How To Create And Deliver Logo Files

Arek Dvornechcuck
Branding Expert

I'm a strategist and designer based in New York who help brands grow by crafting distinctive brand identities, backed by strategy. Need help with your project?—Get in touch

Once the logo is finalized, then it’s time to create a variety of logo files (vector and raster) and deliver them as a logo package to your client.

There’s a lot of confusion around what file formats you should deliver to a client when the final logo is approved.

When it comes to using the logo, it’s extremely important to have the right logo formats for each particular purpose—from a business card to a Facebook profile pic to a T-shirt embroidery, to a signage etc.

As a designer you need to:

Take time to create all the necessary logo files to ensure that the logo always looks good.

As a professional designer, you will want to send a number of different files, each intended for a particular use.

How to know what kind of files you should create?— That’s why I wrote this step-by-step guide to creating logo files.

6 Steps To Creating Logo Files

  1. Set Up A Folder Structure
  2. Create Logo Variations
  3. Understand Color Spaces
  4. Make Logo Color Versions
  5. Generate File Formats
  6. Deliver Logo Package

If you follow my guide, it will save your clients from using incorrect file formats and therefore making your logo look bad (pixelated, washed out colors etc.)

If you follow my steps, you will ensure that your designs are being used correctly.

Moreover, it will help you make the logo handover process a whole lot smoother and will save you from clients coming back and asking for more files.

So roll up your sleeves, follow my 6 step process and make a logo package that includes all the necessary file formats.

1. Set Up A Folder Structure

When it comes to creating logo delivery package, I always start with setting up a folder structure—this is how I organize my logo files.

Set up the folder structure and file naming convention.

Below is a breakdown of what should be inside your ZIP file (Logo_Package.zip)—this is my logical structure to neatly organize all of the logo files.

Of course, you can organize your files however you want, but I found this structure works best.

It helps my clients easily navigate through multiple file formats and quickly find whatever they need.

So within that ZIP folder we have three levels of folders:

  • Logo Variations—different logo lockups and versions, for example: horizontal, vertical, brandmark etc.
  • Color Spaces—files categorized for different use both in print and digital (CMYK and RGB)
  • Color Versions—multiple color versions of the specific logo variation, for example: full color, inverse, black, white etc.

In the last folder (for example “01_Full_Color”)—there are different file formats like AI, SVG, EPS, PDF, PNG, JPG etc.

So the graphic above demonstrates how I like to structure my logo packages to neatly organize all of the files.

Besides creating a folder structure, it’s also important to establish your file naming structure—the way you label those files.

Naming files properly is not only a good practice, but it will also help everyone identify each file easily (and use search tool).

Logo Files Naming Structure—How to structure your logo package.
Logo Files—Naming Structure

This is how to name logo files:

I always start with the company name first, followed by the logo variation (e.g. Horizontal Logo), the color space (RGB, CMYK, or Pantone), and the color version at the end (Full Color, Invert, Black, White etc.)

Again, keeping things organized like that will save you from headache—you'll be able to find the right file easily.

Once you have your folder structure ready and you know how to name your files properly, then it’s time to prepare different variations of your logo.

2. Create Logo Variations

When you consider all the different applications and mediums a logo can be used on—just one logo versions definitely won’t cut it.

Decide on what logo variations your client would need.

When I say logo variations, what I really mean is different versions of the same logo designed for use in certain situations.

Logo Files—Logo Variations (Lockups)
Logo Files—Logo Variations (Lockups)

The number of logo variations you need to prepare will depend on the complexity of the design and the intended use.

What logo variations should your provide?

  • Logo in vertical orientation
  • Logo in horizontal orientation
  • Stand alone brandmark
  • Stand alone wordmark

When you consider taglines you can add even more options here: horizontal logo with and without a tagline etc.

In general, different situations will call for different logo lockup and therefore you must prepare at least a couple of basic ones.

The absolute minimum would be to have the primary logo version in horizontal orientation that can be used for example on the website—This will be the most commonly-used logo.

Besides that you must prepare some kind of a brandmark or an icon that can be used in small sizes, for example as a profile picture on social media where the horizontal logo would become illegible.

Apart from that, you can have that primary logo in vertical orientation—a stacked version is especially recommended if the company name is long (consists of multiple words).

