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.
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! Did 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!