Know Your Logos. Protect Your Brand Integrity.
Speaking a vendor’s language is vital for business owners who want to avoid endless email exchanges and costly mistakes.
This is especially true when your graphic designer asks you for different logo file-types for a project. If you are unfamiliar with their jargon, it will be difficult to get your project up and running without a lot of wasted time.
Stepping up to become the leader of your own brand means that you take time to master some of the language of branding. One of the most important things we help our clients understand is how different logo file-types can impact the appearance of their logos.
We want our clients to be able to share their logos with any vendor to confidently produce high-quality brand impressions. We can’t police every purchase you make, or be there to ensure your print vendors are paying attention to the quality of their work.
Not every vendor will take the time to do things right. And when they don’t, you get stuck with blurry logos, costly reprints, and prickly conversations with your vendors.
Protecting your brand integrity is a responsibility every business owner should take seriously. That’s why you must arm yourself with knowledge. Understanding niche-specific terminology empowers you to expect and demand consistent, quality results with any vendor you work with.
When we work with our branding clients, we give them a little cheat sheet to help them understand the language of logos so they can produce quality brand impressions with confidence and ease. Here’s a quick overview of the five logo file-types every client should understand:
- Vector EPS – This should be how all logos are first created. You do not want logos created in Photoshop (.psd) or other photo editing applications. Vector EPS files are the indomitable defenders of quality! Without the proper software, you will not be able to open them. DO NOT let that trip you up. We know it feels weird to send a file that you can’t open but good printers and designers will be willing to open your vector files on your behalf and produce any of the following file types so that you can review and confirm that the file you supplied is the file you’d like to use. Vector files (as they are often called) have “clear backgrounds.” You can print a vector file at any size without losing resolution. Whether you’re printing on the side of a bus or a business card, vector artwork will always print crisply.
- JPG – This is a low-resolution file and should be used on-screen only. JPGs work great for web sites, slide presentations, and emails. They are flat files that cannot be easily altered or scaled without sacrificing quality. They typically have “white backgrounds” and appear to be placed within a white box if you place them on any background other than white.
- GIF – This is another low-resolution file that should be used on-screen only. Unlike its JPG counterpart, it has a “clear background” and is ideal for situations where gradients or other backgrounds need to appear behind the logo.
- PNG – PNGs further extend the valuable qualities of GIFs by including more image data to help complex files maintain their image quality without maxing out their file size. What that means for you is if you’re posting a logo with complex color gradients or shadow effects to your web site, a PNG will load quickly and still render all the intricate subtleties of your super sexy logo.
- TIFF – TIFFs are high-resolution, PC-friendly files that are ideal for any in-house printing needs, as their color mode is set up for output in print. While JPGs and GIFs will work for in-house publications, they may cause color discrepancies when they are printed. TIFFs typically are only useful at their original size because of their pixel- based (not vector) nature. Enlarging and shrinking TIFFs will cause deterioration of the image quality. To create a customized TIFF to meet specific size constraints, you can open your original vector EPS file and re-size it in a photo-editing program, then “SAVE AS” a .tif-format at the desired size.
Becoming the leader of your brand and familiarizing yourself with the basics of logo file-types helps you avoid wasting time sending the wrong stuff back and forth with your vendors.
You have better things to do, like solving your best-fit clients’ problems and doing the work you love.
Mark your calendars for March 27, to ensure you can join us for The 5 Pillars of Transformational Branding. During this webinar, I will share more tips like this one, as well as ways to protect your brand integrity. I’m excited to explore storytelling, tribe building, place making, as well as the other essential elements you need to build a brand. Click here to reserve your spot!