Please note that this logo variations breakdown won’t always apply to every project simply because there are different types of logos you can design in the first place.

However, even if you design an emblem like ,for example Harley-Davidson, where the name is inextricably connected to the graphic element, they still managed to create an icon.

It’s also worth mentioning here, that you should clearly specify on how and when to use each logo variation in the brand guidelines document, so that your client can use them properly.

3. Understand Color Spaces

The next thing you want to do after preparing logo variations is to focus on different color spaces, here you need to:

Covert colors for use in both print (CMYK) and digital (RGB).

Not all clients know the difference between RGB, CMYK and Pantone, so that’s why I divide them into two categories: print and digital (folder structure from step 1).

Logo Files—Color Spaces
Logo Files—Color Spaces

Basically, the easiest way to understand the difference is to remember that CMYK is used for print—it’s about mixing 4 ink colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black to create your specific color.

CMYK is the best best file format for printing logo.

While RGB is used for digital and therefore it’s not about ink, but it’s about light source (display) where three colors are being mixed: Red, Green and Blue to create any color you need.

Both of these folders will contain logo files, but colors will be converted into appropriate color profile (see image above).

For example: in your digital folder you should include both image files and vector files but the colors for both must be set in RGB spectrum.

You might wonder “Why should I include vector files in digital folder?”—Well, this is because sometimes clients want editable design files in RGB.

In case your client needs to resize the logos or export files to different, unusual extensions—they have a raw file to work with.

Next, we do the same with the print folder, we simply convert colors to CMYK gamut, so that the logo can be used for print (e.g. on business cards).

RGB has a wider spectrum and therefore you can use very bright and saturated colors which is not always the case with CMYK.

That’s way you need to make sure you specify on the colors, so that whether your client needs to use the logo for digital or print purposes, the colors will remain consistent.

The worst thing that could happen here is mixing them up—when you use CMYK for digital or RGB for print, then you will end up with colors that might look quite different (green is blue and blue is green sometimes).

Here it’s also worth mentioning that while CMYK version will be typically enough for most clients, some will require also Pantone versions as well.

Pantone is for those client for whom color accuracy in print really matters the most (e.g. heavy printing, packaging etc.)

4. Make Logo Color Versions

Your client will not always use full color logo version on white background—that’s why it’s important to:

Create a variety of color options for your logo.

If the logo is going to be used on a dark background, then you will need an inverse version with white text.

Logo Color Versions
Logo Color Versions

Sometimes the primary color that you use in the logo won’t look as good on dark background as on white background (e.g. my brand color blue)

That’s why sometimes you will need to adjust colors to create more contrast, while still maintaining that color consistency.

Moreover, if your client intends on using the logo on printed documents (black & white laser printer, fax documents etc.), they may need a solid black version.

Sometimes your client will also request solid white version for use on dark backgrounds, like for example in the footer.

How many logo color variations should you include?

  • Logo in full-color
  • Inverse logo version
  • Solid black logo
  • Solid white logo

Of course, depending on the logo itself, you may have more or fewer color versions.

Disclaimer: Usually you will make color versions first (Step 4) and then save them for color spaces (Step 3), but for the purpose of this tutorial I reverse these steps to match the folder structure presented earlier.

So once you’ve done that, then it’s time to finally generate different logo files.

5. Generate File Formats

Up to this point you were basically just setting up art boards in illustrator and know it’s time to export these logos into a variety of file extensions.

Save your logo artwork to most common file formats.

There are plenty of different file formats out there but giving your client too many options can be overwhelming.

Logo File Formats—What logo files to give to client.

Here’s my list of standard logo file formats that will meet the majority of your client needs:

  • AI—Best editable logo file format (Illustrator vector file).
  • EPS—Used to be the standard vector logo format (replaced by PDF).
  • PDF—A universal vector file format (save as “editable”).
  • SVG—Best logo file format for website (vector for web).
  • JPG—Best logo file format for web, social, powerpoint etc. (raster-based).
  • PNG—Best logo file type if you need transparent background (raster-based).

This list consists of both vector and raster file types—let’s describe each type shortly, so that you can use this information to explain logo files to your client.

Vector files like AI, EPS, PDF and SVG are basically a scalable, loss-less file formats.

