6 Logo File Types Your Business Needs

New to business? Ready to launch a new venture? Are you looking to rebrand?

Looking for which graphic designer you’d like to hire to design a new logo can be a task in itself. There’s a lot of options out there and a wide variety of prices, skills levels, and logo packages. Whether its a recent design school graduate, a successful freelance graphic designer, or an expensive agency, you should always know what your final deliverables will be. Do a little research ahead of time to know that you’ll be receiving the files you need in the end. (Warning: cheap online services are often lacking in the deliverables arena. Beware.)

In our five years of business (and even prior to that) we’ve seen so many businesses unequipped with what they need. One time that we can vividly remember, we were asking a client for a vector format of their newly designed logo. It came as no surprise that they had no clue what we were talking about so they just sent us everything they had. (If you’re sitting here confused, it’s totally common for people not to know the term “vector”… That’s why we’re here to educate you!)

They sent us what they had and it was a folder full of variations of .jpg and .png files. NOT VECTOR FILES. Who is this designer that didn’t supply a vector file? What kind of training, or lack thereof, did the designer have? Puzzling… After the frustration wore off, we contacted the designer and were able to track down the vector file as needed. Fortunately, we didn’t have to recreate the vector logo… Unfortunately, it did require extra emails, jumping through hoops, and loss of productive time.

After this dreadful inconvenience, we thought it would be helpful to lay out the most important logo files you need for your business. So let’s hop to it… We’re counting down the 6 logos you should have for your business and why.

6. Horizontal and Vertical Formats (if applicable)

Some logos may or may not need 2 different logo variations. It just depends on what your logo looks like. If you have a really tall or wide logo, you may need a horizontal or vertical logo. With the example below, we showed why it is important to have the variation. Carrie Cullen‘s main logo is a circle and it looks beautiful! But what happens when we put it on the website and there’s a very short header? This is where the horizontal version becomes important… If we used the circle logo there, it would have had to be so tiny.

5. Transparent

Please, please, please, promise us you will never use your logo with an ugly white box around it. It looks so unprofessional. It’s clear you weren’t prepared with the logo file types you need (or knowledgeable in design). Using a transparent logo is a great way to solve this problem. Be sure you only place it over graphics or colors that allow full legibility, you want to be sure it’s easy to read and doesn’t strain your eyes. Another “sin” in design…don’t try to create your own transparent logos by deleting the white pixels around it. This can create an awful white, and often pixelated, blur around your logo. This can look even worse. Promise me you’ll avoid this tactic?

4. Color profiles

You may not need it often, but it’s important to always have a version of your logo that uses the original PMS, RGB, and CMYK colors. A PMS, also known as a Pantone color, is a universal color system that allows accuracy in colors across the world. This will be important for printers you use to match your brand well. Even if you aren’t printing with PMS color inks, you can still sthare these color codes with your printer to let them know what to match tones to. RGB files will be used for anything digital you are putting out into the world. RGB is referring to the Red-Green-Blue values on your screen that are used to create different colors. CMYK files will be used for anything you are using in print. These files are based on the ink colors, Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black, that a printer uses to create different tones.

3. Reversed Logo

Ever plan to put your logo on a dark background? Yea… you might have problems if you weren’t supplied with the right logos. You may not think of it at first, but you WILL need a white style of your logo at some point for various marketing collateral and you’ll probably use it somewhere on your site as well. With the example below, we were able to put The Granite Workshop’s logo on a light-colored marble or a dark-colored granite. Both look beautiful!

2. One Solid Color

This is where a lot of inexperienced designers hit problems. If you’re using multiple colors that overlap or gradient tones, it can be really hard to create a 1-color logo from it. It’s so important that designers (and you) understand that colors are really nice in a logo, but how will it look when it’s only one color? Are you thinking, “Nah, we probably won’t ever use a one color logo”? Think again! The most common uses for one-colored logos are in screenprinting (t-shirts, bags, etc.) and promotional products (pens, thumbs drives, mints, etc.). It’s super important. See how we were able to take this really colorful logo for Moonbeam Birth and also create a one-color version that still looks great standing alone in blue?

1. Vector Logo (EPS)

MOST IMPORTANT… You neeeeeeeeeed to have a vector file. Your designer and other vendors you work with might jab their eyes out if you don’t have one… Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but please take me seriously when I say you NEED a vector logo. This will often come as an EPS file (occasionally an .ai, but less universal). Okay, so hopefully you’ve caught on that it’s major…

What makes a vector so important? 1. They are 100% scalable so the can be transformed from 1 inch to 20 feet and beyond. 2. You can pull elements from it to use in designing collateral. 3. You can edit the colors should you ever need a black and white version, end up changing your brand colors down the road. 3. You can edit it should you need a new variation down the road or your business pivots.

