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How To Choose The Right Logo File Format? A Complete Guide

by Anne Carton Tweet - in Logo Design

Logo File

Last updated on January 13th, 2023

A logo is the core identity of a brand. If its design is unique and simple, people relate to it and get a brand message. But your designer must save and send the logo image in a proper format. If not, you will face the issue of image quality, editing, and scalability. So, logo file formats matter a lot when receiving the design from the designer.

The right logo file formats provide rich colors, transparent backgrounds, and scalability, ensuring they fit all screen sizes. There are many file formats, but not all are equally great for saving a logo image and receiving it from your designer. PNG, JPG, PDF, and SVG are considered the best logo file formats on the Internet. However, all files are saved using the RCB color format to offer the best colors on the Internet.

Your logo will be either printed or used digitally. So, you need to receive the logo image from the designer depending on the use of the image. For example, if you need the logo for printing on a t-shirt, it will be saved in a different file format than the one ideal for digitally publishing it.

Vector vs. Raster Formats

Logo files can be saved basically in two formats β€” vector and raster. For instance, professional designers usually work in Adobe Illustrator to design a logo. AI is a vector-based program. On the other hand, Photoshop is a raster-based program.

When it comes to designing a logo, professionals generally prefer creating it in a vector format. This is because vector images are scalable to larger or smaller sizes without distortion of image quality.

The design’s lines, points, curves, and other features keep the same proportion even when scaled to substantial sizes, such as on billboards. Those image details also are visible clearly when the logo is reduced to a tiny size. Also, note that vector files are the original files designers use to create and edit logos.

Raster images are not considered ideal formats since these are not scalable and lose resolution. In addition, the logo image will become fuzzy when scaled to larger sizes. This is because these file logo formats are based on pixels.

So, after you use a logo maker to craft your logo, and if your logo image is saved in raster file format, you need first to convert it into vector format when you want to make changes to the design.

PNG, EPS, SVG, and PDF are commonly used logo file formats. But there are other options as well which you can use depending on your requirements.

Why do you require different logo file formats?

A logo file format is a way for sharing a logo design across multiple platforms. In sharing those files, the main concern is maintaining the logo quality. But each file format has its own features and purposes. For example, while some file formats have small file sizes and may have rich colors, others are known for maximum image quality.

Since each file has its own purpose, some are good for printing logos on clothes such as custom tshirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, etc. and other surfaces. Others are good for digitally putting logos on websites etc. So, you need different file logo formats for distinctive works.

Here Are The Major Logo File Formats You Should Consider

01. PNG (Portable Network Graphic)

The Portable Network Graphic (PNG) is considered one of the best file formats for saving digital graphics, such as logos and flat images. This is a pixel-based raster image format that you must also prefer when an image has a transparent background.

PNGs are among the logo file types that can show millions of colors. You can also use a transparent PNG on top of a colored background or image, making it a helpful format for a logo.

But a downside of PNGs is that they are less scalable. Since these files have a limited number of pixels, you cannot scale up their size beyond a limit when needed. Therefore, these files are not recommended for print.

Here is What You Should Keep In Mind About PNGs:

  • Suitable for the web
  • Supports transparency
  • Lossless compression
  • Unscalable to larger sizes
  • Not suitable for print

02. JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

JPEG is a raster file format mostly used to save logo images. Sometimes shortened to JPG, this format comes with the advantage that it can be compressed easily to store the logo image and other images. But the file does not support transparency. It is also not an ideal file format for scaling an image size without losing quality.

Here is What You Need To Consider With JPEG Files:

  • Ideal for photos
  • Lossless compression
  • Suitable for web
  • Not scalable
  • Not transparent
  • Not ideal for print

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03. TIFF / TIF (Tagged Image File Format)

TIFF is rarely used and given as a file for your logo by a designer. But some of the designers may send your logo in this format. Mostly, TIFFs are ideally used for sending photographs and other images. After saving the images in this file format, the quality remains the same, and it enables editing.

But a drawback of this file format is that the file sizes are larger, which may be problematic if you are low on storage space.

Its Key Advantages Include The Following:

  • Editable
  • Perfect for photos
  • Lossless compression
  • Large file size
  • Suitable for web and print
  • Supports transparency
  • Not scalable

04. GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)

A GIF file is perfect for animated logos. This is also ideal for simple graphics that have limited colors. It can support 256 colors only, which mostly does not suit photos or detailed graphics. These file logos formats are smaller in size and have shorter storage space.

