File Format Guide

From the Sign Masters at April Graphics

File formats: There are many file types that can be generated by computer software. Some are used for word processing, accounting, presentations, videos, printing, computer aided design, web presentation, animation and others.

Two file types that are commonly used for signs and graphics production are Bitmap and Vector formats.

BITMAP files include:

.bmp (Windows Bitmap);
.tiff (Tagged Image File Format);
and others.

These bitmap files are best used for photo images, or high detail images with multiple colors, blends and gradients. Bitmap files can be resized to a certain degree but are limited to a maximum useful size, by the original resolution of the initial file.

VECTOR files include:

.ai (Adobe Illustrator);
.cdr (Corel Draw);
and others.

Vector type files are very useful for sign and graphics production, because a vector file is a numerical representation of an image. This means the image can be reduced or enlarged endlessly in the exact proportions as the original file, or can be distorted to different proportions without losing detail.

Very often both bitmap and vector file types will be used together to produce a sign or graphic image.

File types that can include both Bitmap and Vector information are:

.eps (Encapsulated Postscript); and
.pdf (Portable Document Format).

Other file types may be helpful in creating your sign and graphics images. If you are unsure whether your electronic file can be used with your project, just contact April Graphics, we are happy to help.