What Do I Ask My Designer For When We Have Finish My New Logo Design?
We had a good question come in about logos and what kinds instructions you want to give to your designer for the final art that they deliver to you. Your logo package. Once the designer is gone and is out of the picture you want to have everything you need for future projects. Very often these days we are working with an on-line freelancer in another country and they are hard to trace down. I like to be free and clear on anyone once the project is complete.
I like to have art in two ways, in an editable format like Adobe Illustrator and also in JPG format. Very likely the designer worked in Illustrator to design and create the logo, that is the version I want. Vector art is used for t-shirts, bags, banners, print matter. Vector art is very flexible and can be used in many ways. It is the source art. JPG art is use for web and also print.
I like Adobe Illustrator format, .AI, this is also called vector art. Adobe Illustrator is the main program designers use for making logos. You can also have EPS, which formally was the universal format for vector art but now .AI pretty much works everywhere. They are really the same thing, either will do. Vector art is key because it is saleable to any size, it has crisp clean edges and can be easily edit in Illustrator. I usually like a color version and a black/white version in all the different configurations.
Raster Art, JPG and PNG
These days the most common format for logos is .jpg. This is a photo based format that works pretty much everywhere. There are high res versions (300dpi) used in print and low res versions (72dpi) used on the web. You can also get artwork in .png and .psd which is Photoshop. Once you have one format you can easily convert it to another.
Generally I like to have a large version, 6"-8" wide at 300dpi (dots per inch-this is the resolution). The most universal would be the Photoshop version but you then need Photoshop to deal with it. JPG is fine. I also like a 3" version and a small maybe 1.5" version. Big, medium and small in 300dpi and also 72dpi. You want a color version and a black/white version in all the different configurations. PNG is a newer format which compresses and uncompressed without any loss. You can have that format also if you want. I might just go to a Photoshop format instead of .png. Color mode would be RGB.
Vector art is infinitely scalable, raster art is not. Raster art will become jagged if it is enlarged. Vector art has a transparent background, JPG art has a white binding box around it. PSD art can be set up to have a transparent background. Vector art is fully editable in Illustrator, change color, change the fonts, change the scale, etc. JPG is more limited, mostly just scaling it down or converting it to black/white. For most uses print and web either will work as long as the resolution is good. Vector art does not have a resolution, it is lines.
Colors come in 3 different ways. RGB, CMYK and PMS. And I guess also Black/White.
RGB stands for Red Green Blue, this is the standard color format of the web and most stock images that you buy and your computer screen.
CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. This is also called 4 color process. This is the format for 4 color printing. Anything you see in color printed like in a magazine or book was printed using these four colors.
PMS stands for Pantone Color Matching System. This is a universal set of formulas used for creating flat colors. Before digital printing we would do 2 color printing for stationery. Usually Black and a PMS color like PMS 300 which is blue. The advantage of PMS colors is that you can go anywhere in the world and match the colors. You can also screen the colors, 80%, 50%, 10% that kind of thing. My recommendation is to always use PMS colors on your logos, so much easier to match and work with. All the major graphics programs work with all three formats. You can also convert from PMS to RGB or CMYK.
Ok much of what I wrote above has been thrown out with digital printing and color matching. Printing has changed tremendously over the last few years. Printing CMYK traditionally was always expensive, moving above 2 colors with PMS printing also was expensive. Every color is another pass on the press. Now with digital printing and print-on-demand everything is easier. Colors get matched to their RGB equivalent. It isn't always cheaper but it is quickly getting there. You can also match the colors you see on the screen with what gets printed. Very often you would select PMS colors but on the screen they look very different. Every computer is different, but all this is getting closer and closer
Logos, work with PMS colors. They are easy to pick and easy to know what you'll get. Anyone can work with them anywhere in the world. They are also easy for the printer to match. There is a swatch book, in fact many different swatch books, paper, film, fabric, cardboard, etc. Click Here for Pantone Swatch Books. You can buy them on Amazon. Including conversion books for CYMK and RGB. When you switch to web graphics the colors will convert to RGB as part of the process of making the graphic. RGB colors are hard to figure out what the color formula is, especially for matching.
You want to know what the fonts are that are used in your logo, especially if they are anything custom. I usually deliver logos with fonts turned into outlines which means that the font has been turned into a piece of art. But if the font is in the logo, then very likely it is also part of your overall design and will be used in other places. It is key to get the font name and where the designer bought them. Custom fonts can give your logo a great look but can create issue down the line if you don't know what they are.
I use Fonts.com, there is also Adobe.com, Google Fonts, and many many others. Fonts can be exactly the same but with different names or be very similar with the same name. Every font foundry is different. You can't copyright a font so they get copied all the time and renamed. I generally just buy the font family, regular, italic, bold and bold italic. I don't bother with a web version as you normally just stay with the regular print version. All web art and graphics would generally come in jpg or gif format, and is created by your designer or web master, but they would need the fonts if they are adding type. Generally you don't put custom fonts on a web page. Any that you see are usually in graphic form.
A good test for your logo is to make a really small version like what you might use for the signature in your emails and see how it looks and reads.
If your logo has components, like a Nike swish which we call that a bug, and the organization's name then you want those pieces individually also. Plus all of the configurations, Basically you want all the parts in all the ways.
Ok to sum up what you want to ask your logo designer for:• You want your logo in all the different configurations that it comes in. Split apart and together if you have a graphic and words logo.
• Adobe Illustrator format, generally I like fonts as outlines, less trouble. About 6"x 8" inches in size.
I recommend using PMS colors. The different configurations can all be on one page or individual files.
• JPG format, three sizes, large 6"-8" size, medium 3" size, and a small one, 1.5"-2" size, in 300dpi and in 72dpi resolution. You could ask for PNG or PSD but they aren't really needed. All of these versions can be made from the Illustrator original.
• You want all color and black/white versions, so with a simple logo, 12 files.
• Font names and where they purchased the fonts. If they just used what is in the computer then specify that.
• PMS colors by numbers
J. Bruce Jones is a 30+ year graphic designer, with over 8,000 projects under his belt. You can learn more from my experience and about publishing your own books from my 7 Steps to Publishing Your Book Course Click Here to Check Out the Course.