Vector files are made up of basic geometric shapes such as points, lines and curves so therefore you can scale them up and down without losing any quality because they are being redrawn from mathematical equation by your computer.

Raster files like JPG and PNG are the opposite to vector, they are NOT scalable.

Raster files are made out of pixels arranged on a static grid (think of it as a mosaic of tiny colorful dots) and they cannot be scaled up because the image will lose quality and you will see pixelation.

With that being said, all logos MUST be designed in vector programs like Adobe Illustrator first and then exported to desirable file formats.

If you want to learn more about logo file types and the difference between vector and raster images—check out this article.

Since we’ve covered logo file types, now let’s talk about logo file sizes—What size should logo files be?

What is the best file size for a logo?—Many designers ask me this question.

When it comes to vector logo files and their dimensions–it doesn’t really matter what size you save them to because they can be scaled up infinitely anyways.

However, when it comes to raster logo files—you need to make sure you export them in high resolution.

This is because when client needs a larger size file (but doesn't have any) and artificially scales them up—the image will lose quality (pixelation).

What is the best resolution for a logo?—I usually save them as 1920x1080 which is common for 1080p displays, so it can be used on a fullscreen powerpoint presentation etc.

Here also keep in mind that 4k displays become a standard these days, so if your client plans on displaying the logo on a large screen at an event for example, then you might want to save it as JPGs or PNGs to 3840×2160 size.

So basically in this step you simply go thought the folder structure and save different logo variations and in different color versions to respective folders.

Remember here to keep things organized and stick to the naming structure presented earlier in this article—that way your client will be able to quickly find whatever they’re looking for.

Remember to provide your client with the logo in a variety of different formats so that they can use it everywhere.

Once you’ve generated all of the logo file formats for you client, then it’s time to deliver them as a logo package.

PS. Do you plan on using this logo on Wix?—Check out this article.

6. Deliver Logo Package

By now, you should end up with a whole bunch of files and you may wonder "What is included in a logo package?"

Zip the main folder up and upload it to the cloud.

I don’t recommend sending files by email (as an attachment) because things tend to get lost in the inbox and it can cause unnecessary frustration on both sides.

Logo Package—How to package logo files for client.
Preparing Logo Package

How to send logo files to client?—It’s best to zip them all up and upload it to the cloud like Dropbox or GoogleDrive.

Then, you can just generate a link and send it to over to your client so they can download it for themselves—This is how I give logo to client.

You can also share the whole folder without zipping it, so that your client can always access each particular logo file straight from the browser without having to download the whole thing.

However you chose to deliver the logo package to your client, your job doesn’t end there—you must also educate your client on how to use file formats properly.

Remember that your client isn’t probably well-versed in image file formats and when to use them.

So you can either include a quick guide that briefly outlines what each logo file format is for, or simply have a conversation with your client—use descriptions from step 5 to explain logo files to your client.

This should give them some clarity and tools on how to use their new logo effectively in all situations.

So this is how to send logo deliverables to my clients—I hope you enjoyed my tutorial.

Conclusions

The preparation of logo files is probably one of the most time consuming tasks that every logo designer needs to do.

While logo design can be fun, creating a logo package certainly is not.

Creating all the different logo files is a monotonous, boring and repetitive task that can take really long hours.

So if you plan on providing your client with multiple logo lockups and in a wide range of formats (and you should), then you need to organize your process.

You can just use my folder structure and this tutorial to export files manually (straight from Illustrator) into different formats, color variations, color spaces etc. (everything I described above).

However, if you want to save yourself some time, then you should get the Logo Package Express.

Export and Package dozens of logo files automatically in under 5 minutes.

This incredible Illustrator extension will generate your logo files in just one click.

Thanks to the Logo Package Express your files will be conveniently sorted into folders and carefully labelled so your clients can find exactly what they need.

With this extension creating your logo files will take you literally a couple of minutes—just paste your logo, change some settings and voila!

It works extremely fast and it’s a great time saver—arguably the best investments you can make as a logo designer.

And I made a deal with the author of this extension to provide my readers with a special discount!

Just use the code “ebaq20” at checkout to get 20% off, or simply click this link to have the coupon applied automatically.

How do you deliver logo files to your clients?—Leave a comment below.

Looking to hire a logo designer?—Just shoot me an email.

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