Making Sense of Logo File Formats

When a branding project wraps up, the designer usually turns over a set of logo files. It can be overwhelming knowing which format to use in particular situations. These brief guidelines should help clarify the differences to help avoid the dreaded “pixelated” logo problem.

Vector files

A logo created in professional design software like Adobe Illustrator works with vectors. They’re built using mathematical points and don’t have an assigned resolution. For that reason, they don’t lose quality when scaled up in size. They’re also the most preferred format for release to another designer, publisher, printer or vendor. Particularly when you’re printing your logo, you’ll want to use the vector file. It will look clean whether printed on a brochure or scaled up to an oversized banner.

Formats: AI (Adobe Illustrator), EPS, PDF (as long as it was created in a vector program) or SVG (gaining popularity as a vector-based web format).

Rasterized files

Any files that are rasterized have a set resolution, much like a photo file. When an image is increased in size, the quality can suffer. This is often the case when a logo appears pixelated. However, if you start with a high resolution image and don’t scale it larger than the original size, the quality should be fine.
There are a variey of popular formats, but each have different characteristics.

Perhaps the most popular format is JPEG (.jpg). It’s a fairly universal format and has a compact file size. However, it does not support transparency. This means if the logo is placed on a color background, it will appear with an opaque white box behind the logo that extends to the full size of the image.

For web or presentation purposes, there are several formats which can appear transparent (if they are prepared appropriately): GIF, PNG, or TIFF.

The bottom line… if you’re sending logo files for a print job, vector is always preferable. For the web, there are several acceptable rasterized formats, but be careful not to enlarge the logo above its original size.

Get Your Skis + Snowboards Shined Up!

Windy City Ski & Snowboard Show billboard

Fall has been hectic so far with a vast array of projects – magazine design, direct mail, print ads, web development…

Though it seems early, this is the time of year my thoughts start wandering to ski season.
We had the good fortune to help with the media efforts for the upcoming Windy City Ski & Snowboard Show. It was wild seeing the billboards we designed while driving around the Chicago area! They could be seen on I-90, I-294 and IL-53.

Happy 2018! hopefully bidding farewell to several trends

Welcome to the new year! I hope your holidays were relaxing and spent with family and friends. Now it’s time to get back to business – or ease into it, anyway.
Hopefully we can bid farewell to these trends (and phrases) as we begin the new year:

  • Fidget spinners
  • Ripped denim – what’s old is new again…and again?
  • Charcoal in everything – drinks, toothpaste, facial products…
  • Unicorn frappuccinos – huge dose of sugar masked by disturbing color
  • Fake News!

Any other suggestions? Send ’em over!
Hope to hear from you in the new year.

Summer’s Here!

Summer’s here and the time is right for …

re-branding / updating logo
trade show displays
advertising
graphics for special events
redesigning your website

… oh yeah, and dancing in the streets!

With the first day of summer upon us, it’s the ideal time for outdoor activities. Though we’ve also been busy with several new projects inside  [New Work].

We had the pleasure of working with the amazing team at Wilmette Public Library. Not only did we rebrand & develop a new logo, but we also designed their new responsive website. Project goals: create a dynamic site that’s highly intuitive and works well on any device (mobile, desktop, tablet).

Enjoy the rest of your summer before the days start getting shorter. (Wait, summer solstice just happened?)