.eps, .ai, .jpg, .gif, .pdf, .psd, .png…
mindboggling, right? Let us help.
Your organization’s logo is the cornerstone of your brand. It’s also going to be the file most people request from you—placing an ad, sponsoring an event, developing marketing materials—your logo should be on all of it. But when you’re asked to send your logo along, which file format do you send?
If you’re reading this post, you’re likely the “keeper” of the logo files. Your job is an important one. You help maintain the integrity of your organization’s brand. One of the best ways to make sure that integrity stays intact is to understand the varying file formats you should have, how to use them, and which ones are the right ones to give to varying vendors.
There are an innumerable number of file formats, so we’re only going to cover the ones we provide our clients and their most common uses. Consider it a quick guide in helping you look like a pro.
EPS – Encapsulated Postscript File
This file format is also called a “vector” file and is the most useful format of all. It’s likely the file most of your vendors will request as it’s editable, transparent (clear), and can be sized up or down without negatively impact the resolution/quality of the file.
The one kicker to this file format is that you likely won’t be able to open it unless you have graphics software. Don’t throw them away because you can’t open them! Trust us, you’ll need them.
JPG or JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group
.Jpg files are a compressed file format, so they’re lower quality than an .eps file. The result is a small image size that can be emailed or inserted into other documents without significantly increasing the size of the file. They’re web friendly and can be created as low or high resolution files.
We provide our clients with high resolution .jpg files. The reason? Resolution can always be decreased but it can never be increased. We find high resolution files are more user friendly. These files can be used for print or web. The downside to a .jpg file is that it’s not transparent (clear), so these files must be placed on a white background. Have you seen a TV or print ad that has a logo in a white box? It’s because they didn’t use the proper file format. Don’t be that company.
Tip: Don’t change the extension (.jpg, .png, etc.) on your files. Changing the file name from .eps to .jpg will only change the name, it won’t change the file type. Need a different file type? Ask your designer or agency.
PNG – Portable Network Graphics
.Png file formats are primarily used for the web, but can also be used for print when they’re high resolution. They’re available in 8- or 24-bit color. We provide our clients with high resolution, 24-bit color, transparent files. They have a larger file size than a .jpeg but they’re higher quality and—best of all—they’re transparent (clear) so they don’t have to be used on a white background.
PDF – Portable Document Format
Depending on how a .pdf document was saved, it can be a very useful file format for an organization’s logo. We send our clients editable, vector-based PDFs. These files can be forwarded to vendors and used similarly to an .eps file. One of the differences is that you’ll be able to open the .pdf file without graphics software.
Please note that the majority of .jpg and .png files are low resolution. We provide our clients with high resolution versions of these files for flexibility of use. Check with your designer if you’re unsure of what you have!
Now go forth and send those logo files in the right format like a pro.