Why Your Logo Could End Up Costing You Big Time
Several years ago, I landed one of the biggest freelance projects I had ever landed. The scope of this project was very large and also included print ad creation for many businesses. One of which was the largest vehicle dealership in the area.
This dealership advertised all over the county. I regularly saw them in magazines, newspapers, highway billboards, you name it. So it totally caught me off guard when I was sent a Word file after asking them for their hi-res logo.
As politely as possible, I tried to explain how a Word document would not suffice for the project and I needed a hi-res image to work with. Yet, I was met with “Sorry, we just don’t have that.” How could a company that advertises across so many channels not have their own logo in a hi-res format?
Thankfully, their logo was simple enough that some font matching and creative work on my end allowed me to recreate something that I was able to use for my project. It made me wonder if all of the other designers had to do the same thing. It made me wonder why they were never provided their own logo or worse, if they had been given the files and did not keep track of them.
All of that meant more work. More work, means more time. More time means more billable hours. More billable hours means a higher invoice for the client.
Multiply that added cost out across all marketing efforts and imagine how hefty that becomes. If you do not correct the problem at hand, you will continue to pay for it until it is fixed.
If you have a brand, you should have that brand saved digitally in a variety of popularly requested and used formats. If your logo requires a specific typeface, you should have that handy as well. Here are some of the more popular file types:
- EPS: An EPS file is probably the most important one to have. Since it is a vector file, it can be scaled large without sacrificing quality. With the EPS file, any designer could convert it to the format they need without spending any extra time in doing so.
- AI: The AI file is the native Adobe Illustrator file which contains editable and unflattened content. This file, like the EPS file, can be scaled but also allows the designer to make changes.
- PSD: This is the native Adobe Photoshop file. Similar to the AI file, it usually contains editable content.
- TIFF: A TIFF file is another type of flattened image.
- PDF: Depending on how your image was saved as a PDF, it could still contain vector data and a hi-res image could be used from it.
Formats to frustrate your freelancer:
- PUB: Microsoft Publisher files, while they do have uses, are not suited for hi-resolution printing. So if your job is going to press and you have a Publisher file, it will have to be reworked. A logo inside of a Publisher file may have to be recreated at hi-res.
- DOC: Microsoft Word documents are similar to Publisher.
- Web-sized: Typically, a GIF or JPG saved from the web, or for the web, are not easily used.
- The Faux Vector: Saving an image from a website and pasting it into Adobe Illustrator, then saving it as an EPS file, does not automatically make it a usable vector file.
So what would I recommend?
Take a look at the files you have and create a brand pack containing an EPS, PSD, and PDF if you have them. If you do not have any of these, it wouldn’t be a bad idea at all to have someone create this for you. If you have specific uses for your brand (i.e. It cannot be placed on a certain color background) then having that usage document handy, along with the logo files and typefaces will make your designer happy.
And with a happy designer, they are not spending extra time formatting your logo and actually working on your project. That saves time. That saves money.