What file formats do I need of my logo?

WRITTEN BY: ALISON JOSHI, DIRECTOR OF JWJ DESIGN

You have commissioned a graphic designer to create you a logo. Great news, but what do you get at the end? What format do you need your logo in so that you can upload to social media or your website? What files and colour formats do you need saved for future marketing projects? 

What file format of my logo

Many clients have worked with ‘graphic designers’ to create a logo for them, but when it comes to actually using the artwork created we often find that they do not have the logo in the right formats or the right sizes. This leads to the clients or ourselves on a mission to chase down the ‘designer’ and the relevant files, often with little success. At this point we then have to point out to the client that we need to re-create their logo, additional budget spend that they had not accounted for.

Ideally when you commission anyone to create a logo you should receive all the formats necessary to create promotional material for print and online. Unfortunately this is not always the case so follow the basic guidelines below and next time you will know what to ask for:

Jpeg file
This is probably the format you will use most. It is the file type you need to upload as your profile picture for any social media and embed in to PowerPoint templates. Jpegs always have a white background so if you want to place your logo on a coloured background or overlay on to a picture this is not the format to use. Make sure you have a high res version of your logo, ie. at least 300dpi at A3 size and a low res version, 72dpi. High res versions can always be scaled down but low res logos can not be scaled up without losing some quality.

The image size of your logo is sometimes an indicator if it is high or low res. Anything less than 200k and you have a logo that may not be good enough for large scale printing.

EPS or ai file
This file type will only open if you have illustrator or photoshop on your machine. This is the best format to have your logo in as it is a vector graphic; which means it can be scaled up and not loose resolution. The file should be layered and so is ideal when making small amends to colours or straplines should your business pivot or offer different services. It is perfect for graphic designers creating leaflets, adverts and any printed promotional material. When working with graphic designers, whether creating your website or leaflet they will much prefer this format over any other as once they have an eps or ai file they can save out a jpeg and png file.

PNG file
This file type is mainly used online. It will have a transparent background and is often the best format for use on your website and when creating your social media posts in apps like Canva. PNG files tend to have limited resolution so are not ideal for large scale printing.

 

You might also hear graphic designers talking about RGB and CMYK; the best thing to remember is RGB is for anything viewed on a screen; powerpoint, website etc. and CMYK is for print. The letters stand for the colours used in the output of the graphics; Red, Green and Blue OR Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (K).

You should receive from your designer both RGB and CMYK versions of your logo in all of the formats mentioned above, so that if you create something for print the colour output will be correct. The colours may look a bit different but if set up correctly your colours should be as aligned as possible. Remember, colours will look different when viewed on different devices, back lit phones or printed business cards.

White versions of your logo are also really useful when creating social media content as they can be overlaid on darker colours easily without loosing clarity. You will only have a white PNG file of this logo as a white logo on a white background (jpeg) won’t be visible.

 

This is only a basic explanation but hopefully gives you a clearer idea what to ask for and what file formats to look out for from your designer. If you have any questions about what format to use, or what you might be missing then please do email me at hello@jwjdesign.co.uk