Logo File Formats — Explained

File Format Pattern

Choose the right logo format for the right purpose

Ah, the moment you sign off your brand new logo and receive it in a multitude of file formats from “logo.png” to “logo.eps”. Some familiar and some you never knew existed. So, which one do you use?

Put simply, use the logo format that’s fit for purpose. This article explains when and why you should use logos in some of the most common file formats:

EPS File Format Icon

EPS (Encapsulated PostScript)

EPS is a graphics file format for vector graphics. For those not familiar with the term “vector graphics”, these graphics can be scaled infinitely without loosing quality. As a result, your logo will be high quality whether it appears on a billboard or a business card. Common uses for this file type include printing and editing, though, we wouldn’t recommend editing your new logo.

Where to use an EPS logo file?

How to open an EPS file?

For the average computer user, it may be difficult to open an EPS without design software such as Adobe Illustrator but don’t let that dissuade you from sending this to a printer. Freely available software like Inkscape for instance, are capable of opening and even editing EPS files.

Why use an EPS logo file?

SVG File Format Icon

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic)

SVG is a vector-based file format that can be edited with design software such as Adobe Illustrator. SVGs are defined in XML text files and as a result, can be created and edited in a text editor making it a popular choice for use on websites.

Where to use an SVG logo file?

How to open an SVG file?

SVG files open in browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Edge. They also open in design software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Inkscape and GIMP are examples of free software that can also open SVG files.

Why use an SVG logo file?

PDF File Format Icon

PDF (Portable Document Format)

Developed by Adobe, the PDF format was created to present text and image documents regardless of software, hardware or operating system. Therefore, PDFs are easily opened as standard on many operating systems across a range of devices.

Where to use a PDF logo file?

How to open a PDF file?

There are many ways to open a PDF, including most modern browsers but by far the most popular way of opening a PDF is to download Adobe Acrobat Reader. It’s free to download and often pre-installed on many computers.

Why use a PDF logo file?

PNG File Format Icon

PNG (Portable Network Graphic)

PNGs were originally designed for transferring images on the internet making them ideal for most digital purposes. PNGs are raster-graphics meaning once they are scaled past their original size, they begin to look pixelated. While it is possible to print a PNG, it is not recommended.

Where to use a PNG logo file?

How to open a PNG file?

PNGs open on computers and devices as standard. No need for additional software or applications.

Why use a PNG logo file?

JPEG File Format Icon

JPED (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

JPEG, is one of the most recognised raster-graphic file formats but offers the least versatility for logos. Its lossy method of compression means when the file is re-saved, some quality will be lost.

Where to use a JPEG logo file?

How to open a JPEG file?

PNGs open on computers and devices as standard. No need for additional software or applications.

Why use a JPEG logo file?

Wrapping up

File formats that use vector-based graphics are the most versatile. They are infinitely scaleable without loss of quality and can also be edited. One downside is they often require specific design software to open.

File formats that use raster-graphics are much more accessible however they can’t be edited and there is a limit to how much they can be scaled up before loosing quality.

In summary: