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Why the Hell Do I Need So Many Different Files With My New Logo

Ding! There’s the email notification you’ve been waiting for. You’ve been working with the designer for weeks to get your new logo perfect and he has finally sent the files. Ding! Wait, there’s a second email? Ding! WTH? Another one? 

You open the emails and see there are both color and monotone versions of your new logo and several file formats. Some of these files you can’t even open. You think to yourself, “why would I need files I can’t open?” All I need is a png with no background, the rest of this is just overkill. Or is it? Here is a list of reasons why you should have all of these logo files and why it’s definitely not overkill. So go ahead and save all of those files to your computer hard drive and let’s get into it. 

Vectors and Rasters

Raster files are photographic files composed of a mosaic of dots or pixels combined to form a picture. The quality of the file is measured in dots per inch or dpi. Web ready rasters only need 72 dots per inch because a much smaller photo can be used and does not need as much detail. The standard print ready raster file is 300 dpi meaning, in every inch of that file, there are 300 tiny dots used to create the picture you see. The only problem with raster files is, they can only be used as the size they are designed for. If a raster file is stretched larger than it was intended for it, becomes pixelated or blurry. This is the reason a vector file is needed for logo designing. Vector files do not use pixels and can be stretched to any size, even 1000 times larger than the original and never lose any quality at all. Vector files such as eps, svg, and pdf files are good to have in your toolbox, even though you cannot open them without the correct program or app. This is reason one that both raster and vector files are sent to you by the designer. You’re welcome. 

Other Designers and Promo Items

Reason number 2 to have all of these files is because you will need to create marketing and promotional items for your brand. While I would love to be the person to create all of this for you, the option is always there to do it yourself or use other designers or vendors who may require one file type over another. Knowing what was learned in the previous paragraph, you should now know, sign makers, banner printers, and some t-shirt manufacturers require vector files, rather than the very large raster file needed to create signage for your company. My motto is, “It’s always better to have them and not need them, than to need them and not have them.” 

Site Design

When designing a website there are multiple uses for your new logo and the files you now have saved to your computer hard drive. First there’s the site icon or favicon which shows up in the browser panel on the computer when the site is visited. This is a very small square box with some version of your logo on a background. You now have this file as a jpg in your repertoire, ready to use. Next, is the site logo featured in the site header and, many times, the footer as well, all over the entire site. This needs to be a file with no background and can either be the svgfile or a png file that you also now have saved. The svg file, when opened will look like site code and that’s what it is—making it the perfect file to use. So, by now you should be feeling really good about having all the files for your new logo.  I’m not quite finished yet. There is more…

Monotones for Overlays

Of course, as stated above, you will want to create promo graphics for your company and many times you will need to use photos for these graphics. Photos with a logo on it, reinforces the brand into the minds of viewers. The best way to place your new logo on a graphic with a photo background is to use a monotone version with no background. Using a file with too many colors will clash with the details of the photo, unless it’s placed in a slot on the photo with a solid color. Using an all-white version of the logo over dark photos or a dark version over a light photo will make the graphics look even more professional, much easier to read, and quite honestly, more upscale and fantastic. You should have multiple monotone files with and without backgrounds. Of course, the files with no background work best. 

Well, there you have it. By now, I hope you can see the value in having multiple logo file formats, as well as color and monotone versions of your new logo. Like having bookshelves full of books you may or may not read, it’s better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them. So even if I’m not your designer, you now know what to expect from whatever designer you choose to hire for your new logo. Now, please save those files and go make that money! 

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