Tips & Tricks


How to send your logo

So you asked me to design a brochure (or any other print product) and you are happy with the draft concept. Great! Now it’s the time to produce it in print quality which means high resolution images, precise colour and… your company’s logo. At some point in the design process I’ll ask you to send me your logo in print quality and most cases it would mean a vector logo or EPS file.

 

Mighty Vector
Vector format means that your logo’s appearance is based on series of mathematical functions and therefore is fully scalable i.e. not losing quality at any size or magnification. Most logos can and should be designed as vectors, especially when one of their applications is print. Not sure if you have one? A vector logo file on your computer would usually have .eps extension e.g. “MyLogo.eps”. It can also come in other vector-supporting formats like .pdf (Adobe Acrobat PDF) and open vector formats: .ai (Adobe Illustrator file), .fh(3-11) (Macromedia Freehand) or .cdr (CorelDRAW), however, EPS is the standard for supplying graphics files like logos. Also vector format can preserve any special colours (like Pantones) used in print. A vector logo in EPS format can be used for print at any size.

 

Down With Pixels
There might be a rare situation when logo is designed and provided as bitmap. In this case you should send us a high resolution file so it will be of enough quality in print. It should also come in uncompressed format such as TIFF (.tif). JPEG (.jpg) allows images to be compressed and compression means degradation of quality. Colour logos in GIF (.gif) or PNG (.png) format are a no-go as they can’t provide CMYK or special colour information.To determine if the file is of any use, simply check its pixel resolution and divide it by either 300 or 118 to get the size in print quality in inches or centimeters, respectively. A couple of examples:

  • Your logo file is 640 pixels wide and 480 pixels high. In print it’s size will be 5.4 x 4 cm.
  • You need to put your logo on a cover in 10×6 cm. You will need at least 1181 x 709 pixel bitmap.
  • Don’t even think of saving a logo off from a website header. It’s way too small!

Bitmaps can be only scaled down and not up without visible quality loss. You don’t want to see jagged logo in your new shiny brochure, do you? Too small bitmap logos can perform poorly if resized.

 

Why not in Word?
Well, because it simply doesn’t work.

  • Container. Images imported to Word cannot be easily saved off for later use. It means using tricks like screen grabbing and additional image processing time.
  • Resolution. Even if it looks good on screen, it will turn out tiny in print. A 5 cm wide logo in your Word document may measure only 1 cm in print quality! And only if it’s not compressed or distorted as often the case.
  • Colour space. Word supports images only in RGB colour space used for monitor display, not print. If colour space conversion is necessary for use in print it means inaccurate colours of your logo. It means trouble.

So, use Word only to supply text, not logos!