Your logo is one of the most important elements of your marketing. You’ll use it in print, online and on your business documents. Considering everything you need your logo for, a jpeg simply won’t cut it. You know your business better than anyone else, so when you consider what you’ll be using your logo for, you’ll understand what file formats to ask your designer for.
Before we dive into defining different file formats, there is just one other note that’s important to mention. Once you and your designer have decided what logo you are happy with, you should make sure your designer takes the time to modify your chosen logo with consideration of different applications. If your logo is long and wide, a more vertical layout would be useful to have as well. In addition, something that draws on the simplest elements of your logo should be used to create a circular or square version – think about your profile pictures on your social media. Also, make sure you have all of your approved versions in colour and in a greyscale version. And, remember, these requests are standard for any new or refreshed logo design.
LO vs. HI RESOLUTION FILES
A Hi Res file is used for magazine and other high quality prints. These files are at least 300dpi at 5×7″.
A Lo Res file is used for online and screen application, not for print. These files are 75-150dpi.
If you want to use your logo for mostly print, you need a CMYK colour profile (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Knockout/Black) which supports standard 4-colour printing. If you want file for online use, an RGB (Red, Green, Blue) colour profile is what you’re looking for.
The following file formats are raster files (matrix data structures | pixels):
.JPG | JOINT PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPERTS GROUP
These files loose quality if they are scaled beyond their saved pixel width. This kind of file does not support transparency. When layering this file over other graphics, it can be difficult to isolate the logo portion of the file. These files can be used online or photographic imagery with success.
.PNG | PORTABLE NETWORK GRAPHICS
These files are not made with print in mind. They are becoming the standard for images on the internet. These files support transparency and therefore provide crisp renderings, but cannot be scaled beyond their saved pixel width. They are essential if you plan to build a website with your logo on it.
.GIF | GRAPHCS INTERCHANGE FORMAT
These files are specifically used online. This format reduces the number of colours on output. This format is similar to .png but of much lower quality. A .gif can be used for animation as well.
.PSD | ADOBE PHOTOSHOP
This is another format that cannot be scaled beyond its pixel width. This file will allow saving with supports including layers, masks, filters and text options. An unflattened photoshop file is often a very large file. This kind of file is ideal to use during the editing process, but not as useful once final decisions have been made.
The following file formats are vector formats (paths and strokes, easily scaled):
.EPS | ENCAPSULATED POSTSCRIPT FILE
These files can be scaled to any size without any loss of quality. Ideal for print. This format can be used for fonts and illustrations and supports transparency.
.PDF | PORTABLE DOCUMENT FILE
When you are sharing files or sending an image or document, this file format is the best choice. These files are universally accessible (Adobe Reader is available online for free) and they secure formatting. The document will look exactly the same on the ending computer as it does on the beginning. It is useful to think of this kind of file as a digital hard copy.
.AI | ENCAPSULATED POSTSCRIPT (ILLUSTRATOR) FILE
This file represents the same elements as a .PDF or .EPS file. Most designers will create your original logo and save it as an .AI file. This format is used for illustrations and graphic design. It supports layers which are important throughout the editing process.
So…what do you ask for?
Once you’ve approved your final logo design, you should make sure you get both colour and greyscale versions of your logo in regular and modified format in (at minimum) a .PNG, .PDF and .EPS format.
Need a new logo? Does your logo need freshening up? Logo design starts at $225. Contact Bright Ideas to get started.