What's the Difference in Logo File Types?
There are several different types of logos, and knowing how and when to uses them could seem overwhelming - but it doesn't have to be!
File types don't have to be complicated or confusing. Below are general descriptions for each of the main logo file types and when you should use them.
PNG (Portable Network Graphic)
A PNG file is an image of your logo. The key difference between it and a JPEG is that the PNG file has a transparent background, therefore making it your go-to for most digital items. Some of the main uses for a PNG file include:
Website (main logo)
Adding a watermark to images
In-house print pieces
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
A JPEG file is a high quality image of the logo. The file has a solid (usually white) background. If it is stretched to a larger size than the original, it will become pixelated/blurry. Some of the main uses for a JPEG file include:
Social media (profile pictures)
Anywhere the background (color or pattern) may interfere with the readability of your logo
EPS (Encapsulated PostScript)
An EPS file is a vector image, which means it can be grown or shrunk as much as you need, without pixelization. It could be stretched to fit a billboard or shrunk to fit on a business card. This file is easily resizable and editable in design software. Not all computers have programs that will display EPS files, so do not be alarmed if there appears to be an “Unrecognized File” error when you open an EPS file. Some of the main uses for an EPS file include:
High quality print media (including business cards, brochures, posters, etc. Basically anything you would outsource to a professional printer).
Artwork for branded swag
PDF (Portable Document Format)
A PDF file of a logo is very similar to the EPS file, with the added bonus that if the logo has any opaque elements (such as a watercolor splash), the opacity of that part of the logo is preserved.
A general rule of thumb is to use the EPS file when you can, but if there is an instance where someone needs your logo (i.e. sponsorship display) the PDF file is the next go-to.
PDF files are universal. No matter the operating system, device or program, PDFs are accessible therefore an easy way to share your logo.
Of course, these are not the only type of files, but they are the most common types for logos. Here is a visual of the main differences in these types and usage examples:
If you have any questions about logo files or if you need a logo, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.