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DDAP Position Statement

TIFF/IT as a File Format for Delivery of Digital Advertising

October, 2001


TIFF/IT (Tag Image File Format for Image Technology) first became an accredited standard in 1993 as ANSI IT8.8 - 1993.

Since its initial ANSI (American National Standards Institute) accreditation, a major revision took place. The ISO (International Organization for Standards) accreditation introduced TIFF/IT-P1 (Profile 1). TIFF/IT-P1 is a direct subset of the full TIFF/IT standard.

This was brought about by the mutual realization by both the standards and the software development communities that an implementation of the full TIFF/IT standard by any one vendor was both unlikely, because of its complexity, and unnecessary, because P1 would cover most applications for digital ad delivery.

Now almost all TIFF/IT files in digital advertising are distributed as P1 file sets.

For additional background information on TIFF/IT, please refer to the DDAP Association White Paper, "Accredited File Formats for Digital Ad Delivery".

DDAP Recommended TIFF/IT File Format

The DDAP recommends the following file format for the delivery of digital advertising material:

  • ISO 12639:1998 TIFF/IT-P1

By nature of its all-raster encoding, this file format provides a very dependable way to deliver digital advertising material.

Format Variations

While the TIFF/IT-P1 specification covers seven different file types, the vast majority of files have been exchanged using the FP (Final Page), CT (Continuous Tone), LW (Linework) and HC (High Resolution Contone) types. The DDAP Association views all of these file types as compliant files.

Also, because of limitations of some implementations of TIFF/IT-P1, the TIFF/ITP1 file set that is most likely to work in all sites is a file set of FP, CT and LW.

As always, the Association recommends testing between originator and receiver
before live work is performed.


The TIFF/IT file format is currently under review by the standards organizations, and, as new variants become accredited, DDAP will issue future Position Statements.

© Copyright 2003, Digital Distribution of Advertising for Publications. All rights reserved.
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