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Logo formats - what and when

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

As the poet David Whyte says 'You can’t enter a world for which you do not have the language.'

This hits home hard, when you’ve been super excited about visiting France but find blank stares when you try to order lunch or try to find lunch mid afternoon. It also hurts when you’re designer has emailed your brand assets with files named png, jpg, pdf, svg. You can feel you've entered alien territory.

Here's an overview so you can throw around file formats with the best of them without even having to wear black.

So, what version of your logo do you use and when?

After your designer has finished the logo and you're excited to start using it, they need to provide you what I call ‘Brand Assets’. This should contain all the file types you will need to start applying your new mark. All these different file types are to ensure your logo always looks like its in its Sunday best. This means you need to use the correct format in its appropriate context. You don’t ever want your logo to be blurry or fuzzy. Clarity is king and queen for your logo as well as your brand message. So, here’s logo format speak so you’re fluent when you need to use them.

  1. JPEG (JPG) – This one you’ve come across lots. Essentially, it’s a snap shot just like your family holiday pics. JPG files can be relatively small in size, and should NOT be manipulated or resized to be any smaller or bigger than the file currently is, or it will lose its sharpness aka get blurry/fuzzy. JPG files are great for photographs, previewing your logo but should NOT be used for print or web.

  2. PNG – PNG files are low-resolution images. Mostly used on the interwebs so they load fastest. Unlike JPGs which will fill empty areas with white, these babies hold areas of transparency so they can be placed on coloured backgrounds.

  3. EPS – This is often how your logo is created. It’s a vector file which means it can be scaled up or down to any size without losing any of its fabulousness without compromising the quality or resolution of the logo. You’ll use this file when reducing your logo to fit on a pinhead or enlarging it to a larger than life size sign, say for exhibition banners. Because EPS files are high quality use them for printing. These are your master logo files. Often now supplied as editable pdfs.

  4. SVG – A SVG is a digital version of your EPS. This format is what developers and animators use ensuring a crisp digital logo on apps and websites.

  5. AI – Not artificial intelligence but this is a designer’s native working file (kinda like an EPS file). AI files are created in Adobe Illustrator (which is the software graphic designers use to create vectors images (logos). We often won’t provide the native AI file to clients as once you get the eps file you have everything you need to scale your logo.

  6. PDF – This stands for portable document format and like a jpg is a snapshot of your logo. Your designer may provide your logo as an editable pdf which means you can both use this version for digital documents and also edit it in Adobe Illustrator.

That's it now you're ready to get your logos out there looking beautiful every time.

image by Markus Spiske via unsplash

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