Understanding Logo File Formats
Awesome… you took the first step. You realized how important a brand is to your business and you invested in a graphic designer to create a logo for you. You excitedly experienced the design process, getting more and more anxious as you approached the final phase. You reach the end and now have a brand you absolutely love. What’s next? Before saying goodbye to your designer, make sure you have the necessary file formats on hand. This not only helps you, but also any other designers you choose to work with down the road. Believe me, you will receive the “bestest client award” if and when a designer asks for your files and you say, “No problem, I’ll send them right over.” Usually, though, that is not the case. More times than not we designers get a low-resolution JPG that has the horrible white border around it, the file isn’t editable, and unfortunately, it’s pretty much impossible to work with.
So, how can you make sure you aren’t THAT client? Get your hands on the following file formats:
RASTER: DOT MATRIX DATA STRUCTURE (PIXELS)
.JPG: Joint Photographic Experts Group
Typically used for high quality photography and low res online use. Will loose quality if scaled over its pixel width. Does not support transparency. Not recommended for print use.
.PNG: Portable Network Graphics
Designed for transferring images on the internet and not made for print. Supports transparency. Used best for text, graphics and online use to create a crisper look. Cannot be scaled over its pixel width.
.GIF: Graphic Interchange Format
Used specifically for online use, colors, reducing number of colors to 256 and can be used for animation. Also allows for reduced file size and supports transparency. Similar to .png but lower quality.
.PSD: Adobe Photoshop (Program)
Used for editing photos, graphic and web design. Stores an image with support for most imaging options including layers with masks, transparency, text, actions, filters, etc. Cannot be scaled over its pixel width and is purely for editing.
VECTOR: PATHS AND STROKES, EASIY RE-SIZED
.EPS: Encapsulated Postscript File
Used for logos and illustrations as a vector. Can be scaled to any size without losing any quality. Supports transparency and is perfect for large format printing.
.PDF: Portable Document Format
Used as a way to share documents without losing the design or quality. A digital version of a hardcopy, generally used for emailing and sharing. Even elements and illustrations can be pulled form certain PDF files.
.AI: Adobe Illustrator (Program)
Developed for representing a singe page vector-based drawing in either the EPS or PDF formats. It’s a layered file used for illustrations and graphic design. This is the file designers create your original logo in.