First of all, you need to receive 2 types of files vector and raster. Vector files you will need to edit your logo if you will need to, it’s used for every printed collateral, and the most important you can recreate the other formats from it. If your designer does not offer you vector files, or if you making a logo by yourself and the tool you use does not allow you to save in one these formats please please choose another. These files are very important for your future use.
Take a look at the example here, upper cards was made with using vector file formats and lower with raster:
This is a source file of your logo (if you worked with the professional designer)
It can be opened only with Adobe Illustrator, you don’t need actually to use it. All you need to do is to keep it safe because this is the main file of your logo, all the other formats can be saved from it, all the edits will be in it. Want to change colors? Or maybe a letter? Or you come up with the slogan you want to put under the logo? This file you will need to send to your designer.
DIY your logo using other software? You won’t get this format. But you should have some of these options:
This is also a vector-based file type, the key feature of them is that you can resize it without quality loss.
That means your logo will be sharp and beautiful on your business card as well as on billboard design.
It supports transparency so can be easily placed on any background.
This file type you will need to send to print companies or designers that make any print collateral for your brand. Unless the other is specified.
(Portable document format)
Also a vector-based file type, the major plus in it – is that you can see it almost on any device.
Probably, your designer sent you a lot of them while creating the design for your comments, etc. So you should already familiar with it.
It’s the only vector-based format that you can open without professional software, and it’s probably the one that your software (if you made logo yourself) will offer you to export.
Please note: .pdf files can be raster and vector, it depends on the way it was saved.
You absolutely must have at least one of the above formats at the end of the logo design process.
(if you are buying a pre-made template, pay extra 20$ and receive your vector file, it will save a lot of money later and keep you from a headache)
Raster file types are small in size and perfect for digital use. They are not scalable, do not try to use in on a car wrap or billboard, or your business card. Because all you will get as a result is a bunch of different colored squares (pixels). Ok, I hope you understood the main key here: the file types that we are going to cover next are ONLY for digital use.
(Portable network graphic)
This file type supports a transparent background, which is very useful when you are making a banner for your website or add your logo to social media posts. It will look great on any background.
(Joint Photographic Experts Group)
This file is flat, it is a kind of photo of your logo. It has worse quality features than png, but it is smaller in size, which is very helpful in some cases (ex. logo in your email signature)
Of course, there are other formats that you can get from your designer (.svg, .gif, .psd, .tiff, .bnp, etc), but this is not our topic today. We have covered the main logo file types and their usage.
If you only planning of creating your logo, make sure the software you are going to use allows you to save in one of the vector-based file types. If you going to work with a designer – ask what kind of files you are going to get in the end.
Having difficulties choosing colors for your new logo design? Check out Power of color: meaning and psychology
If you have some questions – let me know in the comments down below.