This graphic shows the “vectors” of a logo. They are made with all these blue squares which are called vectors (thus the name). All the vectors work together to create angles and shapes. Each one can be moved and manipulated if the need arises. Together, they make up the greatest thing in design!!

 

We hope this was helpful. We also hope you’re equipped with all the proper files you need! DI you find this beneficial? Are there any logos your business is missing? Anything you found surprising?

Let us know, we’d love to chat more!

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Sprout’s Process for Print Design Projects

Wondering what our process is like for our client’s graphic design projects?

You’ve come to the right spot. We’ve created this easy to follow roadmap just for you! Follow along as we walk through the steps of a graphic design process for print collateral and other marketing pieces. The process is pretty simple but this will at least give you an idea of what to expect.

 

Thanks for checking out our infographic on the design process for print projects. We hope it was informative and helped you understand the timeline.

Stay tuned for future posts where we will talk about the web design process.

4 Ways to Find Inspiration Daily

Where do we find inspiration?

We get this question a lot. As a creative studio its important to stay on top of our creativity and always thinking outside of the box. What if we get stuck? Where do we find inspiration daily?

I’m going to walk you through the four main ways we gain inspiration. Keep in mind we get it from everywhere. We even have creative inspiration when we sleep, when we’re shopping, and even when we least expect it.

The first spot we find inspiration is in one of our daily routines… Instagram. Are you on Instagram? We love to use Instagram to browse creativity. We’ve started to follow hashtags which are related to branding and design we love. Through this, we get a constant feed of inspiration, and the creativity hits us all the time. We love to follow other creative’s because we can bounce inspiration off of each other. It’s important to understand that following other creative’s doesn’t mean you’re copying their ideas. It’s super important to us that we stay original and even something little from someone else’s work might strike a bigger idea. Find us on Instagram. 

The second place we find creativity is on Pinterest. Yep, we know. Everyone loves Pinterest. Surprisingly, we were one of the originals on the Pinterest platform.… back then Pinterest wasn’t what it was today there was lots of creativity, but also less advertising, it was heaven. Back then everyone had new ideas and it was amazing for finding really original and authentic ideas.

However, Pinterest is still an amazing resource for any creative. We’ll use Pinterest for business ideas, design ideas, cookie decorating ideas, and of course DIY home decor. The creativity is all around and we cannot resist finding the inspiration from this incredible platform. You can follow us on Pinterest here.

Our third form of inspiration comes from print. That’s right you heard it here… print is not dead. We have a great, and ever-growing library of design books. You may have seen us talk about them before. We have a variety of books we love to peruse. We have books on design, logos, entrepreneurship, business cards, and so much more. Whenever we’re feeling stuck we can always go back to these books and get instant inspiration. The great thing about design books is that they are timeless. So you get a great variety of design styles, without the trendy design elements.  I love this because you can find inspiration from way back when to days like today.

Our favorite, favorite, favorite, part of finding inspiration from books is that the inspiration is right at your fingertips. You don’t need to go to Google or type on your phone for specific keywords. In design, you may not have specific keywords to search, and sometimes the results suck if you haven’t searched for the correct thing. Additionally, if you’re looking for business card inspiration Google might send you two sides the design business cards for you or give you the same images for business cards over and over again. When you have a book you don’t have to search for anything specific, you can just browse through and even if you’re looking at a web design book you can even find inspiration for a catalog. I love having all these books on hand, and we are continuing to grow our little design library every month.

Our last form of inspiration is a little bit vague. I apologize that we can’t be more specific, but that’s just how creatives work. We are so happy to live in a visual world. Everything around us is design. We get to see billboards, packaging, mailers, and other forms of design all day, every day. This means that we have creativity all around us 24/7. That’s right folks, our last form of inspiration comes from… The world. The great thing about the world of design is you can find great design, and you can find horrible design. Both or means of inspiration… both good and bad design can inspire what to do or what not to do.

My phone is filled with screenshots and quick snaps on my camera of things that I find really interesting. Additionally, Madison is a very creative city. It also allows a lot of entertainment for creative folk and inspirational events. We also have a lot of great design agencies in town who put out great work for local and national brands. Although we are a small shop we always strive to keep up with the creative agencies with full teams of designers.

And that’s the basic ways we find inspiration. Of course, there are many other ways but these are our for top ways of staying creative. Are you in the creative industry? Do you use these creative outlets as information? If so I would love to hear what you think is your top way to gain inspiration.

 

Comment below to share your thoughts.