Its Key Features Include:

  • Small file size
  • Not scalable
  • A good choice for web
  • Supports animation
  • Supports transparency
  • Limited to 256 colors
  • Not suitable for print

professional logo

05. PDF (Portable Document Format)

PDF is a commonly used file format that most of us have often opened. This format supports transparent backgrounds and can be scaled to any size. In addition, these vector files are editable after you save them. This logo format is the ideal format when you want to send your logo to print.

Also, if you use Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign, you can easily change your logo design. You can also re-export the file.

Here Are Its Salient Features:

  • Editable
  • Accessible cross-platforms
  • Scalable
  • Suitable for both web and print
  • Supports transparency

06. SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic)

SVGs are popular file formats for logos. These file formats allow you to change logo size and color using code. In addition, you can animate these logos online. A key reason for the popularity of SVGs is that they are infinitely scalable.

This is also an ideal logo file format for interactivity and animation creation. You can edit with the help of any text editor or drawing software.

Here Are The Significant Benefits of SVGs Logo File Format:

  • Editable
  • Scalable
  • Supports animation
  • Suitable for both web and print
  • Small file size
  • Supports transparency
  • Ideal for putting your logo on stickers, labels, clothing, etc.
  • Use it to print materials like posters, business cards, letters, etc.

07. EPS (Encapsulated PostScript)

The EPS file format is an industry standard for high-quality printing. This vector graphic file is typically required for large-scale printing of images, such as on billboards and posters.

But a major disadvantage of EPS is that it does not allow you to edit your logo design. If you need to make some changes to the design, go back to the original design. Then, after redesigning the logo, you can resave it in the EPS.

Here is Why You Should Go For EPS:

  • Best for scaling images
  • Retain picture quality for downsized images
  • An obvious file choice for larger print jobs.
  • Used for large-scale detailed images, like billboards and posters.

08. AI (Adobe Illustrator)

Adobe Illustrator files are large files that you can export in all file types. These are entirely editable files and have all the original, editable artwork. But they can be opened only in Adobe Illustrator or other vector editing software.

This is also the best file format when you want to modify your logo design or export its different versions or formats.

However, you cannot directly use an AI file online when you need it as your profile photo. First, you need to export the logo to an acceptable format online.

So, Its Key Benefits Include:

  • Editable
  • Suitable for web and print
  • Scalable
  • Supports transparency

Which is the best file format for printing a logo?

Usually, high-resolution PDF files are considered the best solution when sending an image for printing. The recipient also finds PDF files convenient to use since these can be opened on any device. There are usually no compatibility issues involved.

Besides PDF, two more logo formats are recommended for sending logo images. These are EPS and AI files. EPS Files are well-compatible with all printing equipment. So, if a printer has not specified a logo file type, you can send a logo image in PDF and EPS files.

You can also depend on AI files to send and get a logo design image without any distortions. All of the design layers are safe without any change or compression.

Which are the best file formats for the digital printing of a logo?

When digitally printing a logo on a website and other online platforms, consider some specific types of logo files. JPG, PNG, and SVG should be your preference for saving logo images when the intention is to print them on a website.

These formats come with transparent backgrounds, rich colors, scalability, and other features. But make sure that these files are saved in RGB format to get the best colors on the web.

These are the critical aspects of logo file formats to help you decide on saving your logo image in the right design for physical or digital printing.

Clearly, when you create logos using a logo maker, you still need to learn how to save the logo image, ideally in the best file format.

If you are looking for a unique logo design for your small business, Designhill can help. This creative marketplace is home to hundreds of graphic designers. They can provide you multiple logo ideas while working on your logo design contest.

Are You Looking for a New Graphic Designer?If Yes, Call Us on +1-855-699-2851 [times for calling 9am to 6pm EST (US)] or Register for a Free Design Consultation

Wrapping Up

Logo file formats save a logo image safely so that a recipient of the file can get the image with all its colors and scalability features. But some file formats work better for the digital printing of logos, while others are for the physical printing of the image. So, you should save your logo in the correct file format, such as PDF, JPEG, SVG, GIF, TIFF, etc.

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Anne Carton is a small business consultant, designer and an enthusiast blogger working with Designhill, one of the fastest-growing custom design marketplace. She has authored several blogs, articles and editorials on various topics related to interactive content, concerning design, social media strategies, growth hack strategies, digital marketing and e-commerce. Facebook | Twitter

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