Often, people order a logo and care of how it looks graphically, which of course is the most important, but neglect on what they receive as a final product. That's why at LogoQuicker we decided to write on this topic, so even people who never had idea of design and file formats will know what they get.. or what they should request from designers when they order a new logo. We will try to be as simple as possible and avoid using difficult to understand definitions :)
How is the logo created?
First lets start on how logo is created. Any professional designer will work out the logo in a vector software such as Illustrator, CorelDraw or IncScape. Note, logos are NOT done on Photoshop, and as its name suggests, this is excellent software for editing photos, but not for making logos. That's why when a designer tells you that your new logo will be done in Photoshop, or the source files will be in PSD format (the Photoshop format).. well just find someone else to do the job properly for you :)
What is a vector file?
As said above, logos are done in vector software and the most commonly used vector files formats are EPS, AI and PDF. The great advantage of the vector files is that the shapes in them are based on mathematical formulas - that is when image is re-sized there, say made much bigger, the computer re-calculates the dimensions and the quality of it remains absolutely constant, therefore the vector images are always in high resolution. This makes the vector files the real master source files of your new logo. But here you will say..
well its good that I get them, but so what when I don't have vector software and I can't use any of the vector software for these file formats?
Well yes and no :) You cannot edit the vector file formats without the software, but you can easily see the content of the PDF format, as now almost every computer has some integrated PDF reader. What is more important however is not how you edit these files, but how and where you use them later. High resolution is very important for printing for example. That's why often vector files are also called print files. Therefore, when you next decide to do stationary, order t-shirts, company branded materials or make a huge billboard with your new logo, you will always need to provide the logo in one of the popular vector formats. Note that the vector logo files, unless specifically requested are done with transparent background. Yes, when you see them usually they are on white, but this is simply because your computer places by default objects with transparent background on white.
Useful TIP! LogoQuicker, always provides the source files in the 3 vector/print formats EPS, AI and PDF. Note however that in case you order your logo from somewhere else, some not too experienced designers sometimes try to 'cheat' with unusable vectors - this is, they place a non-vector graphic inside a vector format file and claim that its vector although its not. That's why the best and easiest test that anyone can do with a PDF is to zoom in more than 100%.. say 300..500% zoom. Than take a look at the lines/shapes - in case they are crystal sharp just as when its not zoomed, than your file is fine. However, in case you see the graphic on pixels/squares than the file you have is not vector!
What is a raster file?
As you can suppose, a raster file is everything which is not vector :) Raster files (also called bitmap or web files) are the file formats that you probably use most commonly JPG and PNG. Of course there are other raster formats like BMP, GIF and many others less popular. The raster files are made of pixels - many very small square dots of different color that connect to form one image. The more pixels and image has, the better is its resolution. Just like on your camera, the more pixels it can capture, the better the photos are, same with the raster files, the more pixels they contain the better the result. In fact, the camera that you have has this principle of work - it captures the image in dots.
Than what are the advantages and disadvantages of the raster files?
Probably their main advantage is the fact that anyone can use them easily, you don't need to be a designer, to place some special effects on them, or do small edits. You can easily place them in your documents, presentations, or web site. Some individual advantages of the different formats are: transparent background for the PNG format, option for simple web animation for the GIF and again transparent background and on it. For this reason LogoQuicker also provides its clients the final logo in JPG and PNG formats, for everyday use in office documents, email signature or web site.
So, at the end the best option is to receive both vector and raster files. The vectors as master source files for future use in print, logo twists and stationary production. The raster files for use in everyday office work.
Hope we were helpful with the article and of course, in case you are not sure of something, do not hesitate to contact us!
In what file formats should be your logo?
Super User Blog Hits: 2276