You’ve had that beautiful logo designed and now you’re ready to get things printed – flyers, signs, T-shirts, websites, etc.
All too often we leave our precious artwork with whomever designed it for us. That’s fine, but always insist that you get copies as well. You’ve paid for it and it’s your property. Besides, what happens if the designer leaves town, or the printer who prepared it goes bankrupt? Also bear in mind that there might be additional charges each time you request your designer or printer to forward your artwork to another supplier. Various suppliers will have individual technical requirements and you could get charged whenever your designer has to provide the artwork in the requested format. It shouldn’t have to happen that way, but unfortunately it does.
When approaching a printer, web designer or signage company, one of the first questions you’ll get asked is: “Do you have the artwork of your logo?”. If you’ve done things correctly and have your artwork on a flash drive, you whip it out and say, “Yes! I had one specially designed for me.” Then you get told that the resolution is too low for the size that’s required for printing, or that the colour format is wrong. Or you suddenly discover that your logo doesn’t work for a specific application. Or it stinks when reversed out. And you end up paying the printer or signage company to have it fixed.
The best way to avoid such costs and complications is to ensure that you will be provided your logo artwork when you begin negotiating with a designer or design company or printer. A reputable design company will automatically incorporate that into their design package.
Flexibility and adaptability is therefore critical. All graphic images come in two types: vector and bitmap. It’s essential that you get your artwork in vector, as this can be resized without losing resolution and thereby quality. Bitmap logos are resolution-based and as such cannot be resized without sacrificing image quality. Never accept just a JPG version.
The best vector file type to have is an EPS which which can be imported into a variety of graphic design software. Bitmap versions should be .tiff, .psd and .jpg. If someone gives you a PDF file containing your artwork, make sure it’s not simply a JPG file that’s been place inside – that doesn’t help at all.
Use this Checklist when having your logo designed:
- A variety of file formats. You will need to insert your logo into an array of mediums, including web pages, word processor documents, business cards, letterheads, and more. Therefore, it is necessary that you have your logo in a variety of file formats, as each medium may work best with a specific format. When you interview potential designers for your project, make sure they promise to deliver .eps, .jpg, .tiff, and .gif file formats for your logo.
- Color. Your designer should also deliver two color formats – CMYK and RGB – as one format is best for printing, while the other is best for web use.
- Black and white. There will be instances in which you will have to use a black and white version of your logo (newspaper ads, for example). Therefore, it is important that your logo works just as well when reversed out (in black and white) as it does in color. Your designer should deliver both versions for your inspection.
- Favicon. A favicon is a smaller version of your icon that sits on the tab section of a webpage and associates the web page with your business. (If you need an example of a favicon, simply head to the Google home page and look for the multi-colored “g” icon at the top of your screen.) Although a favicon is not absolutely necessary, it is a great way to add even more credibility to your web presence, and a logo designer who offers one is a step ahead of a designer who doesn’t.
- Mobile browser icons. As you may or may not know, businesses these days are beginning to rely heavily on mobile apps to stay connected with their customer base. That is because more people access the web through their mobile devices than through their computers. If you want your icon to be clear on those tiny mobile device screens, you should make sure your logo designer creates a version of your logo that is optimized for mobile browsers.
Finally, protect your artwork by storing it not merely on your hard drive, but on a flash disk or cloud storage as well. Make a least two copies and keep them in separate places in case of fire or theft.