You may be new to working with a designer on your logo or other artwork. There may be some terms and design concepts that you’re unfamiliar with. Not a problem. In this design glossary, we’ll give you an overview of design phrases and terminology in layman’s terms so that you can quickly understand our web site, design pricing or logo design process.
The original logo artwork file, generally a vector based image created in Adobe Illustrator (or other vector based drawing software), from which all other image types, resolutions and file formats can be created. Generally has the file extension of .EPS or .AI. For maximum clarity and color accuracy when converting logo images into various file formats, all projects at The Logo Factory® utilize vector based files as the starting point, or source file, for any bitmap based images. See our technical logo design tutorial area for more information.
From wikipedia: A logo (Greek – logotipos) is a graphical element, (ideogram, symbol, emblem, icon, sign) that, together with its logotype (a uniquely set and arranged typeface) form a trademark or commercial brand. Typically, a logo’s design is for immediate recognition, inspiring trust, admiration, loyalty and an implied superiority. The logo is one aspect of a company’s commercial brand, or economic entity, and its shapes, colors, fonts, and images usually are different from others in a similar market. Logos are also used to identify organizations and other, non-commercial entities.
Encapsulated Postscript (.eps) files are the vector based source files of ANY logo design or logo repair projects at The Logo Factory. This is a editable and scalable version of your new logo from which we can create all other formats and image types. Editing of this file generally requires a vector based software (Adobe Illustrator is the choice of most logo design experts) but an .eps file can be imported and printed by a variety of publishing and office applications. This file format has your logo Pantone Matching System (PMS) spot color or CMYK full color values embedded within so this is the file that your print shop will require (see here for tips on working with a printer). We consider this to be a professional file – one that requires a little knowledge and/or software to open and edit.
Whenever the artwork files for company logos (ie: .eps files) are opened in a computer graphics program such as Adobe Illustrator, the computer must have access to any fonts contained in the artwork. If the fonts are not available, the results can be unpredictable. In order to avoid this, any fonts that are contained in your logo are converted to vector based shapes. This allows anyone to open the artwork files, whether or not they have the fonts installed, and the logo artwork will remain consistent. Fonts converted to vectors based shapes are referred to as outlined fonts. Outlined fonts are not editable by typing new letters, but are only editable as artwork – like any vector based images. To properly edit the text in logo that features outlined fonts, your designer will have to replace the text completely. In order to do this, they will have to match the font, install that font, and then perform any editing required. This new text can then be outlined for maximum compatibility.
A Vector based image is the raw source file of your logo, created out of vector shapes, which can be filled with accurate color through the Pantone Matching System. Vector based images are the format for ALL business logos and logo repair projects at The Logo Factory. A vector can be thought of as a shape made up of rubber bands that are wrapped around nails (vector points) pushed into a peg board. If the nails (or in this case points) are moved, the shape will change. This allows designers to be able to edit artwork. Vector files are also resolution independent, meaning that they can are scalable to any size. Editing Vector based art may require the use of a professional-level vector drawing program such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. If you have a low-resolution pixel based version of your logo, it is possible to create a pristine set of new artwork by ‘hand-tracing’ the image using Adobe Illustrator or similar vector based drawing program (see changing logo file formats for more info). While it’s true that there are some automated image tracing programs, Live Trace for example, the results are often unpredictable (as the software ‘guesses’ how the image is supposed to look) and the result can be very low quality (see logo image tracing for some examples). Often, editing the results of an automated vector conversion can take longer that doing it by hand.
Image resolution can be defined pretty simply. In terms of graphic design, it usuall refers to the number of dots (pixels) per inch of any image (referred to as DPI pronounced Dee Pee Eye). This is particularly important when using pixel ot bitmap based version of your logo, where resolution is critical. In print, if the resolution is too small (lower than 266 DPI) your logo will appear ‘fuzzy’ as the actual pixels that make up the image will begin to be visible. On the web, if the resolution is too high (above 72 DPI) the image will not preview correctly, and the file size will be larger than necessary (slowing download time). In terms of resolution, it is NOT critical when using vector based versions of your logo. These files (ie .EPS) output at the highest resolution available on the device being used, so for all intents and purposes the resolution of a vector based image is unlimited.
You can think of a pixel based image being made up from a grid of varying colored pixels that when viewed from a distance form the overall image details. Pixel based images can be CMYK or RGB color palettes and are usually in .JPG or .PNG formats. Pixel or bitmap based images are resolution dependent and must be prepared specifically for the usage planned. A 72 DPI (dots per inch) image can be used in electronic media (web) while a 266 (or higher) DPI image is required for print, especially when printing on glossy paper. Due to the number of colors required to create images, and in most cases, bitmap images will require four color process printing, rather than the much more economical (and accurate) spot color printing. Pixel based files are included with ALL our professional logo design packages featuring either full or basic format bundles.Submit a design project