As mentioned in our last "Making Sense of File Formats" blog post, image files come in primarily two categories: vector and rasterized. Vector images are constructed using proportional formulas rather than pixels to make them easy to resize without losing quality, while rasterized images are constructed from pixels built to create an image. Last time on "Making Sense of File Formats (Part 1)" we covered raster image formats including JPEGs, PNGs, GIFs, and PSDs, so this time we'll focus on the most commonly used vector image file formats:

1. Scalable Vector Graphic aka SVG
SVGs are vector image files based on XML used to display graphics on the internet and other environments. They are text-based meaning they are searchable and therefore accessible and readable by screen readers. SVGs tend to be smaller files than other vector-based image formats and therefore ideal for use on the web. Best for: websites, accessibility

2. Adobe Illustrator aka AI
Not to be confused with Artificial Intelligence, AI files are a vector file format used specifically for Adobe Illustrator, a popular vector-based drawing program. AI files support layers and transparency, but cannot be embedded online. Because AI files can only be generated from Adobe Illustrator, they are not always ideal for sharing. Best for: images the need to include editable layers

3. Encapsulated Postscript File aka EPS
A fairly universal vector file format, EPS files are print-ready and ideal for images or illustrations that may need to be resized. Best for: logos, printing

Digital files come in many formats, and we still have one more file type to cover! Stay tuned for the conclusion of this series on document types!

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