You just received your new logo design, and you love it… now what? The package of the final files includes many types of file formats and versions, so how do you know what to do with each one?
Designers send many different types of versions and formats so that you, the client, can use your new logo in many ways. The multiple files keep your logo versatile as different places to use your logo require different formats. I usually send you the first three files, but other designers could send you others. Let’s go over a few...
Jpeg (.jpg or .jpeg) - This is a common file type to receive from the designer as it is versatile to use and easy to view to art. Jpegs can come in large or small resolution, the large resolution would be for print jobs, and the small resolution would be used for web or ‘digital-only’ jobs. Because they have a specific resolution, they can only be scaled up to a certain size without losing quality. The larger the resolution, the larger the image can be scaled (print files require at least 300 dpi images in order to retain quality). Also, jpegs are always flat files, and they will always have a background behind/around the logo (usually white) so it is not easy for a designer to manipulate a jpeg, if at all.
PNG (.png) - PNGs are similar to jpegs in that they are flat and come in large or small resolution, but they are different in that they can have a transparent background. This means that if you place the png on top of an image or color, that image or color will show through the logo, rather than the white rectangle like in the jpeg. PNGs are also common for printing (large resolution, at least 300 dpi) and for web work (small resolution).
EPS (.eps) - EPS files are vector files, which means that they have no resolution as they can be scaled to any size. That means that if you want your logo the size of a billboard, vector files can make that happen without losing quality. If you need something designed with your logo on it, be sure to send the designer this vector file, and they should be able to do anything you need with it. EPS files can be opened only in illustration programs like Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, and Sketch.
Ai (.ai) - Ai stands for ‘Adobe Illustrator’ so they can only be opened by Adobe’s program called Illustrator. Most people don’t have access to this program, but almost all designers do. Ai files are also vector files, so naturally, designers would be thrilled to receive this file to work with. Keep in mind also that Ai files may cause issues when opening a newer file version in an older version of Illustrator. For that reason also, I usually send eps files, which I have not seen that problem with.
PDF (.pdf) - another good file to receive is a pdf file. Usually, but not always, the pdf is also a vector version of the logo. PDFs are very versatile as they can be used also as an image file. Most programs can open/view PDFs and (if exported correctly) can be manipulated by Illustration programs like Adobe Illustrator. However, if not exported as such, PDFs could be just flat document files, and therefore, not editable.
PSD (.psd) - It’s not as common, but if someone created your logo in photoshop, you may receive a PSD file, which can only be opened in Photoshop. It is still a good file to receive as this is the art file they used and likely has layers and smart objects which a future designer can still use. It is not as likely that logos created in Photoshop can be scaled to large sizes. However, with PSD files, large resolution files can be exported.
TIFF (.tiff or .tif) - The last file type that I want to talk about today is the TIFF file. If exported correctly, these can be good alternatives to PSD files as they can be opened in Photoshop with the layers intact. They can also be opened in most image programs so they are easily viewed and used for printing, web, etc. However, like the PSD files, they are not likely to be scalable.
There are many more file formats out there, but they are far less common, and not as recommended in my opinion for logo files. Let me know if you ever have questions about what file type to use and where.
Now I’d like to talk about the different versions of your logo that you received.
I, like many designers, like to send different versions of your logo to you so that you could use your logo in even more places. It makes your logo even more versatile. The first kind of set of versions might be color versions...
Color - This is the main logo version that is in full color and set for a white background, which is the most common method of use.
Reversed - In this version of the logo, the colors are manipulated so it is designed to be placed on a dark background such as black.
Grayscale - If you ever need your logo used in a place in which color is not allowed, like a newspaper, this version can be used in place of the color version.
Black and White - This version is straight black and white only (no grays) and would be used in single-color situations like embroidering or screen printing apparel.
The second kind of set of versions might be the orientation. I typically don’t provide these versions unless requested, in which a quote will be provided for that. By orientation, I’m referring to a horizontal vs. vertical layout…
Let’s say that we create a great-looking logo, and it has more of a horizontal layout, meaning that it is wider than it is tall. Then it turns out you want to put your logo in an advertisement, but the placement only allows a square space. Your logo is likely going to be quite small as it doesn’t fit a tall space very well. A second version of your logo could be created (using the same colors, fonts, icons, graphics, etc.) that is much taller than the original, and therefore, fits the square space much better. In turn, your logo would be much larger, and much easier to see. This would be the vertical orientation.
So multiple versions of your logo can be very useful to you, especially if you are working on your brand development. It’s important to be able to put your logo anywhere you need as you want to keep your brand unified and consistent.