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Ultimate Guide on Logo File Formats and Use Cases
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!
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Meaning Behind Essential Logo File Formats & Colors
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 Although it's becoming outdated, some print shops with older software will still request these files, so they're good to have on hand, but generally, .AI file is all you need.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.
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...