How to choose Image Files for your Asset Tags, Overlays and Laptop Skins- As digital technology continues to improve, it can be difficult at times to keep up with all the image file formats available. Whether you’re choosing a format for digital use, as in uploading photos to a website, or you’re having  custom asset tags printed with your company’s logo – it’s important to configure your image file to optimize the outcome of your project. In printing work, the image file format could make or break the finished product.

When working with a professional printing or graphic design group it’s best to ask them which file format would be best for your project before you send your artwork. There are many different programs and formats that professionals work with when designing, but usually the preferred format is vector art. This type of file will be easy to manipulate and will produce the best outcome for your image or logo, particularly if the image needs to be enlarged for a laptop skin, for example. Some vector art file formats include .EPS, .PDF, and .AI files.

If sending vector art is not possible, the next best alternative is to use a bitmap (pixel based) file. Saving the image with the highest quality DPI is essential. DPI or Dots Per Inch is a measure of image resolution. This is the maximum dots a printer can print per inch. The higher the DPI is, the higher the resolution of print will be. Many times blurry or pixelated images are a result of low DPI. When preparing an image to be printed professionally be sure to set the DPI of your file to at least 300, but again the higher the better. Keep in mind when increasing DPI this will also increase the file size when saving and sending artwork.

TIFF and JPEG are the most commonly used bitmap files. TIFF files will have no loss of quality when saving and can also include multiple layers and transparent backgrounds; therefore TIFF is the best option to use. A high quality JPEG can also work in this case. The downside is that JPEG format uses “lossy” compression. This means that it discards some image data when saving which can lead to images that appear to be low resolution. Always choose to save a JPEG files at the highest quality available.

In summary, using the best file format for your artwork will ensure the highest quality professional printing.