What the heck is an SVG file?

Brand Management

The SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) file format has been around for a while. However, it’s only been in the last few years that this ultra flexible image type has really started to shine. While JPGs and PNGs are still better for photos and complex images, the SVG has become the go-to file format for just about everything else on the Web.

Without getting technical, SVG is a vector file format, meaning it’s made of lines and curves that are mathematically dictated. This precise construction allows SVG files to maintain crisp edges at any size. A huge advantage that allows a single image – a logo for example – to be used at various sizes within a Website across different screen sizes. The same logo file will look just as great on a jumbotron as it does on your iPhone.

The code that defines an SVG can be manipulated via CSS or JavaScript. Basically, this allows the display of multiple instances of an image to be controlled from a single reference, making the formerly laborious task of updating multiple image files a breeze since the changes now only need to be made in one place. The SVG’s cozy relationship with JavaScript opens up the possibility for animation and other interactive sizzle.

In addition, SVG files are smaller, searchable, and accessible – and we’re only scratching the surface of this format’s capabilities. 

Is SVG the only file format that you’ll ever need? No, of course not. Should it be included in the options of file types that your brand provides agencies and vendors? Absolutely. It’s a potent option that may open up new possibilities for expressing your brand in new and innovative ways.