Saving a logo in multiple formats... how many?

Hi everyone
I’m trying to come up with a convention for saving our logos. Montgomery College has a really good variety in which they save their logo (see below).


For Web: RGB

  • Color version PNG no background
  • Color version PNG white background
  • White version PNG no background
  • Black version PNG no background

For Print

  • Color version CMYK - EPS
  • Color version Pantone - EPS
  • Black Version CMYK - EPS
  • White Version CMYK - EPS

My idea is…

For WEB: (all RGB)

  • Color version - PNG no background
  • Color version - JPEG white background
  • Color version - SVG
  • White version - PNG no background
  • White version - JPEG black background
  • White version - SVG
  • Black version - PNG no background
  • Black version - JPEG white background
  • Black version - SVG


  • EPS
  • PDF
  • AI

What do you think? are any of these redundant? am I missing any useful format? I’m trying to be thorough taking in consideration that the logos will be uploaded to a asset management system, and other people that are not designers will have access to them.

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I’d get rid of EPS and JPEG.

Well EPS is in case they don’t have AI and want to open in a different program. PDF saved as editable could do it, but EPS is more common.

For me, it depends on the logo and client and what they do or don’t request. There is no one-size-fits-all situation.

I never include a JPEG unless they specifically ask for one since logos are rarely needed in JPEG format and if one is sent, it will invariably become their default version to use since it’s the one file they can almost always open.

Instead, I send a vector PDF which they can also open and which preserves the vector nature of the artwork in a way that can still be opened and used by someone who knows what they’re doing.

EPS is an old format that really serves no particular purpose any longer.

Sending an .AI file is a must since it’s typically the original artwork.

I’ll sometimes send high-resolution PSDs, but it’s sort of pointless since anyone with Photoshop can make whatever PSD they need from the Illustrator file. I feel the same way about PNGs. They’re needed often, but there’s no way to tell what size they need, so it serves no real purpose to send them one unless they specifically request it.

SVGs, um, no. Anyone needing an SVG is sufficiently adept with what they’re doing to make their own from the Illustrator file.

And, of course, Pantone, RGB, CMYK, grayscale and B&W versions of everything in whatever formats I do send. If the project involves a branding guide, well, there’s all the things associated with the particulars in that to include as well, whatever they might be.

There are also occasions when there are slightly different versions of the same logo — for example, a complicated, dressed-up version and a simple one for small sizes or for use as a favicon.

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.eps is outdated. It only works as a file format if transparency is not involved anywhere in the file when saved. That includes glows, drop shadows, opacity levels other than 100% and other raster effects available in Illustrator. I’d avoid it.

A .pdf should suffice for opening in other software. It will depend on the software, whether or not any raster effects are rendered appropriately.

Despite the absence of real data, I strongly doubt that’s still true, if it ever was.

It doesn’t support transparency or color management. Saving any graphic as EPS is a downgrade of the file contents. There are a few (increasingly rare) legacy workflows hanging around (mostly older proprietary software that runs specialized machines) that require it as a form of input. There are no other reasons left for it to exist at all.

Obsolete, I’d say.

I wear many hats at our company. One is in house designer. So I deal with all the printed content. But to be honest most content is created and printed by the end user and they use Microsoft applications. (Word, Publisher, Excel) MS apps do not deal well with eps or pdf’s. Not sure about SVG never tested them. In the past they have just used bitmap formats (jpg, gif, bmp) and their output shows. So I have been teaching them to use EMF files. It’s a MS specific vector format as is WMF. I have better output results with color EMF files than I have had with WMF. I don’t see this as a standard format to save in more of a format to keep in mind for those clients that rely on the MS Suite.

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As a senior voice on the print end of things, It looks like their initial package of files for print was correct. Feel free to swap the EPS for PDF as you have it, but there will come a time when you will need a 100K black version as to not have your CMYK version converted to greyscale at the output device. Also, if the job is being printed as 1 color Process Black on a duplicator or offset press, the CMYK version is downright unacceptable. I couldn’t run the job if I wanted to.

There will also come a time when a knockout of the logo is applicable (white) for examples if the logo must be placed on a background that clashes with, washes out, or is the same as, the color of the logo.

Also there may come a time when a job is to be print 2 color. And the spot colored (Pantone) version of the logo must be supplied.

