Getting a new logo designed is an exciting opportunity to re-energize your business. It’s a chance to re-engage with your audience, remind them of your core values and why they were drawn to you in the first place. Ultimately, this should be a moment to celebrate – but if you don’t walk away the assets that should get delivered with your logo design (or redesign), it can make things unnecessarily hard in the future. Let’s clarify what exactly you need to walk away with for any logo design project, and what additions are going to be included when you’re working with a professional.
The Logo Files (Responsive Logo Options)
Obviously, you better hope that when designing or redesigning your logo, you walk away with the logo files themselves. But the ability for your logo to adjust in layout depending on the size and medium it’s being displayed in is a fundamental requirement for any logo design today. With this in mind, your logo should be designed with responsiveness in mind, and that means, walking away with a variety of layouts, sizes, and color combinations for your logo. It’s shocking how many clients we’ve worked in the past who have only received one logo variant when it was originally designed. This either leads to their logo looking less than ideal in certain situations, or to them scrambling for a tweaked logo variant when they need to display their brand in a new, unexpected application.
Take PNDC’s logo, for example. This a partner of ours whose visual identity we recently redesigned, which included a new logo. Their preferred logo highlights the organizations full name in a stacked interpretation, but this simply won’t work when the logo is rendered at smaller sizes. Therefore, they received a logo variant without smaller text, perfect for remaining legible at smaller sizes. When they want to change things up or support other collateral pieces, they have the badge logo, and for situations where their logo needs to be shown at extremely small sizes, the tree icon separates from the main logo, still clearly referencing the PNDC brand.
All of these logo variants were provided so no matter what application was thrown their way, PNDC would have the right logo for any given situation. These pieces are crucial to allow for flexibility in an ever changing world of graphic standards, screen resolutions, and ways of engaging with your audience. So long story short, if you’re not receiving a modular logo with responsive layouts, then you need to talk with your designer and find out what it’s going to take to include them.
Receiving a Variety of logo layouts and color combinations ensure's you have just the right logo for any situation that comes your way.
You should also be receiving your logo in a variety of file formats when the final logo design gets delivered. Whenever our team at Rivetry creates a new logo, we always include these four file types:
JPEG – Basic photo format, great for smaller website uses or digital publications.
PNG – A higher quality web format, helpful for using on colored backgrounds when the white box found in a jpeg wouldn’t work for a given layout.
SVG – The new standard in digital use. SVG’s are all based on vector shapes (ie mathematic calculations). What this means is SVG files are infinitely scalable without any loss in quality, and results in the sharpest rendering of your logo possible.
Vector EPS – Virtually the same as SVG’s, but typically, they’ll contain a bit more file information, and are best suited for high quality printing.
Each of these formats should supply you with a range of color treatments for your logo (at a minimum, you should receive a ‘full-color’ variant, an all black variant and an all-white variant). It’s impossible to predict how or where your logo is going to be presented, and what requirements your logo file will need to meet in those situations. Receiving a suite of logo files is the only way to ensure you have the right file for the right circumstances.
If you’re missing any of these files when you receive your new logo design, we’d recommend you request them from your designer or agency partner – preferably when originally discussing your scope of work. That way, you walk away with file formats ideal for any situation you come across.
If you’re only doing a small, minor update to your logo, this may be all your need. The next items on our list are appropriate if you’re introducing any new styles, fonts or color choices in your new logo (or if those haven’t been documented previously).
If you just received updates on your color palette or dramatically updated your logo’s appearance, then you’ll at the very least need an updated style guide to go along with the new logo design.
Style guides are basically a very high level overview for a brand’s graphic guidelines. Their contents will differ a bit depending on the brand, but at their core, they should always clarify your color palette, your brand fonts, and any guidance available on logo usage, like which logo ‘variant’ is your primary layout, and rulesets for how to show the logo (and how not to).
This is a guide that you can hand-off to any creative partner or in-house designer to ensure, at a high level, the designs they create are on brand and consistent with one another, which is especially helpful if you’re working with more than one designer.
Without this style guide, designers are left guessing on what logo variants or treatments to use, and it always makes the project a bit trickier and more time consuming than if those questions were spelled out for them right away.
The style guide should be provided in PDF format and should be light-weight enough to email. Ideally, you’ll also receive the source file for this so you can make updates accordingly if any adjustments are ever made in the future.
It's critical that you receive vector files for your logo, letting you render your logo at maximum quality.
Depending on the size of your business, or the amount of change you expect to see out of your marketing collateral with your new logo change, chances are you may need a full fledged brand guidelines document in correlation with your style guide.
Brand guidelines are the mature, more established and explanatory cousins to a style guide. This should be far more comprehensive, and in addition to what’s captured in the style guide, things like layout rules, graphic styles and examples of marketing collateral should all be present in a guidelines document.
Typically, the larger the organization, the more granular the brand guidelines become, offering specific guidelines on the nuances found in your social presence, email marketing, catalog development, etc.
Chances are, this document may not be email friendly, but every designer or agency you work with should still be able to receive easy digital access to your brand guidelines to offer clear creative guidance for their work going forward. Like we talk about in this article more specifically, consistency is key for any strong and recognizable visual identity.