Logo File Types
Hello, again! You’re here because your logos were just delivered and now you have a bunch of files but probably no idea what each of them are for. Have no fear! You'll likely only use the .JPG and .PNG files but it's our job to make sure you have all the files you'll need ever again (in life) for whatever reason. Be sure to keep them safe. Below is an explanation of each file type, what they're typically used for, and who uses them.
1. .EPS File
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. Unless you're a designer, you'll likely never use this file, but anyone working with your logo in the future may request it for t-shirts, marketing materials, etc. Keep this file safe.
2. .PDF File
The main advantage of a PDF file is that you can view a high-resolution vector-based version of your logo without having access to professional design software. Most internet browsers have built-in features that open PDF files, as do most smart phones and tablets. A designer can, in a crunch, also use this as a source file for your logo (but requires professional design software.) In fact, many designers will forgo both EPS and AI files completely, delivering only a PDF to clients. Like EPS and AI files, it is generally vector based and likewise features unlimited resolution.
3. .AI File
AI stands for Adobe Illustrator and is proprietary to that software application. It's also referred to as the source file. If any designer asks for your logo source file in the future, they're referring to this file. For all intents and purposes, an AI file contains the same information as an EPS or PDF file but requires at least the same version of Illustrator to open as created it, so it’s not as flexible. Overall, these files are redundant, but we still give them to you in case you or anyone else would like to make changes to your logo in the future. You can never be too safe.
4. .JPG File
A JPG (jay-peg) file is made up from pixels as it’s main function is use on electronic screens such as part of a website, social media avatar, email signature and the like. The main thing to note about a JPG file is that transparency is NOT an option and it ALWAYS has a background bounding box. IF you want an image with a transparent background (you can see through it) use a PNG instead. Universally supported by every browser and social media platform, so as long as you don’t want that transparent background, a JPG will suffice for electronic use. As this is a pixel based format, original size cannot be enlarged without image pixelation and can only be used at 100% size or less.
5. .PNG File
A PNG (pee-en-gee) file is also pixel based and used where the end goal is to be viewed on a monitor – on a website, email signature or the like. While a PNG can be a larger file size to a JPG (thus slower to download) It has several main advantages, the most notable is that it can feature a transparent (clear) background. Also supports opacity (when your logo appears ghosted with some details below it showing through.) While there are still a few applications and platforms that don’t fully support PNGs’ transparency function, this is practically the universal standard for high-quality logo images.
6. .SVG File
This is the newest way of presenting logo files on the web and represents a kind of hybrid between vector and pixel images. Known as a Scalable Vector Graphic format, it will undoubtedly be the standard for web based logos in the next few years. The format features the scalability and lossless features of vector files while still being viewable on websites and other monitor-based applications.