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

Well obviously the licensing issue comes off the table, but for a logo graphic, live font(s) in the file are a potential threat to the integrity of the design, and subsequently the brand image. When graphic files containing live, un-embedded font data travel between computers, the probability of error increases significantly.

Perhaps I already have the font you used in my logo, so I unwittingly fling open the file and take steps toward some form of deployment. Maybe I add an effect, resize the tagline, convert to outlines, and hand it off to a vehicle wrap provider. Later, when my wrapped vehicles come back, for some reason, I suddenly notice for the first time that the logotype isn’t exactly the same as the signage my partner had made a month ago. Then, we recheck the logo design presentation you delivered (and we approved), and neither the signs nor the vehicles look exactly the same as that either?!?

It turns out my partner’s computer had some weird type justification defaults in play when he set up the signage order, so there’s an unsightly gap between 2 characters that wasn’t there in your design. It’s not a huge difference, but it does seem to get bigger every time I look at it. But that’s nothing compared to how bad I (we) screwed up the vehicle wraps. Apparently, I only had a font on my system with the same name as the font you used in our logo. It’s similar enough to pass for the same font, but one of them is clearly another designer’s knock-off of the other.

Why didn’t you just give me a properly designed, locked-down logo graphic that can’t be changed by font substitution?

I help manage a university brand and have to distribute all those logos. We used to give a jpeg, pdf, png and eps in all sorts of color systems. When we updated our logo, we started giving everyone a cmyk and b/w eps and an rgb and b/w png. We have vertical, horizontal, vertical over dark colors, horizontal over dark colors, and another one that’s more spirited than the academic logo and a version of that over dark colors. Our pantone doesn’t convert well and these people are printing from an office printer for the most part. If not, they’re likely printing cmyk. I feel your pain! Once all the departments, offices, colleges, clubs, sports, etc get logos, it works out to be an obscene amount of logos!

Forgot to mention all type is outlined on the eps files. That’s super important. I do that when I send all files to print. Sometimes groups, colleges, etc try to go to the printer to change things without approval (I’m part cop too). I nipped that in the bud real quick and outline everything.

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I see, so the preferable situation is when the client buys himself the live font. I guess you really have to pay attention to those details when it comes to clients with a lot of requirements!

Or you make the purchase on their behalf as a component of the project. The same way a crafter of guitars would bill someone for materials bought and used in building the instrument, a particular, agreed-upon font may be considered among the “raw materials” in the formulation of your graphic design output.

Right. Thank you :slight_smile:
I have another question actually. What about JPEG format ? I never understood the purpose of it really…

Well I’m no file format historian or anything, so I can really only offer personal impressions based on experience and observations. I’d preface this by mentioning that the JPEG (stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group) format predates the PNG (Portable Network Graphics) format by quite a few years, so if you’re just learning about all this stuff now, it might be natural to question the reasons for the existence of of JPEG when PNG seems to have several clear and significant advantages.

The short story is that JPEG is a compression scheme. In early times of computerized imaging, file storage and general (file transfer) bandwidth were severely limited compared to current standards, and image files posed a particular problem in that it was so easy to grow them to unwieldy sizes. The JPEG (lossy compression) format was devised to address this problem, and gained widespread popularity to the extent that many lay people use it as their de facto term for an image file—any image file—is “a jpeg”.

Nowadays for my purposes, the format might as well not exist. It does nothing that anyone needs, IMO, and is damaging to image data, especially when an image that’s already been written in JPEG (subjected to compression) is re-saved as JPEG (protracting the negative effects of compression). File transfer methods (storage and bandwidth) have outgrown its usefulness, for the most part.

Pretty accurate history of the JPEG file, thank you ahah.
Okay, so I don’t think it is relevant so far then. :slight_smile:

Just a word here about “free fonts.” (actually several words):
A lot of them are NOT free for commercial use. Read the EULA or site legaleeze.
If they are not free for commercial use, don’t even think of using them in a logo.
I’ve even seen sites where they specifically say the fonts cannot be used in logos, among other things. Got caught up in that just a few days ago. Very strange, the typeface could be used for a logo with special permission, but if I wanted to take the letters, outline them and create signfoam letters for the client to put on their office wall, the license forbade that specifically by saying “3D objects” could not be made for resale from the letter outlines.:nauseated_face:
(something to keep in mind you folks with 3D printers.)

