You may have noticed a change on logo design Handover pages. We used to ask for an .eps or .ai file at the very minimum, but now we’re asking for a PDF file instead of an .eps file, in addition to other types of files. Here is the list of files that you should be providing in a logo handover:
- Adobe Illustrator (.ai) file
- editable PDF file
- PNG file
- JPG File
As you can see, we’re asking for this PDF file to have very specific characteristics. No, we’re not just trying to add complexity to your lives — quite the opposite! This change addresses the fact that .eps files are becoming outdated and PDF files are becoming the standard universal file format.
Beyond that, following the checklist for delivering the correct PDF logo file to clients will ensure your design is ready for your client to immediately implement, so he/she won’t have to come back and ask for more files from you. We’re really excited about this and think it is going to make the handover process a whole lot smoother for everyone.
Let’s go through the PDF file checklist in more detail:
1. PDF file format
PDF, (Portable Document Format) is a file format developed by Adobe Systems that can be universally downloaded and viewed by any computer that has the Adobe Reader program. PDFs can also be saved as editable files, which is great for both designers and clients to work with.
You MUST create all logo designs in a vector program like Adobe Illustrator first, then save the file as an editable PDF. You can do this by clicking File > Save As > Adobe PDF > Save > Check “Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities” > Save PDF.
For more detailed information on each file type, read this article: File formats explained: PDF, PNG and more
2. 100% vector
Vector images are made up of basic geometric shapes such as points, lines and curves. The relationship of the shapes is expressed as a mathematical equation which allows the image to scale up or down in size without losing quality. Raster images are made up of a grid of dots called pixels , and they cannot be scaled infinity. All logos MUST be created in vector programs like Adobe Illustrator first.
Read this article for more information on vector vs raster: The difference between vector and raster images
When delivering files to the handover, you should always give your client a file that is editable. This means providing them with a working file, whether it be from Adobe Illustrator or an equivalent vector program.
You should also provide your client with an editable PDF — all you have to do is check the box for “Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities” when saving.
4. On a transparent background
By default, vector editing programs like Adobe Illustrator give you an artboard with a transparent background, so make sure you don’t include any background colors or unnecessary images in the file — save those for your mockups only. Just include the logo in your PDF file and you’ll be good to go!
5. Only a single logo
Always separate different versions of your design into different files so it’s easier for your client to immediately implement it for the intended use. They might want to take it to a printer or insert it into a document, and that won’t be possible if the files contain multiple versions on one art board. So, only one design per file.
6. In CMYK color mode (in addition to a RGB .png)
It’s important to provide your client with a design in both CMYK and RGB color modes since logos are often used on a variety of mediums. To put it simply, CMYK is used for designs that will be printed and RGB is used for designs that will be featured on a screen.
We suggest you design your logos in CMYK first, then convert them to RGB — you can convert to RGB by clicking File > Document Color Mode > RGB, then making the appropriate color adjustments from there.
Still having trouble with color modes? Check out our article on 8 common mistakes when working with color and how to fix them.
We’re committed to continuing to optimize the handover process for designers and clients alike. Keep an eye out for upcoming changes, like generated previews of your designs mocked up on t-shirts and stationery for the client to see, and stay tuned for some potentially even bigger improvements down the road.