How To Prepare & Deliver Logo Files To Your Clients
Once the logo is finalized, then it’s time to create a variety of logo files (vector and raster) and deliver them as a logo package to your client.
There’s a lot of confusion around what file formats you should deliver to a client when the final logo is approved.
When it comes to using the logo, it’s extremely important to have the right logo formats for each particular purpose — from a business card to a Facebook profile pic to a T-shirt embroidery, to a signage etc.
As a designer you need to:
Take time to create all the necessary logo files to ensure that the logo always looks good.
As a professional designer, you will want to send a number of different files, each intended for a particular use.
How to know what kind of files you should create? — That’s why I wrote this step-by-step guide to creating logo files.
6 Steps To Creating Logo Files
- Set Up A Folder Structure
- Create Logo Variations
- Understand Color Spaces
- Make Logo Color Versions
- Generate File Formats
- Deliver Logo Package
If you follow my guide, it will save your clients from using incorrect file formats and therefore making your logo look bad (pixelated, washed out colors etc.)
If you follow my steps, you will ensure that your designs are being used correctly.
Moreover, it will help you make the logo handover process a whole lot smoother and will save you from clients coming back and asking for more files.
So roll up your sleeves, follow my 6 step process and make a logo package that includes all the necessary file formats.
PS. If you prefer watching a YouTube video — check it out my channel.
1. Set Up A Folder Structure
When it comes to creating logo delivery package, I always start with setting up a folder structure — this is how I organize my logo files.
Set up the folder structure and file naming convention.
Below is a breakdown of what should be inside your ZIP file (Logo_Package.zip) — this is my logical structure to neatly organize all of the logo files.
Of course, you can organize your files however you want, but I found this structure works best.
It helps my clients easily navigate through multiple file formats and quickly find whatever they need.
So within that ZIP folder we have three levels of folders:
- Logo Variations — different logo lockups and versions, for example: horizontal, vertical, brandmark etc.
- Color Spaces — files categorized for different use both in print and digital (CMYK and RGB)
- Color Versions — multiple color versions of the specific logo variation, for example: full color, inverse, black, white etc.
In the last folder (for example “01_Full_Color”) — there are different file formats like AI, SVG, EPS, PDF, PNG, JPG etc.
So the graphic above demonstrates how I like to structure my logo packages to neatly organize all of the files.
Besides creating a folder structure, it’s also important to establish your file naming structure — the way you label those files.
Naming files properly is not only a good practice, but it will also help everyone identify each file easily (and use search tool).
Logo Files — Naming Structure
This is how to name logo files:
I always start with the company name first, followed by the logo variation (e.g. Horizontal Logo), the color space (RGB, CMYK, or Pantone), and the color version at the end (Full Color, Invert, Black, White etc.)
Again, keeping things organized like that will save you from headache — you’ll be able to find the right file easily.
Once you have your folder structure ready and you know how to name your files properly, then it’s time to prepare different variations of your logo.
2. Create Logo Variations
When you consider all the different applications and mediums a logo can be used on — just one logo versions definitely won’t cut it.
Decide on what logo variations your client would need.
When I say logo variations, what I really mean is different versions of the same logo designed for use in certain situations.
Logo Files — Logo Variations (Lockups)
The number of logo variations you need to prepare will depend on the complexity of the design and the intended use.
What logo variations should your provide?
- Logo in vertical orientation
- Logo in horizontal orientation
- Stand alone brandmark
- Stand alone wordmark
When you consider taglines you can add even more options here: horizontal logo with and without a tagline etc.
In general, different situations will call for different logo lockup and therefore you must prepare at least a couple of basic ones.
The absolute minimum would be to have the primary logo version in horizontal orientation that can be used for example on the website — This will be the most commonly-used logo.
Besides that you must prepare some kind of a brandmark or an icon that can be used in small sizes, for example as a profile picture on social media where the horizontal logo would become illegible.
Apart from that, you can have that primary logo in vertical orientation — a stacked version is especially recommended if the company name is long (consists of multiple words).
Please note that this logo variations breakdown won’t always apply to every project simply because there are different types of logos you can design in the first place.
However, even if you design an emblem like ,for example Harley-Davidson, where the name is inextricably connected to the graphic element, they still managed to create an icon.
It’s also worth mentioning here, that you should clearly specify on how and when to use each logo variation in the brand guidelines document, so that your client can use them properly.
3. Understand Color Spaces
The next thing you want to do after preparing logo variations is to focus on different color spaces, here you need to:
Covert colors for use in both print (CMYK) and digital (RGB).
Not all clients know the difference between RGB, CMYK and Pantone, so that’s why I divide them into two categories: print and digital (folder structure from step 1).
Logo Files — Color Spaces
Basically, the easiest way to understand the difference is to remember that CMYK is used for print — it’s about mixing 4 ink colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black to create your specific color.
CMYK is the best best file format for printing logo.
While RGB is used for digital and therefore it’s not about ink, but it’s about light source (display) where three colors are being mixed: Red, Green and Blue to create any color you need.
Both of these folders will contain logo files, but colors will be converted into appropriate color profile (see image above).
For example: in your digital folder you should include both image files and vector files but the colors for both must be set in RGB spectrum.
You might wonder “Why should I include vector files in digital folder?” — Well, this is because sometimes clients want editable design files in RGB.
In case your client needs to resize the logos or export files to different, unusual extensions — they have a raw file to work with.
Next, we do the same with the print folder, we simply convert colors to CMYK gamut, so that the logo can be used for print (e.g. on business cards).
RGB has a wider spectrum and therefore you can use very bright and saturated colors which is not always the case with CMYK.
That’s way you need to make sure you specify on the colors, so that whether your client needs to use the logo for digital or print purposes, the colors will remain consistent.
The worst thing that could happen here is mixing them up — when you use CMYK for digital or RGB for print, then you will end up with colors that might look quite different (green is blue and blue is green sometimes).
Here it’s also worth mentioning that while CMYK version will be typically enough for most clients, some will require also Pantone versions as well.
Pantone is for those client for whom color accuracy in print really matters the most (e.g. heavy printing, packaging etc.)
4. Make Logo Color Versions
Your client will not always use full color logo version on white background — that’s why it’s important to:
Create a variety of color options for your logo.
If the logo is going to be used on a dark background, then you will need an inverse version with white text.
Logo Color Versions
Sometimes the primary color that you use in the logo won’t look as good on dark background as on white background (e.g. my brand color blue)
That’s why sometimes you will need to adjust colors to create more contrast, while still maintaining that color consistency.
Moreover, if your client intends on using the logo on printed documents (black & white laser printer, fax documents etc.), they may need a solid black version.
Sometimes your client will also request solid white version for use on dark backgrounds, like for example in the footer.
How many logo color variations should you include?
- Logo in full-color
- Inverse logo version
- Solid black logo
- Solid white logo
Of course, depending on the logo itself, you may have more or fewer color versions.
Disclaimer: Usually you will make color versions first (Step 4) and then save them for color spaces (Step 3), but for the purpose of this tutorial I reverse these steps to match the folder structure presented earlier.
So once you’ve done that, then it’s time to finally generate different logo files.
Continue reading this article on my blog at: https://www.ebaqdesign.com/blog/logo-files
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