Stupid Question

I am so sorry to ask this. I feel like such an idiot, but I am self-taught. What is the difference between an SVG and an EPS file? Both are vectors files, correct? When would I use one over the other, or vice versa? I have to send a client a T-shirt design that I made in Photoshop and vectorized in Illustrator, and I’m trying to figure out what format he needs the final design to be in.

You are correct, they are both vector formats, but SVG (scalable vector graphics) are usually better used for online applications and EPS files (encapsulated postscript) are better for print. As the name suggests, they contain all the postscript information for printing. However, EPS is becoming outdated. Better to use PDF or even AI. EPS is still OK to send to print, though – as long as it is all set up correctly, of course.

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SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is a simple vector file format largely used for the web. EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) is an older, mostly obsolete PostScript vector format that can also contain raster data. This made it possible to send both PostScript and raster data through early PostScript RIPs — for example, an Illustrator file with an embedded TIFF.

EPS may contain vector, or raster, or both.
SVG supports linked raster images.

EPS is effectively obsolete. Some graphics vendors still use it as a generic exchange format, but in your creative work, you should only use it if some part of a legacy workflow demands it.
SVG is intended for work that will appear on-screen, and is useful for applications that utilize “responsive” layouts.

Ugh…“vectorized in Illustrator” is most often a bad move. A project you’ll deploy as vector graphics should be born in vectors. Illustrator’s auto-tracing feature is not a magical make-anything-scalable button. A t-shirt design that will be screen printed (I’m presuming here), is typically built as vectors, but screens can be made from a carefully layered Photoshop image too, although the printer would likely rather not. Neither EPS nor SVG is a good choice of format for this. If the printer won’t take the native Illustrator .ai, PDF is the next best choice.

Generally speaking on the subject of file format and graphical construct, you should choose and contact the printer early on in the process and design to the their specifications.

It really depends on how the shirt is being printed whether or not you even needed to “convert to vector”
Short run and on-demand t-shirt printing is now often done direct-to-garment. There is no silkscreening involved. The T-shirt essentially is just a piece of paper that the “photo” is printed on. Of course you have to pay attention to the shirt color and create a white underspot if needed, same for silkscreening.
There are also 4-color silkscreen presses, but then you have to worry about the courseness of the line screen. Check samples.

As everyone said, .eps is obsolete. It isn’t a worry if you don’t have transparency features. The .eps format predates transparency and can really do some horrible things to your file seps if you make it do something involving it. My absolute favorite is getting an .eps file with an image sliced into 100s of tiny embedded image snippets due to a transparency interaction (like a drop shadow.) I really hate making that phone call…

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