I do most of my work for the web and often use svg files, when I need vector graphics. I designed a logo as part of a project for a client, and the client now asks for an eps file with transparent background. I’m using Inkscape (on Linux), which cannot export eps with transparent background or gradients (without rasterizing it).
Would it be unprofessional to provide the svg files instead? I assume Illustrator/Photoshop can open svg files, and isn’t eps a little dated anyways?
I know svg is great for the web, but I’m not sure what the client would miss out on in regard of print.
EPS is an old format with support for full transparency (i.e the background can be tranparent), and also supports the use of clipping paths for transparency around a raster image, but it doesn’t support semi-transparent fills, or gradients with semi-transparency.
Doesn’t really matter what software you use. It’s not actually possible in a pure EPS format, and is a limitation of the format itself.
Adobe Illustrator EPS files are a bit different, since these also contain the editable Illustrator document as well as the EPS. Inkscape can’t output an Illustrator EPS. So this route is not viable for you.
One possible workaround is to export the artwork as a PDF 1.5 from Inkscape. When opened in Illustrator, vector objects within the Inkscape PDF which contain semi-transparent gradients will be maintained. I just tested this and it appears to work quite well, although it throws a warning on opening complaining that an “unknown shading type was encountered”, but clicking OK should open the document just fine, and the fill should be semi-transparent. In Illustrator, when I examine the fill, it appears as “non native art”, possibly a raster image although I can’t be sure, and is contained within a clipping path.
Here’s a screenshot from Adobe Illustrator showing the Test PDF I created in Inkscape, displaying a semi-transparent gradient fill.