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Ultimate Guide on Logo File Formats and Use Cases

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Written by

Kristian F.

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Published on

Jul 27, 2022

If you ever had the chance of working with logo designers, you probably noticed that each one has a different style, process, and deliverables. Because of this, it's easy to get confused as to what the designer actually needs to provide at the end of the project.


But fear not! In this article, I'm going to outline all of the necessary details about logo deliverables and their file formats, so that you can conclude a logo design project with complete confidence!


Jump to a Section:


- Meaning Behind Essential Logo File Formats & Colors

- Package Folder Guidelines

- Logo Types

- Print and Digital

- Logo Colors

- Final Formats

- Logo Guide



Meaning Behind Essential Logo File Formats & Colors


logo file formats infographics with adobe illustrator eps svg editable pdf jpeg png

Each file type has a specific feature/characteristic that separates it from the rest. Because of that, it's extremely important to understand what these characteristics are to make sure we're using the right file format in the right situation.


So, let's go over all of the essential file formats to understand the purpose and importance of each one.


.AI - Adobe Illustrator


.AI is a proprietary vector-based file format by Adobe Systems. It is the industry-standard source file for logo designs.


From this file, the designer will be rendering/exporting all other file formats needed (.JPG, .PNG, .SVG, etc.).



.EPS - Encapsulated Post Script


Like a PDF, an EPS file can be edited with any vector graphics program. Although it's becoming outdated, some print shops with older software will still request these files, so they're good to have on hand, but generally, .AI file is all you need.



.JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group


A popular image format that is commonly used for photographs and web graphics. Its lossy compression allows for smaller file sizes than .PNG, but does not support transparent backgrounds.



.PDF - Portable Document Format


Another editable vector-based file format. Its universal file format makes it extremely versatile. It's typically used for printing and easily sharing documents online.



.SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics


SVGs are great for websites or apps to keep logos and icons sharp. The greatest thing about .SVG files is that they are infinitely scalable without any pixelation.



.PNG - Portable Graphics Network


Another image format that is great for web graphics and digital displays. Supporting transparent backgrounds is a key advantage over JPEG, but file sizes and typically larger.



RGB - Digital (Red, Green, Blue)


The color space for digital displays. These files are used for digital purposes such as web graphics or photographs.


Printing RGB files can result in blurry images with inaccurate colors. Use CMYK or Pantone files for printing purposes.



CMYK - Print (Cyam, Magenta, Yellow, Black)


CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These colors are the four basic colors used for printing.


CMYK files are for any project that will be physically printed such as business cards or brochures. They are not for screen use.



PANTONE/SPOT - Offset Print


Pantone is a standardized system for color. Unlike CMYK, a Pantone or spot color is a single color created from a precise mixture of inks.


Their color accuracy is superior to CMYK, but can become costly for more than three colors.



So, now that you know what each file format means and does, you understand why it's so important to have each and every format present in the final deliverables package.


Generally speaking, most clients won't require all of the mentioned file formats (like PDF and EPS), but providing all of them will definitely give a great impression and potentially turn them into long-term clients.



Package Folder Guidelines


Below you can find the most optimal file structure for your logo design deliverables. All of our clients receive the same deliverables package for logo designs and most of them can easily understand and follow the structure and locations of all files within the package.


The package includes all of the different variations, use cases (Print and Digital), essential color variations, and finally, the file formats.


logo package folder organization with vertical logo horizonal logo brandmark wordmark digital print full color inverse black white adobe illustrator eps svg editable pdf jpeg png

Logo Types


Depending on the medium, your client might need different variations of the logo. For example, your client might want a Wordmark-style logo (Without the Icon/Brandmark) for their Website Footer, but they might also want a Brandmark-style logo (Without the Text/Wordmark) for their company avatars on Social Media...


Depending on the logo complexity, style of design, and client needs, you can include as many variations as needed.


But, if the client doesn't specifically request any variations other than the default logo, you can still include the standard 4 (Vertical Logo, Horizontal Logo, Brandmark, and Wordmark).


vertical logo horizontal logo logomark wordmark infographic jpeg image svg

Print and Digital


The two most important files in the Logo package are the "Digital" and "Print" packages. Both files have a very similar layout and contain similar file formats, but the main difference is in the color types.


The digital folder contains both vector and image files (In RGB) while the print folder only contains the vector files that are separated into CMYK and Pantone folders.


digital print adobe illustrator eps svg pdf jpeg png image infographic

Logo Colors


Similar to Logo types, having logo color variations is definitely a must when putting together a logo deliverables package.


For example, if you plan on placing the logo on a white background, you might want to use a simple, solid black logo for the best contrast.


Or, you might want to place your logo on a black background but keep the colors of the Logomark, and in that case, you might decide to use the Inverse logo. Whatever the case may be, having logo color variations will definitely help you pick the right option in the given situation.


How many variations should be included?


- Full-color

- Inverse

- Black

- White


full color logo inverse logo black logo white logo image infographic

Final Formats


Once you completed your logo design, you should export your design into the six essential formats that every logo owner must have:


- AI

- PDF

- EPS

- SVG

- JPEG

- PNG


vector formats image formats adobe illustrator eps dvg pdf jpeg png image infographic


Logo Guide


Most clients you work with won't know the meaning or importance behind all file formats you provide in the logo package, so sharing this article with them or including a logo guide in the logo package can help them understand and use the files you provide correctly. Also, it will help you avoid confusion and additional questions down the line.


Download Branding Expert's Logo Guide

If you ever had the chance of working with logo designers, you probably noticed that each one has a different style, process, and deliverables. Because of this, it's easy to get confused as to what the designer actually needs to provide at the end of the project.


But fear not! In this article, I'm going to outline all of the necessary details about logo deliverables and their file formats, so that you can conclude a logo design project with complete confidence!


Jump to a Section:


- Meaning Behind Essential Logo File Formats & Colors

- Package Folder Guidelines

- Logo Types

- Print and Digital

- Logo Colors

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