Send my logo to Dave…

Obscure email

Shiny CoastersThis is the most common request we get from customers that we’ve done logos for. “Send me my logo” is another. A frustratingly  vague email request that requires a C.S.I. to figure out. Who’s Dave? Who are you for that matter? I look at the email address, hoping the it might give me a clue as to the company. Nope, the email is from No help. People, throw me a bone here!

I realize the nice set of CDs we supply logo customers with inevitably become shiny coasters at their office. Ipso facto, we become their logo gatekeepers. Generally speaking, we don’t charge for this service, but it would make life easier if a little more information came with the request. Here’s why. There are several formats a logo can be saved in; .EPS, .PDF, .AI,. JPG, .TIF, .GIF, .PNG, .WTF, etc. (The last one isn’t really a file format, I was just seeing if you’re paying attention) All of the different file formats have applications in which they are preferred. For instance, a web banner company may prefer a JPG, but the guy making your personalized bobble head sipper bottles is going to want an EPS file.

Generally speaking anyone in my industry- print, signage, promotional products, t-shirts, etc., will prefer .EPS files,  otherwise known as “vector” files. Vector formats can also be .AI and .PDF.  JPGs and the other file formats are called “bitmapped” images. Basically- photos, composed of a fixed amount of pixels.

So what’s the difference, why do designers like vector?

When we request a logo, say for a sponsor of an event, inevitably the company will send us a JPG. Typically they suck for print work. They don’t scale up (enlarge) very well. They are “resolution dependent”, meaning there are a fixed number of pixels in the image file. When you enlarge, the pixels don’t multiply, they just get bigger… and more visible. And it’s difficult to edit them, say change them from color to black and white.

The other format is what’s called an .EPS format. EPS  stands for Encapsulated Postscript, it was developed by Adobe. Adobe products enabled the whole desktop publishing business to get it’s start. Postscript doesn’t use pixels, it is “vector” based. Rather than bore you with technical stuff, suffice it to say, you can scale an EPS file up as much as you want without degradation. This type of file can also be used by CAD devices such as laser cutters and vinyl lettering machines. It is also fully editable. See the comparison below (Keep in mind, (ironically) for this demonstration the vector example had to be converted to JPG. The web does not support vector format.)

Comparison of a pixel based logo and vector based logo

Most designers produce logos in vector format using Adobe Illustrator or a comparable software. That’s why most clients can’t view the EPS version of their logo, they don’t have the proper software- so they sort of forget about it. We supply clients with JPGs because they can be used in office software like Word and Powerpoint. So if you get a request for your logo and you can’t find it in EPS form, just drop us a line and we’ll send it to Dave for you.



Dale Piner - July 26, 2011 - 1:26 pm


Do I have a logo?

Your CPA

Molly Busacca - July 26, 2011 - 1:36 pm

Okay…very informative. So, when working with logos on the web do we change the vector file to a jpg or do you supply us with two different types of files? I know it is a very basic question but I am kinda seeing the light right now…

Scott E - July 26, 2011 - 2:45 pm

Great blog Dave. Thanks for perspective.

beth - July 26, 2011 - 3:13 pm

Hey, Barry Christensen designed Dale Piner’s logo at McAtees… it was a lower case “d” and a lower case “p” directly next to each other… hummmmm, I remember it look like…

willisdesign - July 26, 2011 - 4:28 pm

I think I know where you’re going with that Ramone.

willisdesign - July 26, 2011 - 4:31 pm

Yes Molly. Actually, for logos, GIF is a better choice. Again- technical, but it compresses better and stays sharper. But yes, the graphics on the web are all “bitmapped” images.

mari gonzo garcia - July 26, 2011 - 4:34 pm

I would never send in a request to have something done immediately-how rude!

Ryan Northway - July 26, 2011 - 9:39 pm

Another great pair with low res logos, or no logo, is the ol’ “you can find the photos for my print job on Facebook!”

willisdesign - July 26, 2011 - 9:44 pm

Yeah Ryan- or- just get my logo off our web site. Or- Can you just scan my business card?

Rocio Garcia - July 28, 2011 - 4:47 pm

As always great blog post!

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