I've been meaning to write a post about this topic - which files you should get from your logo designer - for some time, to explain which files I send to my clients and why. And just recently I heard again that some designers don’t send the original files to their clients but just a jpeg or a pdf. So here you can find a list of all the file types you should be getting from your designers when you hire one. However out of all files, there is one file that you should definitely be getting.
But first I want to explain to you the difference between a vector and a raster graphic.
A raster graphic is made up of pixels in different colors which together make up an image. The higher the number of pixels, the higher the resolution and the better the quality. A raster file is saved as a jpeg, a png or a gif.
The problem with raster files is that you can’t increase their size and keep the quality. I think you have all seen that, a photo that looks pixelated because it was increased in size.
The good thing is that they can be saved very small. That means they can for example be sent by email and load quickly.
All photographs taken with a camera and also all websites and anything online are raster graphics. For websites you need raster files because they can be saved as smaller files and therefore don’t take much time to load.
Vector graphics on the other hand are made up of paths or lines that are curved or straight. There is a lot of math behind it which I won’t go into depth here. But the great thing about vector graphics is that they can be changed and increased in size without loosing quality. Graphic designers use vector graphics to design logos and many other marketing material as vector graphics will look just as good when printed small on a business card as on a big billboard.
Vector graphics are saved as an EPS or Adobe Illustrator file (ai).
The downside is that they can be very big files and can’t be send easily by email and they can’t be used for a website.
However if you have your logo as a vector graphic you can always save as a raster file. You can also change the size easily and the colors which is another important factor.
And therefore you need to make sure you always get your logo and branding as a vector file (EPS or AI)!
Any printer will usually also want to have the original vector file to make sure he gets the highest resolution of the image or graphic.
As I said here is the list of all the files I send to my clients and which you should be getting from your designers too:
Jpeg - jpeg images come with a white background
There are two different formats of jpeg images. CMYK and RGB. Although the logo as a jpeg will probably be more needed for online purpose, I send both versions just in case.
CMYK is used for printing and
RGB is used for web/computer use (be it your website, social media, presentations etc).
CMYK colors might look different on different devices whereas RGB look almost the same on every computer.
PNG - png images don’t have a background and are great if you want to place them on top of another image
PDF - can be a vector or raster file. It can be saved smaller and can be viewed by anyone, these are good for example for presentations and some printers also prefer pdf’s
EPS (Encapsulated PostScript file) is a vector file that can be viewed in any program that allows vector files. It can be cropped, rotated and resized.
AI (Adobe Illustrator) - the original vector file. Adobe Illustrator was most likely used to create your file and you should be getting this original file.
(Some printers prefer illustrator files that are saved with outlines so that really nothing can change.)
I always send the original colored logo, any alternative colors that the logo might be needed in as well as a black version and a white version.
So remember the one file of your logo you should be getting from your designer is the original Illustrator file (AI) or an EPS file.
I hope this shed some light into raster and vector graphics and helps you understand which files you will be getting from me but also to make sure you always get a vector file from your designer!
Have a great day and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
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