What is the best file type to send to my graphic designer?

You need shirts. Or swag. Or signage. Or social media graphics. Or…something with your logo on it.

There’s a good chance that you have your logo in at least a couple different file formats on some harddrive someplace or attached to an email. Which version do you send us (or whoever is designing your stuff)?

New clients often ask us this. Although it may vary a bit depending on the project, here are some rules of thumb to guide you as you sift through all those files.


The best: Vector art.

The best type of file to send a graphic designer or printer will generally be vector art (a.k.a. vector graphics). These files are the most versatile and can be scaled to any size without getting distorted or pixilated. They are usually created by professional designers and may end with .eps, .ps, .ai, .svg or .pdf. (However, the only way to know for sure is to open the file in a program like Adobe Illustrator, so just send it on over. We’ll take a look and let you know if it works.)


Next best thing: High resolution.

If you don’t have a file with one of those extensions, the next best thing is the highest resolution file you have. Not sure which file is the highest resolution? I usually just suggest people send over the logo file with the biggest file size, and (again) we’ll take a look. For certain projects, this may work. Otherwise, the logo may need to be re-created and higher resolution in order to stay true to the original.

If all else fails…

  • The logo on your website is most likely too low resolution for printed materials (as well as signage, clothing, promotional products, etc.) but may work for web projects.
  • Individual, isolated images are better than graphics inserted into another program, such as Word or PowerPoint.
  • A transparent file (such as a transparent PNG) is better than a non-transparent file (JPG).
  • If you must email a logo from printed material, a high quality, color scan is better than a low quality, black and white copy. If possible, bring (or mail) us the hard copy, and we can make sure it’s scanned with the best resolution.
Note: Changing the name/extension of a file is not the same as changing the format. It is best to send files as they are, even if they are not in an ideal format.


Something to think about

Are you having trouble locating a good logo file, because it was created a long time ago? Or perhaps it was just a “starter” a friend or family member did as a favor to help you get going? It may be time to think about updating your logo and upgrading to a more professional image. I’m happy to have a conversation with you about that. Give me a call.