The most rewarding part of a logo design project is finally delivering the finished product to a happy client. From the client's perspective, however, figuring out how and when to use their individual logo type can be a daunting task. We're here to break down each logo file type and help you correctly use your logos (and your brand guide) for the best possible results.
Logo file types and what they mean:
EPS files are editable and can be opened in design programs (I.e. illustrator).
These files are vectors and can be scaled to ANY size without loss of resolution (aka the logo won't look fuzzy even if you blow it up x1000)
Use these for large-format printing, and most print products (CMYK)
Not for use in web
It's important to keep these files incase you work with a designer in the future who will need them
AI stands for Adobe Illustrator
These files are native, editable files designed in illustrator by the designer
AI files are vectors and can be scaled to any size without loss of resolution
Think of illustrator files as the ORIGINAL file for your logos. This is where the designer creates your logo and all of the data used is in this file.
Oftentimes, clients never use these files
JPG files are for web use (RGB)
Uses: websites, email templates, web advertisements, banners, pop-ups, etc.
These files cannot be enlarged without a loss of resolution (or quality). Each time a jpg is re-saved, some data (and image quality) is lost.
Files can be used at 100% size or LESS
PNG stands for portable networks graphic, aka another web file type
These files are usually larger than jpg's (so they download at a slower rate)
What makes a PNG file unique is it's transparent background. PNG's have the option of an invisible background (so your logo can be placed over any color). However, not every PNG background is transparent.
Files can be used at 100% size or LESS (cannot be enlarged or quality will be lost)
Use for: web instances where the logo background should be transparent
Used mainly for print
For the most part, pdf's are vector based and can typically be re-sized without issue
Can be used for print projects, but it's a safer bet to use your eps file
Important Logo Terms
the icon/emblem that can be used as an additional design asset.
A design with only letters (initials) that can accompany a primary logo or be used on its own
Standard color profile for print use
Stands for: CYAN, MAGENTA, YELLOW, BLACK
For web use only
Stands for: RED, GREEN BLUE
Bright, vivid colors
Pantone Matching System
Pantone colors can be individually chosen using a Pantone swatch book.
Using Pantone colors is the best way to ensure consistent colors across multiple mediums and sessions
A black version of your logo used for B&W purposes only
An all white logo for use on dark backgrounds where the logo will be reversed.
A logo with 1 brand color and white, for use on dark backgrounds where the logo will be reversed.
This is a measure of space that should always remain around the logo. The x-height typically resembles the height of the vowel "x" in the typeface used for the logo's design.
Notes for Web Logos
1. 72 DPI
72 DPI is considered a "low res" (low resolution) file that will load quickly on screens.
Do not use 72 DPI logos for print
2. 300 DPI
300 DPI is a "high res" (high resolution) file that can be used for print projects
What you should never do with your logo files:
Permanently rasterize your logos (rasterizing removes the edibility of each individual layer of your logo and affects how the logo can be scaled)
Re-name your logos for convenience. Your designer most likely organized your logos in a clean and orderly fashion and now that you have the tools to understand each logo file, you'll know what each file should be used for.
Delete your native logo files (EPS & AI). These files are necessary for any future edits to your logo, larger print projects, and more.
It’s important to keep the structural integrity of the original logo without altering color, proportions, typefaces, etc. Do not change fonts, scale, or brand colors.
Maintaining the correct space around each logo is important in maintaining the logo appearance. Never place a logo closer than the x-height to any other item
Now that you're equipped to de-code all of your designer-provided logo files, you'll know exactly which logos to use and when. Stay tuned for our next few posts about the fundamentals of graphic design!