Congratulations. You’ve assessed the work of your logo designer and have settled on a great logo for your small business. But before you sign the cheque, you need to secure your logo design specifications. Taking the time to ensure you have documented all your fonts, colours and files will save you a big headache in the future, should you need to tweak anything in your logo.
Ensure You Know the Fonts in Your Logo
Your logo may feature one or more fonts. It is essential that your graphic designer documents which fonts they have used and where. Knowing the names of your fonts will make any future changes easier, PLUS you may be able to use the fonts throughout the rest of your small business to aid branding consistency.
Note: Font sets are intellectual property. If you wish to own a copy of a font set you will need to purchase a licence. It is illegal for your logo designer to send you font sets that you have not paid for. It’s simple to purchase fonts through various online font sites.
Ensure You Know the Colours in Your Logo
A paint store classifies their paint colours with enticing names such as ‘pink innocence’ and ‘baby pink”. To create each of these colours, other colours need to be mixed together in just the right combination. Going to the paint shop and stating that you want to paint a pink wall just won’t cut it. You need to know the exact shade of pink.
Knowing and enforcing your exact logo colours is fundamental to your small business brand. Ask your designer to document all the colours they have used in your logo and where these colours were used. Your designer will need to record each of your logo colours across four colour classifications. These combination include:
- CMYK: A four number classification used in paper based printing applications
- RGB: A three number classification used in online applications
- Hexadecimal (HEX): A further online standard, useful for website coding
- PMS: A worldwide standard classification used (mostly) in non-paper based printing applications
Keep these colour specifications documented in a safe place. A signwriter or web designer may call for them in the future. For example, this patch of pink below is classified with the following specifications:
Example Colour Specifications
Ensure Your Logos are in Versatile File Formats
When you first engage a graphic designer, ensure you request that your final logo files are supplied in three formats. This includes:
For Your Website: A web ready JPG file (@72dpi). A web ready jpg is a low resolution picture file capable of showing many millions of colours. Since it’s low resolution, the file size of your logo is kept low. This keeps your website loading as fast as possible. Aim to keep the file size of your website logo under 50kb. The lower the better. If you manage to keep it under 12kb I’ll give you a gold star.
For Your Print Materials: A high resolution JPG file (@ 300dpi). A high resolution jpg shows your logo in all its wonder and clarity. Requesting a high resolution file (@300dpi) also makes your logo compatible with printer specifications – making it a sinch to include on stationery, brochures and product packaging. Aim to request your logo at a decent size (approx 10-15cm in diameter).
For Everything In Between: A vector file (EPS file). An EPS logo file is traditionally used in print based applications. It’s completely scalable to any size you can imagine. Do you want your logo to appear on a 20 metre sign? Or do you have visions of it being flown across the sky on the back of an aeroplane? Your high resolution JPG won’t be up to the task as it’s only 10-15cm in diameter. But your EPS logo will be able to lend a hand with no trouble at all.
Note: EPS files can only be viewed through graphic design applications. But there is a little trick you can use to preview EPS files through Microsoft Word (this was a lifesaver when I stumbled on it). Check out my tip to preview EPS files:
Artwork Files – It is a good idea to request your graphic designer’s artwork files. Sure, you probably don’t have the design software to use the files, but keeping them allows you to pass them onto another graphic designer in the future. As some designers can be hesitant about handing these files over, make sure you make request this known from the beginning.
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