Remember my previous post about how not to make your logo print fuzzy? Let’s take another look at your poor little fuzzy logo. One of the reasons it might not be printing clearly is because it was saved as a low resolution .jpg or .png file. But do you really understand what these file types mean? It’s important that you know not to send a jpg when your graphic designer needs an eps file… because you may slowly drive that graphic designer crazy.
Are you confused by all these file types?
If you suffer from file format confusion, you’re not alone. Let’s take a look at the two different ways files can be constructed:
- They can be image files, which are made up of a series of pixels. These are called raster files. There is a finite amount of data in the picture file. You can only make it so big until it starts to lose quality. Jpgs, for example, are raster files
- They can be vector files, which are made up of a series of lines and anchor points based on a mathematical formula. Most logos are designed as vector files. These can be resized infinitely big and never lose quality, assuming they are saved as the correct file type, such as an .eps file.
This is an example of a vector file created in Adobe Illustrator:
Do you care about this? Of course you do. And here’s why:
The file type your designer uses to save your logo files influences how it can be used in the future. Let’s say you have a common, little everyday .jpg file. .jpg is fine for many things; they look fine on the web, and your mom can print out your Facebook pictures to hang on the fridge. But let’s say you want to put your logo on top of a picture. A .jpg logo will always have a white box around it:
That’s because when a logo is saved as a .jpg, it loses all of the vector information and becomes “squashed” down into an image file, just like a photo from your camera, with a specific set of dimensions and limitations.
However, there are other types of files that keep that vector data and do not squash your logo flat. These are:
- EPS (Encapsulated Post Script)
- PDF (Portable Document Format)
Generally, if you are not a designer and do not have design programs to open your logo with, an .eps file of your logo would probably be the most useful to you. You can place an .eps file in Microsoft Word and not have the white box around it:
*Not that I condone the use of Microsoft Word templates. Ever. In fact, please never use Microsoft Word templates.
You can also resize it large and not lose image quality:
Look how fuzzy that same logo is resized as a .jpg file in Microsoft Word (not to mention the white box around it):
So it’s good to have your logo in different formats. For the good ol’ internet, yes, .jpg is usually the way to go. But often we are enlarging logos for pamphlets, posters, and large banners. In that case you really do need the versatility of an .eps or .pdf file. This will guarantee that your logo will never have the problem of being too small or fuzzy to print. And it will keep your graphic designer from pulling out her hair… for a little while anyway.