Why do I have so many files from my designer?

When you’ve had your logo designed professionally, you should receive a logo package full of files suitable for both digital and print. But without guidance (or even with guidance), once left to deal with it on your own, it can be confusing as to which is the right file to use.

Hopefully, this simple guide will help you to use the right file type for the right project in future. 

Digital and Print

The main differences between these two file applications are the colour space and file size. I’ll go into more detail about this in another post, but here we’re just talking about which file to use and when.

For Digital/Web

All the files supplied by your designer for digital/web use have an RGB (Red, Green and Blue) colour space. The same colour space your TV, phone, laptop, tablet uses.  

All digital/web files supplied should be used on any project that will not be printed and will be viewed on a screen*.

So we’re talking:

  • Websites
  • TV adverts
  • Favicons
  • Social media profile pictures
  • Banners
  • Canva videos, posts
  • Social media posts
  • App graphics
  • Email footers

The most common type of files to use for digital work should be:

  • PNG 
  • JPG 
  • SVG 
  • GIF (animated)

As a business owner, you will most likely only need to use PNGs and JPGs yourself, but a designer or web developer may ask you for any of the above files.

What happens if I use the wrong file type?

If you use a file type only suitable for print on a digital-based project, you will probably see a change in the colour of your artwork. The artwork may appear dull and lacklustre, taking away from the vibrancy of your brand or vice versa, you may see a version that is way too bright. 

Left: RGB coloured file in Microsoft Word. Right: CMYK coloured file in Microsoft Word

For Print

For any printed material you should use CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key/Black) file types. A printer combines CMYK inks to create your printed material. CMYK files should be used for the following: 

  • Brochures
  • Leaflets
  • Signage
  • Vehicle wraps
  • Letterheads
  • Compliment slips
  • Business cards
  • Billboards
  • Merchandise 

The types of files you should mainly use for printing are: 

  • Ai (the source/master file)
  • EPS 
  • PDF
  • TIFF

*PLEASE NOTE: If you are printing materials yourself, for example in Microsoft word or google docs, bear in mind that neither of these support CMYK colour (I know, right?!) so you will need to use the PNG or JPG files from your digital files. 

I hope this quick guide has been a clear rundown of the file types provided by your graphic designer, but if you feel it needs more detail please let me know. Remember, if you are ever unclear you should always ask your designer to clarify for you to avoid any undesirable results.

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