My husband called this morning to talk about getting his work logo put on a hat. He was surprised to learn the cost of a set-up fee for embroidering a logo. After speaking with about the various scenarios and costs of screen printing, embroidery, etc. it dawned on me that many people do not understand the files they need for such a thing. Why would they? Not everyone is a graphic designer or a printer so this information is probably very confusing. The words come out of our mouths and go into your ears the same way the teacher sounds in Charlie Brown, am I right?
Do not worry; there is hope and I can help!
There are various files a designer can give you but let’s talk about logos. You hire a designer; they make you a beautiful logo, and now you want to share it with the world! But wait, you need the file. Here are the four most important, in my opinion, files to have. Also, this is not for your techies; this is for the person trying to start or run their small business to make sense of it all.
The Outlined EPS File
When a graphic designer creates your logo in Illustrator, they create something called an .ai file. This is the original working illustrator file. This file contains the exact colors, typography, and graphics that will be combined to make your logo. If your designer wants to give you this file, that is fine but what can happen when another design tries to open it can vary. If they do not have the fonts, etc. the logo can turn into an entirely looking logo.
How do we make sure this doesn’t happen? The outlined .eps file, Encapsulated PostScript, it’s your new best friend. Now, unless you are a graphic designer you probably won’t be able to do much with this file but keep it. This file is one you can give to any printer, designer, embroidery house, literally anyone. Your logo will look exactly as it originally did no matter who opens it. Ask for this file; you should own it. Keep it in a safe place and do not loose it. This is a file that all parties can work with!
The Hi-Res PDF File
The hi-res .pdf file is the Portable Document Format. The file can be viewed in Adobe, and you are more than likely familiar with this file. This is another file that can be given to a printer for your printing purposes. It can also be used to order items online and used by you in certain documents. I would say this is an all around file that people in the United States are used to reviewing. It is easy seen on most computers, and you will be able to share it and use it yourself.
The JPEG File
This file is often associated with photographs, but vector art can be saved as a jpeg for easy viewing and for various other functions such as websites. JPEG means Joint Photographic Experts Group, which truly means nothing other than the folks who created it. This file can be used in many places such as creating printed items, adding to a Word Document, using as your Facebook profile photo or even for your website. It depends on the resolution of the jpeg as to how it will perform. If it is saved at a larger resolution if is better for printing, the however, lower resolution is better for digital design.
The PNG or GIF File
I know what you are thinking, too many acronyms, I know, I know! What you need to know about these two little friends are that they are perfect for your website. You probably won’t deal with them on your own much, but a PNG file stands for Portable Network Graphics. This file will probably replace the GIF, Graphics Interchange Format, someday but for now, we will treat them similar for your needs.