All businesses want a strong logo that gets people’s attention. While that should be everyone’s main goal, a lot of business owners don’t take into account that they’ll need their logo in different formats for what they’ll be using it for. Let’s take a look at different places you’ll be using your logo and what you need to know to make the right choice.
Chances are that you’re going to need some printed materials for your business. These materials can range from folders, to business cards, stationary, and more. With this in mind, you’ll need your logo to be in CMYK to print properly. What that means is that the file you send to the printer should have a color mode of CMYK, or cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Those are the 4 colors that all printers use to create a print image.
Your logo should always be in vector format, no exceptions. That means it has likely been created in Adobe Illustrator (a vector drawing program used by industry professionals), and is infinitely scalable. Vector graphics will be crisp and clean, whether you print them at the size of 10 feet by 50ft or an inch by a 1/4 of an inch.
Even if your print design is built in Photoshop, you can copy vector graphics from Illustrator and paste them into Photoshop. I always recommend pasting your vector logos from Illustrator into Photoshop as Smart Objects. It keeps their original integrity in tact. Also, if you need to go back and make a change, your file will be editable, which may keep you from having to start all over again.
For any graphics on the web, the color mode should be RGB, which stands for red, green and blue.This is the color mode at which all computer monitors operate. This also sets up your file to work with the different formats you’ll need for the web. Below are the formats you’ll need when displaying your logos on the web.
Jpeg is a typical image file. You’ll need a jpeg logo file for dropping your logos into social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
PNG-24 is the format you’ll want to use. It makes it so that you can use transparent backgrounds with full color images. You can place your logo over graphics and images without worry. You can also place PNG logos on your website, without worrying about having an ugly box around your logo, which may not match the look of your website.
While PNG files are for full-color graphics with a lot of variations in their colors, GIF files are used for graphics with flat colors. The file size is a lot smaller, and you still get the benefit of transparency.
If you’re going to use your logo in a podcast, or you’re going to use some sort of broadcast to promote your business, a vector logo is a must. A video editor can drop your vector logo file into After Effects, creating the animation sequence you need to show off your logo. Adobe has made it a point to make it easy for different programs they own to work well with each other. Simply send your vector logo file to your animation or video editor, and they’ll do the rest.
Social media is the main way to promote your business now. Your business will need to at least have a Facebook page, and possibly a Twitter page, too. What I typically do is set up the logo file in a square format with enough room around the edges to allow some forgiveness. I save the logo file as a jpeg format at 600 x 600 pixels in dimension. This will create a crisp logo graphic that fits well in your profile pic for Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.
You’ll also want to think about cover photos, too. If your business is more personal, you may want a personal photo of yourself to give a face to your business. This is especially true for those who have a lot of face to face client interactions. In that case, you’ll want to incorporate your logo into your cover photos for Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
It is important to have the right file formats for all of the different applications where you’ll be using your photo. Consistency is key in any logo or identity. Making sure your logo looks consistent across print and digital media is a big part of that. With a quality vector graphics file, you can convert your logo to any format you need to get the job done. You definitely don’t want to try and use the wrong logo formats for certain media. The results will look unprofessional. Can you think of any other file formats you may need for your logo?