I recently had to find Free fonts used by a designer for a project in which I had to purchase a license. Some really off-the-wall things. I never did find one of the designers to pay them for commercial use. Guess what the designer had to do… Yup, redesign with a new typeface.

Not to mention, about 25% of free fonts have really crappy outlines and don’t make it through the print rip process. Some pretty bizarre things can happen. I once had all the glyphs drop out on one client’s job. Another time, just the letter “n.” That was rather i co ve ie t.

And I just recently had a bunch of prints come out wrong because a vendor used their machine font (PC) instead of my machine font (mac) and the word wrap changed, causing words to overset. Luckily it was a small digital run on standard paper.

I also create GIFs and TIFFs in coated and uncoated versions. Here, I explain all the formats I create.

Sorry Colleen, you lost me on this one…

Only the TIFFs in uncoated and coated CMYK versions of the brand colors, not the GIFs. :slight_smile:

You don’t work with website design and development, right? JPEG is still the preferred format for website photographs since small size and bandwidth limitations are always a concern.

PNGs work great for some things, like solid-color graphics with hard edges, since its lossless compression retains those solid colors and hard edges. The lossy compression of JPEG can produce a much smaller file than PNG when working with continuous-tone photos. Quality, of course, is reduced by JPEG compression, but that quality loss is a tradeoff made to increase download speed and reduce bandwidth use.

There is such a thing as lossy PNG, but I’ve rarely seen it used. From what I understand, it doesn’t obtain the small file sizes possible with JPEG

Only the TIFFs in uncoated and coated CMYK versions of the brand colors…

The tiffs will print differently on different media/papers. A proper Pantone spot or CMYK equivalent vector logo would be more beneficial as those at least can be profiled. If I got a tif logo for print, I’d call or email for the vector with Pantones applied (after checking first that the logo isn’t a placed Smart Object. That happens more often than it should.)

If it’s for video, then it would be RGB.

Right; at least not in any direct sense. And you’re also right that my assertion is probably a bit too strong. The format does indeed still have valid uses. I’d still say it should only be used when it’s absolutely necessary.

I’m not so much in agreement with you on this one, Colleen. Compensation for dot gain, printing methods and paper stock vary so much that it seems best to leave these kinds of adjustments to the end user.

For example, compensating for highly absorbent, off-white, recycled newsprint run on a high-speed web press differs greatly from what’s needed for relatively hard, white, uncoated stock printed on a sheetfed press.

Pre-adjusting for dot gain also runs the risk of having that compensation applied twice since the settings on the end user’s layout app just might be set to save the file with another round of adjustments applied to it.

Anyway, I’m not even sure why we’re supplying TIFF or, especially, GIF versions of logos to clients since neither are good formats for scalability. Clients often want them, but it just speaks to their lack of expertise in working with appropriate formats. Even so, like I mentioned in my earlier post, I provide some of these formats since they’re expected.

Really, though, there’s only so far we can go in trying to make up for the end users’ lack of ability. In my opinion, trying to pre-compensate for paper stock and dot gain seems one step too far since it introduces potential for more end-user confusion and misuse than it helps prevent.

I know we disagree a bit on this.

I have lots of clients who demand them, despite my telling them to use other formats for certain uses. So sometimes I just include them. I always provide guidelines for file use with the file though.

Just my experience, but no matter what file types or instructions I include, within a year or two, I’ll often get an email or a call from someone associated with the company asking if I have a vector or “high-res” version.

For whatever reason, no matter what I originally supply, a terrible JPEG version of the logo will often surface and begin to propagate and spread throughout the company like an out-of-control virus. It will become the go-to version for everyone in the company to use, and all other versions of the logo and any usage instructions will be lost or squirreled away on a CD in somebody’s desk drawer and forgotten about.

This doesn’t happen all the time, of course. Some companies are careful and pay attention to these kinds of things, but most do not — at least the ones I seem to work with.

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My favorite cases have been sole proprietors who, it seems, are often rather clueless about branding. “Oh, that? Well, my nephew is a Photoshop expert, so he took a screenshot of my logo and added the butterfly. Awesome, right?”


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