What is a JPEG file?

A JPEG file is a very common computer file type which may appear in a range of different settings and circumstances. JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, which is the group that originally developed the JPEG and set its standard. As you can imagine then based on its background, JPEGs are especially common for photographs and similar file types.

A JPEG is basically a type of data encoding format. It works through a process of data compression called lossy compression. After compressing the file the rest of the data is discarded for smaller storage size. The amount of compression can be adjusted upward or downward which creates a tradeoff between smaller storage size with poorer image quality or larger storage space taken up but with better image quality.

A JPEG is one of the most common computer extension types and it is also the most common type of format for a digital camera to save a file in. The JPEG standard even allows for a lossless mode in which no data is lost and the quality is at its highest; however, with that said there are many different products which do not support that mode at all. Thus the lossless mode may not always be an option.

For the purposes of printing t-shirts and other apparel a PDF or other vector format file is generally preferable. The reason for this is that the quality is typically better and the file is easier to manipulate and edit. For example, JPEGs look worse and get very blurry if they are enlarged or zoomed in on. Whereas vector files keep their crisp lines and high quality regardless of how much they are expanded or zoomed in on. JPEG are typically fine for price quoting purposes though and if that is the only format you have for your artwork we can typically work with it for printing as well, depending on the file and design.

Customers should always feel free to send us their JPEG image. It is possible that the file will not work, but we can definitely begin the preliminary steps with your JPEG. We will of course let you know if the quality is not good enough to work with.

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