An Adobe Illustrator file (.ai) is a vector-based file created in Adobe Illustrator. It is sometimes referred to as the "master file" or "source file," and can be changed without compromising the quality of the logo. As a business owner, it is unlikely that you will use an AI file, but it is good to know what it is.
When to use an AI file for a logo:
AI files maintain their quality when printed; use AI logos for your banners, posters, stickers, pamphlets, etc. Also, when you want a designer to change your logo, send them the AI logo file if you have it.
An Encapsulated PostScript file (.eps) is vector-based and meant for print. Whether shrunk or enlarged, the image quality stays the same, and it supports a transparent background. It used to be the go-to format for logo design but is falling out of favor as new technologies evolve.
When to use an EPS file for a logo:
Their transparent background and scalability make EPS files perfect for printing your logo on everything from business cards to billboards.
A Portable Document Format file (.pdf) can be a vector-based file or an image-based file, depending on how it is exported. Commonly used for documents mixing text and images, PDFs are easy to share, support transparent backgrounds, and look the same across devices.
When to use a PDF file for a logo:
PDFs can be exported for the web or for print: they're useful for your website and social media pages, as well as physical promotional materials, from stickers to banners. Unlike EPS files, PDFs are easy to read and most printers and platforms will be able to open them and upload them.
A Scalable Vector Graphics file (.svg) is a vector-based image created using Extensible Markup Language (XML). It can be resized without losing its sharp quality, has transparent backgrounds, and can be interactive and dynamic. Compared to PNG and JPG files, SVG files are smaller. However, WordPress and Squarespace do not support SVG files.
When to use an SVG file for a logo:
While SVG files can be sent to printers, they're best for online use. They make for sharper images and graphics, and they can be used to create animated and interactive logos.
Portable Network Graphic files (.png) are made for the web. Being pixel-based, they become pixelated when enlarged. Therefore, each export must have the correct resolution and size for its intended purpose. They are easy to read, have transparent backgrounds, and display millions of colors. While larger files offer better quality, they load slowly.
When to use a PNG file for a logo:
PNG logos are not recommended for print. Make sure they are optimized for the web and then use them on your websites, blogs, in Google Docs letterheads, online shops, and social media profiles.
A Joint Photographic Experts Group file (.jpg) is also pixel-based and is best used for photographs. JPEGs are usually very small files that load quickly, making them ideal for use on websites and social media. They do not support transparent backgrounds and pixelate when enlargened.
When to use a JPG file for a logo:
It is best to use a JPG file for a logo when the logo itself is more photo-like, with softer edges and contrasts between pixels, rather than a graphic with sharp, crisp transitions between colors. They're perfect for online use and can be printed if exported correctly.
What is a logo file format?
A logo file format is essentially a standard way of telling a program how to store, read, and display a logo. There are many types of logo file formats, but the six most common are AI, EPS, PNG, PDF, JPG, and SVG.
What is the best file format for printing logos?
Vector-based file formats are best for printing logos. So, files with the extensions ".ai," ".pdf," and ".eps" will all work well when printed.
What file type should my logo be?
If you want to print your logo, vector-based file types (.ai, .pdf, .eps, .svg) are the way to go. They offer optimal quality that is never compromised whether the logo is shrunk down to fit on a pen or blown up to fit on a billboard. An SVG file type is excellent for logos if you want animation and some interactivity.
If your logo will mostly be living online, you have the raster-based file options (.jpg, .png). While they will pixelate when enlarged, they are designed for websites and social media use.
Is PNG or JPEG better for logos?
What is a PNG logo?
A logo saved in the Portable Network Graphic format is a PNG logo. The file has the extension: .png. PNG logos are made for the web, are easy to read, display many colors, and can have transparent backgrounds. However, being raster-based (pixel-based), these types of logo files aren't scalable and don't work well when printed.
Is a PNG a vector file?
No, a PNG is a pixel-based (raster) file format.
Do I need a vector file for my logo?
Yes. Most designers work with vector files, so if you want changes made to your logo, you'll need its vector file. Another important reason is that vector files do not lose quality when enlarged, so you can confidently throw them up on billboards. Lastly, vector-based logos can be used online and can be printed without any loss in resolution.
What is a JPEG logo?
A JPEG logo is a logo design that has been saved in the Joint Photographic Experts Group format, with the ".jpg" file extension. It is pixel-based, quite small, and works well for online use. However, JPG logos pixelate when enlarged, and must be exported correctly when taken to the printers.
Is PNG the same as AI?
What is a PDF logo?
A PDF logo is a vector-based logo saved in a Portable Document Format file format. It has the extension ".pdf," and is mainly used for documents containing both text and images. They're easy to share, support transparent backgrounds, and look the same across devices.
Is a PDF a vector file?
Depending on how the PDF was created, it can be either a vector or raster-based file. However, PDFs are usually vector files.
Is a JPG a vector file?
No, JPGs are raster-based file formats made up of pixels.
What is the file extension of a logo file?
The file extension of a logo file is that bit at the end of a file's name that consists of a period and two or three letters: .ai, .jpg, .png, etc. The file extension tells you what sort of format the logo has been saved in.
What is the best logo file format for a website?
SVG files (.svg) are ideal for logos, especially those being used on websites. They are vector-based files created using XML, and may therefore be resized without losing sharpness. They have transparent backgrounds and can be interactive and animated. SVGs are also smaller than PNG and JPG files, which means they load faster.