Logo file formats can be super confusing to clients. Prior to creating my quick guide I received plenty of questions about what each file was and how to use them. Clients would be confused about why they couldn't open certain files or why they needed the different files for their logo. So, I created a simple, easy-to-understand guide summarizing what each file is and how to use to it.
What Logo File Formats Should You Receive?
I'm sure you're familiar with word document files, YourDocument.doc or .docx and image files, YourImage.jpg, but you may not be familiar with design software formats. .doc is a file format. It can also be known a file extension. Designers work in different software programs to create your logo. Adobe Illustrator is the most used program for logo designers. The main file format for an Adobe Illustrator project is a .ai file. However, these types of programs can create different file formats, specifically files that are made for printing or for the web.
Each designer does things differently but as a client you should be asking to receive your logo in the following file formats: YourLogo.eps, .pdf, .jpg and .png. You may also ask to receive the designers .ai working file (aka layered source file). But unless you plan on making edits to your logo you won't need this file.
Understanding Logo File Formats
Each file is important for certain reasons. Here's a quick graphic to summarize each file format:
Working With the Files
Knowing what logo files you should use for print or web is important. Printers use CMYK colors so if you are having business cards, postcards, hats or t-shirts printed you'll want to send your designer and/or printer the print ready .esp or .pdf logo file. To reiterate the above graphic:
- .eps and .pfd files are typically CMYK colors
- .eps and .pdf files are high resolution vector files which means your logo can be made larger or made smaller without losing its quality
- You cannot edit .eps, .pdf or .ai files unless you have the Adobe program
- You cannot view an .eps or .ai file unless you have the Adobe program
On the other hand if you're having a website created or if your logo is displayed anywhere on the web you'll want to use a .jpg or .png file. The colors in these pixel-based files will slightly differ from the vector-based files. That's because pixel-based files use RGB colors which are designed for monitors. These files are much smaller which is important for web load times. Important things to remember about web file formats are:
- You cannot edit a .jpg or .png file
- You cannot increase the size of your logo with a .jpg or .png file. If you do your logo will become blurry. You can however make your logo smaller in these formats.
- Printing a low resolution .jpg or .png file is highly discouraged
- You can view a .jpg or .png file on any device
Download The Quick Guide!
As a business owner I know how hard it is to remember everything, especially logo file formats. I've created a quick guide for you to print out and keep at your desk. It goes into a bit more detail about each file format and when to use it. So when you're asked to send a logo for a project you can reference my guide and know the exact file to send. Subscribe to my FREE resource library to access the guide plus get access to additional worksheets and printables.
Do You Find This Helpful?
Designers have really dropped the ball when it comes to explaining and providing file formats. I can't tell you how many times when asking a client for their .esp or .pdf file they don't know what I'm talking about. You and I are here to change that! As always if you have any questions about the files discussed please reach out to me.