They all have their proper applications in the print world. And the wrong file could cost the school time, money, or both. Meanwhile you’re left with no prints , or prints considered unusable do to improper output (at the fault of the University)

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OMG, you mean I shouldn’t have assumed the logo would be spot color to begin with?
Isn’t that a given any more? (LOL, yeah, crowdsourcing aside)

Thanks everyone! That’s very valuable advice, and will help justify my selection with my team… So if I get this straight, I will go with PDF for an editable version of the logo. The only reason I mentioned EPS as common is because all of our sponsor logos have rather an EPS version than a PDF… these are old logos… however, many places where I have been downloading logos recently have EPS versions… so… (examples are Montgomery College, Capital One, Habit Burger (although they also have a PDF version, etc. ) so as outdated as it might be, it still is around… a lot.

Anyways, I just discovered that we don’t have unlimited storage on our asset management system, so I have to narrow it down to essential formats to download, as to not clutter it with unnecessary versions.

I’m now thinking… considering that people who will be downloading them are not designers, and that they might want to use them to send to a vendor, or do their own designs on Canva, or Microsoft Word… and that they might not know that checkered background means transparency and think that’s an actual background behind the logo.


  • PDF in CMYK (editable vector file)
  • PNG RGB (transparent background)
  • PNG RGB (white background) bc they might not know what the checkered background is about.
  • PANTONE (only when necessary/applicable)




No matter what you provide, it will be subject to the limitations of the people who will be working with them. It’s impossible to accurately anticipate what people will attempt to do or how they will manage to make a mess.

When working with designers, all that would be typically needed is the original Illustrator file in Pantone, CMYK, RGB, grayscale and B&W. Anything more than that would be best created by the end designer for the task at hand from the original Illustrator file.

Clients, of course, expect more formats than that for the simple reason that most of them can’t open Illustrator files. Even so, the more choices you give them, the higher the chances that they’ll be totally confused, not know what any of these files are for and randomly select whatever seems to work with what they’re doing. They will almost always do things the wrong way.

You mentioned the end users possibly not knowing what the checkered background is in a transparent PNG. There’s usually no reason to believe they will even know what a PNG is or what it’s used for. It’s entirely possible they will never even see the checkered background, let alone wonder what it’s for.

When sending files to people who don’t understand how all this works, there’s only one thing you can count on — whatever they do will be done wrong. That being the case, all you can do is try to minimize the disaster they will likely create and distance yourself from the inevitability of the problems that will ensue.

oh I know!!! just trying to minimize the inevitable… plus I’ll be offering some training to people so that they know what a PNG file is… still… you can only hope right?

There was a time, old friend. Not that long ago.

Here’s what I typically deliver:

– Vector CMYK
– Vector RGB
– Vector PMS
– Vector B/W
– Any specific needs or requests

@Just-B Do you make clients pay more for raw files like .ai?
How do you include it in the price actually?

If there’s a final Illustrator (or whatever) file involved in the job, it’s just part of the deliverables they get from me.

Just as an example, let’s say a client needs a brochure. Some might regard the deliverables as only the printed brochures themselves while keeping possession of the original source files. It might even be written into the contract that this is the case.

I’ve never done this. As far as I’m concerned the files necessary for printing the brochure are theirs and I stipulate in the contract that upon full payment, it’s all theirs.

When it comes to the preliminary sketches, ideas they rejected or variations of different things that didn’t turn out to be the final product, no, I don’t turn those things over. If clients want to purchase those things separately, fine, but I don’t automatically turn over that kind of thing since they’re not the final files.

Okay, thank you for feedback ! :slight_smile:

For logos, I deliver the raw illustrator file with fonts used, and versions as needed. But for flyers or brochures I usually don’t unless they ask specifically for them. It would be another price. If they ask for them after I gave them a price, then I would charge for preparing those files to deliver to them (organizing them, labeling, outlining, etc.)

Be careful with that, Samantha.

  • To preserve the integrity of the mark, a logo graphic should not ever contain live fonts; not even the “source file”.
  • Handing over fonts to a client should only happen when the client purchased a license to use the font, either as part of the project, or prior to it.

@srp2752 I see, I’m just starting so I’m actually still trying to understand how to deliver my work in a proper way.

@HotButton What about free fonts?

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