File Usage Guide

What files to use and when to use them.

Vector Files

A vector file is for anytime your logo is going to be printed on something.

Vector based files usually require professional design software to open, so while VERY important, you won’t be doing too much with them day-to-day. They are unlimited resolution (can be used really big, and really small) and are primarily print and source files.

ai file

.AI file (vector)

Requires Adobe Illustrator (or similar) to open or use. It is unlimited resolution and can be enlarged without image degradation. NOT for web use. Generally cannot be imported into other design software. Largely redundant in light of EPS and PDF files.

ai file

.PDF file (vector)

Can be VIEWED without use of professional design software. Can be viewed on most web browsers, smart phones and tablets but NOT for use “as is” in web site design or as an embedded image. Can be edited (with appropriate software and technical knowledge.)

ai file

.EPS file (vector)

An EPS file of your logo can be imported into other design software. It is unlimited resolution and can be enlarged without image degradation. Can be edited (with appropriate software and technical knowledge) and used as a source file for other file types. Primarily a print file and NOT for use on web. Keep this file safe.

Raster File Types

Generally, a raster file is for use anytime your logo is to be viewed on a monitor or screen.

Bitmap (raster or pixel) files are the ones you’ll generally be using – on your website or in email signatures for example – but are limited in what you can do. You can’t, for example, enlarge the image size of a pixel-based file without it becoming blurry as the individual pixels become noticeable. You can usually reduce it fairly safely.

ai file

.JPG file (raster)

JPG files are primarily for use on monitors and TVs. Used extensively on most web based platforms and applications. Can be compressed to lower file size (and speed up download over the internet) but some image degradation may be apparent. Cannot be used larger than 100% of original image size. ALWAYS features a background color. Difficult, if not possible, to edit.

ai file

.PNG file (raster)

Can feature a transparent (clear) background. Great color accuracy (though blends or gradients may “band” with lower bit rate files.) Cannot be used larger than 100% of original image size though reduces well. Considered universal standard for pristine logo presentation on websites and electronic media, though not fully supported by some platforms (those that don’t usually convert PNGs to JPGs.) Difficult, or not possible, to edit.


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