A guide to logo formats

Logo files come in so many different formats these days, each is optimised for a specific use. It can be hard to figure out what’s right for what.

Let’ break it down for you, in the simplest possible terms.

Raster vs Vector

Raster images are made up of pixels and only exist at one particular size. Therefore they’re not very scalable. Only scale these downwards, not up, or they’ll appear blurry. They’re ideal for use in MS Office programmes (Word, PowerPoint etc), on websites, or emails. Examples include:

  • JPEG
  • GIF
  • PNG

Vector images are true scalable images where you won’t lose any detail or get any blurriness. However, they can’t be used on many software programmes. They’re ideal for desktop publishing programmes or for supplying to printing companies. Examples include:

  • PDF
  • EPS
  • SVG

CMYK vs RGB

CMYK is a four-colour printing process that stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black). These represent the four inks that will combine during any professional printing.

RGB is a colour model that stands for Red, Green and Blue. These are the three primary colours of light that combine to render images on any screen. You can print in RGB on your office printer, but it’s not ideal.