Want to make a change to your logo without totally rebranding yourself? Want to print in wide format at a large size for your new signage? Want to use spot color printing to standardize all your stationary? Then in each case, you should be using a vector version of your logo! While you may not be able to place or use it in a Word document, for any high quality printing or output (or for spot or “2-color” printing) your vector logo is the gold standard and you should insist on it from your graphic designer beforehand. Preferably, it will be the way your logo was originally created, and you will not have to pay or struggle to convert it from a pixel-based image after it has already become an integral part of your brand. Here are the reasons why:
- You can easily switch a vector logo to any type of pixel-based file needed (.TIF, .JPG, .PNG, etc.) for manipulation, web use or other purposes… yet it is difficult and sometimes impossible to travel from pixel to vector in a satisfactory manner, especially once type has been rasterized. Use this logo as the basis for any and all marketing – all other necessary file types for any other printing, web development, further creative design or marketing can be easily made from this original, keeping all colors and appearance clearly defined. You will consistently maintain your brand across all your marketing efforts, holding all vendors accountable to true reproduction of the original!
- Vector artwork can be scaled to any size needed and maintain its perfect clarity. They have crisp edges at any size as they are based on mathematical formulas rather than a bed of pixels.
- They maintain a clear, transparent background when placed over other artwork or elements in your design. PNG files also have this ability but are pixel based so… (see reason #1)
- When you inevitably want to “tweak” your logo or add something in the future, you can easily do that in a vector-based program such as Adobe® Illustrator, but might find yourself limited if your logo is pixel-based. We often have customers need to make additions to a logo after the fact, such as adding an “Inc.” on the end, changing a tag line as their buisiness focus evolves, update their brand with a new color without totally reinventing the wheel. Also, you do not have to return to the original artist who created your logo to get the files necessary to make the change, as is often the case if the original was created in PhotoShop.
- They can function either in RGB or CMYK color modes as well as carry spot color definitions. You can select exact PMS color matches so that your brand is always reproduced consistently. While there are methods to include spot color information in a pixel-based file (DCS files from PhotoShop with spot color channels) they are, again, not resizeable and do not include easy trap information for printing.
- This last reason can be debatable, and I am sure there are exceptions to the rule, but: as most logos need to be clean, vivid and memorable, vector shapes readily lend themselves to these qualities. The logos you know and remember are almost always designed as vector shapes rather with fuzzy, artistic brushstrokes or photographic effects.
WARNING: pixel-based files can be saved from photo-editing software as EPS files, so remember that just because a file has an EPS suffix, it has not been magically converted to a vector file. Also, pixel images can be placed into vector draw programs like Illustrator and saved as .AI or .EPS files. Again, not vector!
Rely on your printer for advice and direction when creating your files. They should be able to provide you with everything from encouragement along the way to complete design, layout, copywriting, production, multi-purposing and distribution of your marketing outreach. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!