Managing a brand or business always requires handling some sort of logo, which typically involves handling multiple types of logo files in different, unique situations. Knowing what the differences are and how to properly organize your logo files is absolutely essential in ensuring your branding appears the way you want it to.
This article will go over the essential knowledge you should have regarding your logo files. We’ll look at some popular file types, explaining the applications and differences between them, while also looking at some best practice tips for organizing your files.
With all of this knowledge, you’ll know exactly what you should have on hand, how to share and use your logo properly, and how to save yourself valuable time and energy.
First things first, what is a logo?
A logo is composed of multiple components, which typically consist of: a , an , a , and . Not every logo will have an icon, or even a wordmark, but every logo should have at least two layouts and a glyph.
Let’s look at each of these components:
These are the main text components of a logo. It typically has the name of the brand and or a slogan or phrase. Some logos consist entirely of a word-mark with some different layouts depending on the space available.
These are the main graphic components of a logo. Over time, many brands have adopted more minimal icon-marks, but you’ll likely still find a variety of brands with more complex icon-marks in their logos.
These are the lesser known, but equally important components of logos - which are a minimal version of the logo that can fit into tiny places - like a favicon or along some social media icons. If a logo has a minimally-styled icon-mark, that icon will typically serve as the glyph.
These are the different layout variations of a logo, which are available to ensure a logo always looks good - regardless of the space available. Some essential layouts include a 1:1 (square) and landscape variation.
Knowing what these different components are called, you’ll have a much easier time understanding how to use your logo, and what to provide when sharing it. If you’re managing a brand or own your own business - take some time to evaluate the different components of your logo, and make sure that you have multiple layouts on hand.
Now, with the different components defined, we can move onto the different logo file types you’ll want to be familiar with.
The most popular logo file types
Logos typically come packaged in multiple and formats, with vector versions being the most popular choice. The key difference between photos and vectors, is that images use pixels (finite number of coloured dots), while vectors have their dimensions set as calculations - meaning they can be scaled infinitely without losing any quality.
Here’s some more information on these formats:
Photo file types for logos ( and )
If your logo is saved as a photo, it’s likely either as a JPG or a PNG. A JPG is a widely supported, easy to share photo file type - that always has some sort of background (usually white). This means that if your logo is saved as a JPG, it won’t have a transparent background.
To solve this, the PNG file format allows for the same flexibility in support & sharing, while allowing for transparent backgrounds.
As you might expect or already know, photos can appear blurry or ‘pixelated’ when they’re not scaled properly, which is a downside to using the photo file formats. Despite this, they are widely supported across the web and popular software - meaning they are easy to place almost anywhere.
Vector file formats ( and )
When your logo is saved as a vector, you’ll have a much easier time scaling it and adjusting it than a photo file. When it comes to the web, most logos are saved as SVGs - since they are small in file size, well-supported, and appear clear.
However, when it comes to print media, the recommended format is EPS - since it is more well-supported within the realm of printing than its vector counterpart, the SVG. There are more complex technical reasons for this, but the key point is that SVG files store different information than EPS files - the difference can cause issues during printing.
To use vectors or not to use vectors, that is the question. The answer depends entirely on what you’re trying to accomplish.
If you’re adding a logo to a website, try and use the SVG file format. If you’re printing some brochures for example, you’ll want your logo added as an EPS file. If sending an email, use a JPG or PNG version of your logo (most supported file types).
You’ll likely encounter situations where you want to use an SVG or EPS file, but simply aren’t able to due to a limitation of the software or device-support. When this arises, your best solution is to use an appropriately sized PNG of your logo instead.
Knowing what the differences are between file types, and what the different components of a logo are, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper files on hand.
A breakdown of the essential logo files you need
First thing first, not every logo is created equal. Some logos have unique designs, meaning they might not use a word-mark or icon-mark - or they might have a very specific layout that doesn’t allow for much variation.
With that being said, there are some essential files you’ll want to have on hand. The following breakdown recommends having a JPG, PNG, SVG, and EPS version of each variation:
Colour variations of the entire logo
Default colour, alternate colour(s), black, and white versions of your logo.
Default layout, landscape, 1:1 (square), vertical (if possible).
Each component individually
Word-mark, icon-mark, and glyph.
Typically an Illustrator or Sketch file used to export all of the variations in bulk.
The goal is to have all of the above variations, in each of the aforementioned file types. Depending on how you acquired your logo, you may have difficulty obtaining the working file, but having copies of the vectorized logo is often more than enough to work with.
An important consideration for the photo files (JPGs and PNGs), is that you’ll likely want to have a small, medium, and large version on hand. Having differently sized image versions will make it easier to place your logo when vector formats are not available to use.
A single logo, when properly managed, can have upwards of dozens - if not hundreds of variations that can be sourced, placed, and modified. If you’re looking over at your logo files on hand, and notice that you’re seriously lacking these variations (or they’re not well-organized well) - we can help.
Where do you go from here
At Mediashaker, we help our clients on a near daily basis with proper logo management, vectorizing older logos, and refreshing existing branding.
If any of these services sounds like something you need - based on what you know now about best practices logo management, give us a call. Properly managing a logo is a very time-intensive task for non-designers, which is why so many of our clients depend on us for quick turnarounds on all things branding.
Let the pros do it for you
Ensure your branding always looks the way you want it to - contact our team today.Contact us to get started