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Logo Artwork | Identity Management | Brand Protection | Melbourne

Important Notes: Logo Artwork

Logo File Format Test


 [Figure 1, Vivid logo test] Click to download the .pdf and see the difference. 

The best file formats for a logo explained.

Make sure you have your logo in a format that guarantees best quality reproduction.

The optimum format for a logo is a drawing file (vector based linework) with all type converted to outlines. Usually created in Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand or Corel Draw (programs that create postscript files). This gives your designer the ability to reproduce the logo at any size, optimise the artwork for various reproduction techniques and make colour adjustments so you get the best colour integrity possible in different media. If your logo was professionally designed the chances are that it exists in this form as an .EPS or .AI  file. Make sure that you have your own version of this file on hand for distribution. Acrobat PDF supports vectors and and is a able to be viewed easily.

At the top of the page is our fine demonstration of the differences. This picture was turned into a jpg from the pdf artwork so it can appear on this page. At this size and on this page there are few perceivable differences in the two logos, all appears correct. Now download the file "logo test pdf" and open it in Acrobat. This shows both pixels and vectors side by side. Zoom in to see the dramatic limitations of jpg for your logo. It's not nice.

Logo artwork file formats, vectors versus pixels.

Computer imaging breaks down into two major camps. Vectors (points and connecting lines) and pixels (a grid of coloured squares). Enlarge the vector, it is still a line. Enlarge the pixels, start seeing the squares.

Vectors are a drawing style with line and fill described mathematically. It is like an instruction "draw a circle 2cm diameter filled with red with a black outline 1mm thick". This instruction can be scaled to any size and remain as sharp as the output device can print it without any alteration. Enlarge the line, it is still a line.

Pixels are a grid of squares that make up a picture – other wise known as a bitmap. Its a bit like photograph. Enlarge the grid, see the grain, or in this case squares. At low resolutions lines and curves start looking like they have been faxed.

Some file formats can support both types (such as Acrobat .pdf). The idea is to avoid using pixel based versions of your logo wherever possible.

Logo do’s.

Logos created as outline information can be saved as .ai or .eps or .pdf  formats. Encapsulated Postscript (.eps) has been the standard for many years although the .ai and .pdf are also an industry standard. Make sure any type included in the logo is converted to outlines so there is no live typeface information in the file. This prevents unfortunate font substitution problems that may alter the appearance of your logo.

Logo dont’s – TIFF, GIFF, JPG, BMP and MS Word.

Tiff, Gif, Jpeg, BMP, are pixel based (bitmap) image file formats. All of them suffer from the same problem - the logo can only be reproduced at a certain size and it will print softer than a vector version. The file format cannot support your PMS Colours. It is akin to a photograph of your logo. Beware: pixel based images can be saved as an EPS. This does not change them from being pixels. It does not convert them to linework/vectors.

Resist sending logos in a "Word" file. It will convert them into a format that guarantees disappointing results on a press and is not editable for other uses. Send the image file and not the "Word" file that your logo has been placed into. Don't send logos as jpegs or cut them from your website. Jpegs soften crisp edges and create noise around edges and in areas of flat colour (called compression artifacts). Web site graphics are just too low in resolution for anything useful - they will crumble at even small sizes.

PDF format gotcha!

Be careful sending as a PDF. They may be not able to be edited for correct printing and the information in the pdf may be pixels not lines depending on how it was created. If in doubt zoom in to say 800%. If its still sharp then you have vectors .

Draw it once, send‑it‑many‑times.

If in the past you have had surprisingly good results from the above formats it could be luck or someone has actually redrawn the logo to safeguard your identity.

Logos drawn using line and fill have small file sizes for emailing, are easily edited and are industry standard. It is strongly recommended that if you wish to reproduce your logo in different situations at varying sizes (event banners, building signs, letterheads) that you have linework (vector) EPS versions at hand for distribution. From that file the design studio can make graphics suitable for almost any purpose without compromising quality.

You only need to draw it properly once.

Vivid Communications regularly redraws logos as part of our service. We can prepare an identity kit in a single compressed archive file with your style guidelines for distribution to outside agencies or even turn your logo into a font for use on your internal systems.

Brand artwork archive.

An artwork kit will safeguard the reproduction of your brand. A single compressed electronic archive with style guidelines and approved brand artwork for distribution to your professional suppliers. They'll love you for it, your logo will always look sharp and you will save time and money.

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Important: The information held throughout this website has been prepared with all reasonable care and thought, however Vivid Communications Pty Ltd does not warrant the accuracy of any information shown and does not accept any liability for negligence, any error or discrepancy or otherwise in the items shown. Illustrations and images throughout this website are depictions and impressions only and may be subject to change without notice.