What are the best file formats for logos?

Your logo is crucial, and investing in a top quality design is an incredibly important step for your business. After spending time agonising over your brand colours, font and imagery, it’s inevitable that once we’ve finalised your design, you’ll want to get straight into promoting your logo across all of your merchandise and online platforms!

 

When I send you the final version of your logo, I’ll send you lots of files - not just one - and I know that some of my clients find it overwhelming trying to work out what file should be used where. Despite the fact that all of the files contain a version of your logo, each one will be different, and it’s important to make sure you use the right file in the right situation.

 

Whether you’re adding a logo to your business Facebook page, printing it on coffee mugs, having it emblazoned across a billboard or adding it to your flyers, you have to ensure you send the right file type to production. If you send the wrong one, your product may be rejected, or even worse, it’ll look pixelated or blurry on your final product.

How do I know what format my logo is in?

Every version of your logo will have a file name. At the end of each file name, there will be an extension that tells you exactly what format each file is in. For example, you’ll have already come across files ending in .doc (documents) and .jpg (a common image file format).

svg - Scalable Vector Graphic file - log
png - Portable Network Graphic file - lo
ai - adobe illustrator file - logo desig
pdf - Portable Document Format file - lo
jpeg - Joint Photographic Experts Group
eps - Encapsulated PostScript file - log

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When I design your logo, I’ll create it as a vector file. Vector files will retain their quality regardless of the size of the image. If your logo ever needs editing in the future, vector files are much easier to edit than any other format.

 

The alternative to a vector file is a pixel (or raster) file. Pixel files are made up of tiny dots, and when enlarged, the quality of the image can be dramatically reduced. The edges of your logo may become blurry, and any crisp outlines will be lost.

Here’s a quick summary of the file format your logo needs to be in for different situations.

What’s the best version of my logo to use online?

If you want to upload your logo onto your website, social media pages, or into a presentation, use a PNG or JPEG file. These will be accepted without any issues and will display correctly on any online platform.

What’s the best version of my logo to use in print?

If you need to print your logo on merchandise such as coffee mugs, pens, or stickers, use a vector file or SVG file wherever possible. If a SVG file isn’t accepted by the printer, go for an EPS or PDF File. 

 

Now that we’ve covered the basics, here’s a bit more information about 5 of the most common logo file types, and what each type of file should be used for.

Which File type for logo.jpg

What is a .jpeg file?

Let’s start with a file we all recognise... A JPEG or JPG file stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. JPEG files are very common for images because they’re small, and are quick to load online. However, because JPEG files are so small, they aren’t always the best quality. 

Advantages

  • Great for sharing photos online and storing family photos 

  • Good for using on web pages where you want a really quick load speed

  • Easy to open and can be viewed on most devices

Disadvantages

  • Pixel based file, so can lose their quality if resized

  • Cannot display a transparent background

  • Better for photographs than images

jpeg - Joint Photographic Experts Group

What is a .png file?

PNG files, or Portable Network Graphics, can hold more information than a JPEG file. When compressed, they don’t lose any details, and the quality of the image will remain the same, regardless of the size. But, if you upload a PNG file onto your website, you must make sure it’s been optimised for your site. Optimising a file for the web means to make it as small as possible while still maintaining excellent quality. PNG files can have transparent backgrounds, which can be particularly useful for logos

Advantages

  • Good for use online on websites and social media pages

  • Can have a transparent background

  • Good quality image

  • Accessible file that’s easy to read on most browsers

Disadvantages

  • Pixel based file, so can lose their quality if resized

  • Large file, so storage could be an issue

  • Not suitable for printing materials

png - Portable Network Graphic file - lo

What is a .pdf file?

You’ve probably viewed documents in PDF format before. PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and they’re really useful because they retain the same layout regardless of who views the document. You can integrate lots of elements within a PDF file, such as text, graphics and hyperlinks.

Advantages

  • They’ll always look the same, no matter which program they are opened in

Disadvantages

  • Files can only be edited in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop

pdf - Portable Document Format file - lo

What is a .eps file?

EPS stands for Encapsulated PostScript, and it’s a vector format file. Often referred to as ‘master files’ or ‘working files’, they can be used in a range of printed merchandise.

Advantages

  • Quality remains the same regardless of how big or small the image becomes

  • Supports transparent backgrounds

Disadvantages

  • Not easy to edit or open these files without specific programmes

eps - Encapsulated PostScript file - log

What is a .svg file?

SVG files are Scalable Vector Graphic files. Vector files are exceptional quality images and will retain their quality at whatever size you need to use them.

Advantages

  • Excellent quality, suitable for all forms of printing

Disadvantages

  • Most websites won’t accept SVG files, so you may need help if you want them on your website

svg - Scalable Vector Graphic file - log

What is a .ai file?

Finally, we have an AI file. An AI file is an Adobe Illustrator file. This will be the file format I use to create or edit your logo, but this version can only be accessed through Adobe Illustrator. I’ll export your final AI file into an EPS file, so you’ll never receive an AI file yourself, but it’s still worth being aware of what they are!

Advantages

  • Master File which is totally editable

Disadvantages

  • You cannot open unless you have Adobe Illustrator and can have the design skills to edit it

ai - adobe illustrator file - logo desig

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QUICK RECAP

 

If you are sending your logo to be printed on promotional merchandise, the best file format to use is a SVG or an EPS.

 

If you’re uploading an image onto your website or social media pages, go for a PNG or JPEG.

If you need to send your logo to another company to be printed or included on an online platform, and they haven’t asked for a specific file format - don’t be afraid to ask the question! That way you’ll avoid any confusion and you can be confident that you’ll get a great quality version of your logo added to your products, advertising or online marketing.

 

There’s no ‘best’ file format for logos, but knowing the benefits of each one will ensure you use the best file type for every element of your marketing strategy!

 

Now that we’ve covered the basics, here’s a bit more information about 5 of the most common logo file types, and what each type of file should be used for.