A well designed, eye-catching logo can help set your brand apart from your competitors. That’s why it is essential that your logo is flexible enough to look good no matter where it sits, and not just online. Whether it’s the logo on your website, a billboard, business cards, or the signature in your email, you want the end result to look crisp, clean, and of the highest quality. We’ve all come across a logo that didn’t look great, whether it was too small, too blurry, or just didn’t look professional.
In order to ensure that your logo stands out (in the good way) across all platforms, you should customize different variations of the logo using unique file types. However, not only will you have to create individual files for your logo, but you should also create specific guidelines of when to use each variation. This will help ensure consistency so that your marketing strategies and campaigns are harmonious across channels.
You should also consider using a single system that allows everyone in your organization to access each file, such as a digital asset management system (DAM). Using a DAM can help streamline your digital marketing efforts in a simple and secure hub.
To help you with your logo formatting, here is a breakdown of different logo files and when it is appropriate to use each of them.
Vector Files are one of the most common formats logos are saved as because they can be easily expanded in size without suffering any loss of quality. When the logo is is going to be used for printing purposes or for many different mediums (brochures, t-shirts, pens, etc), then vector files should be used.
With the right software, vector files can be converted into many other file types, making them extremely versatile. The file extensions for vector files are .ai, .eps, or .pdf.
.Ai files are made in a proprietary file format developed by Adobe Systems and Adobe Illustrator is the preferred application when it comes to editing these vector files. It’s important to have editable file types on hand for your logo, as you may need to make slight variations depending on where the logo will be distributed. For example, due to the size, your logo on a pen may be simplified compared to the version of your logo that is printed on a t-shirt.
Ai. files are widely used because they can retain their details even at maximum zoom level, making them a very high-quality option.
.Eps is an older filetype that isn’t as commonly used. Files saved as .eps are typically logo files that were created before .ai became popular. These can be saved with Adobe Illustrator, as well as converted to .ai.
(Portable Document Format)
PDFs are typically used for the final produced file of documents that contain a mix of text and images, and are ideal for use on a screen or sending to the printer, while retaining the ability to edit or easily convert back to the .ai filetype.
Raster files should be reserved for use on online mediums only. Raster files are made up of pixels, so the image will become blocky or blurry when it is increased in size. However, raster files can create rich, detailed images when applied to your online presence. The available raster file types that should be applied to logos are .jpeg and .png.
(Joint Photographic Experts Group)
Another common file seen online, a .jpeg file allows quick load times due to it being very small, but some quality will be compromised when an image is converted to a jpeg. This is because the file type compression is lossy, meaning that some of the smaller, less necessary details will be deleted. For example, there will be less individual colors and larger groupings of similar colors. Therefore, jpegs should not be used for graphics that have sharp contrast between pixels or crisp lines, but rather photo-like images with smooth and gradual transitions between colors.
(Portable Network Graphics)
.PNGs should be used for logos and designs that involve line art, images with few colors, or text heavy images. Because .pngs are a lossless file format, it preserves the file’s original data from before it was compressed, meaning the files will be larger but the quality will be preserved. This file format is also transparent so it is easy to overlay on any color background.
On top of all these different file formats to consider, the design of your logo needs to be versatile too. The official logo of your company may not work for every medium. Consider if your logo were to appear on a large banner vs. being placed on a button. The banner will likely contain the entire “lockup” of your logo – the official logo, name of your company, and possibly even a slogan – while the button will feature a simpler version, perhaps just the logo itself. An obvious example is the Nike logo, which is often seen both simply as the swoosh or the official lockup, which is the swoosh and “Nike” in text.
Here is a quick summary of the things to remember when it comes to file types for your logo.
If you’re using your logo for a digital/online medium (emails, website, powerpoint, etc), then .png and .jpeg files are your best options.
When it comes to using your logo to be printed on clothing, business cards, brochures, and brand merchandise, .eps and .pdfs are the most viable choices.
Creating consistent marketing and creative processes can be difficult, lengthy, and expensive, especially for large companies. That’s where we come in.
MediaBeacon is a digital asset management (DAM) that stores images, videos, artwork, and other digital assets into a digital library for your company. It’s a solution that supports downloading files in different formats and tracking versions so you always have access to the right content in the right format at the right time. The interface is clean, intuitive, and configurable so that your teams can distribute digital assets and logos across departments and organizations all around the world.