Logo Formats: Where to Use What


When we create a logo for you, whether it’s a brand new brand identity or a rejuvenation of an existing one, we always give you a folder of various formats.

While most of you know when to use which format, some of you might still be a bit lost. Hopefully this post will clarify why we format all these options for you, and when you should be using which one.

Vector vs. Raster Images

Raster images are made with pixels to form an image. Every photo you find online, or even ones in print, are raster images. JPEG, TIF, and PNG are all file types for raster images. Since these images are made of pixels, they have a defined proportion based on their resolution. This means if you try to fit that image in a size it wasn’t intended on it can lower the resolution, resulting in an image that is blurry or pixelly.

Vector images are more flexible, because they can be adjusted infinitely without any resolution loss. They are constructed using proportional formulas instead of pixels (to get totally geeky on you). EPS, AI, and PDF are common file types to use for graphics and logos that require frequent adjusting.

Pixelated raster image vs smooth vector image

Here’s a list of different file extensions and when to use them!

JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group

This is the most common file type for you to come across on the web. JPEGs are known for having a “lossy” compression, which means that the quality of the image decreases as the file size decreases (i.e. Smaller file size, lower resolution image).You can use JPEGs for Web, MS Office Documents, or print. Always keep close attention to resolution and file sizes for JPEGs.

PNG – Portable Network Graphic

These file types are great for Web, but never used for printing. While they are “lossless” (meaning you can edit them and not lose quality) they start off as low resolution images. The reason they are most common for the web is that you can save your image on a transparent background.

TIF – Tagged Image File

This is a large raster file that doesn’t lose quality. It is generally used for saving photographs for print. Since they are so large in file size do not use it for the web, because it will take forever to load!

PDF – Portable Document Format
Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader Software

Invented by Adobe, this file format can be viewed in any application and on any computer. A vector file containing text that is saved as a PDF can be opened and manipulated without any editing software, just long as you have the free Acrobat Reader software installed. This is the file type for sending files to print publications.

EPS – Encapsulated Post Script

This file type is a vector format that is used for high-resolution graphics for printing. It is a universal file type (much like a PDF) and can be opened in any type of design editor application. Need a 50ft banner made? Send this file to the printer. Having your logo printed on T-shirts? EPS is the one.

AI – Adobe Illustrator Document

This is the most preferred file type by designers and the most reliable for using images in all types of projects from web to print. Adobe Illustrator is the program used for creating artwork from scratch and is the program we use to make your logo! It produces vector artwork and is the best file format to manipulate and create all other file types in.

Still Confused?

Hopefully this sheds some light on the vast logo formats you’ve been given. If you still have questions, comment below! Or shoot us an email. We’re happy to explain further.

About the Author:

Lindsay loves animals, hot weather, acrylic nails and eggplant. She is married, and lives with her husband, pug and cat in less-than-sunny Seattle. Her mission is not to change the world, but to make sure it looks hella awesome.

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