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The One Piece of Art Your Business Needs

June 23, 2017 Written by Joellen Reichenbach 

As a business owner, there are some key resources that you need to keep in your tool box as you build your business. We all know that we need a good accountant, attorney and banker. But what most people don’t think about is the camera-ready artwork of your company's logo.

Camera-Ready Logos Make Professional First Impressions

When you print your logo on business cards or on a pen do you feel like you should get your eyes checked because it seems fuzzy or it’s “just not right”? If so, you likely have a situation where you’re using a version of your logo graphic that is not what we call ‘camera-ready’. 

Your logo is your brand identity. It’s the first representation of you seen by your potential clients. So you’d better be sure it’s exactly what you want to portray. It needs to be legible and memorable.

You spent a lot of time and money working with a graphic designer to create your logo. Every time you use it – no matter how you use it - it should be crystal clear. So what do you need to have to make sure that happens?

Why You Need Multiple Versions of Your Logo

Your marketing takes many different forms and your logo will be used many ways in the course of doing business. Sometimes you’ll want your logo all by itself, sometimes you’ll want your logo with your tagline, sometimes you’ll need it with your tagline and phone number & website, and sometimes, you’ll just need your logo with your tagline and website.

In addition to all of these potential combinations, you may need your logo in black & white for some uses, and in full color for others. This means you’ll need your camera-ready logo designed in full color, spot colors, and black & white.

Each logo version is used for different marketing applications. You should reflect on how many ways you’ll use your logo. Will you have pens or mugs made? Will you need a brochure? Will you use billboards or car wraps? For each application, we’ll need your logo graphics file – but due to certain imprinting processes, your promotional products vendor may need your logo supplied in a different color format.

Style Sheets Clear Up Confusion

A style sheet is an important part of your logo toolbox. This information sheet provides your company with a comprehensive list of all of your logo’s elements from colors to typography.  It allows you to know your exact corporate colors, and your brand’s typeface so you can ensure that every document that leaves your office is in sync with your brand.

Style sheets are also an important tool for your vendors. When working with a promotional products company, you’ll be asked what font your company name and tagline uses. You’ll also be asked which Pantone colors are in your logo. (That’s the PMS number.) If you don’t know, anyone trying imprint a promotional product will not be able to help you easily.

What Type of Graphics Files Do You Need for High Quality Printing?

Most people know about .jpeg graphics files. What you need to know is that a .jpeg format is not camera-ready artwork. A .jpeg is just an image of your logo which can be used on websites and social media applications. It is simply a picture of your logo. But a .jpeg file can't be altered or adjusted to create camera-ready artwork. This also applies to .tiff .gif .png files as well.

You will need the following art files (in full color vs. one color). It is extremely important to ask your graphic designer for the following files:

  • You will need what are called .eps files. These .eps files need to have all fonts converted to outline and saved down to a CS5 or lower. You personally won't be able to open this file unless you have the Illustrator or InDesign artwork software but your promotional products vendor and print vendors will be able to open them. It is critical that you don’t delete them!
  • Along with the .eps files, you should ask your graphic designer for .PDF files so you can view what should be in each .eps file.

A Quick Tip on Saving Your Logo Files

Be sure to keep your artwork file titles the same so you know what each file contains. For example:

  •    selectsalesFullColorLogo.eps

selectsalesFullColorLogo.PDF

selectsalesFullColorLogo.jpeg

  •    selectsalesoOneColorLogo.eps

selectsalesOneColorLogo.PDF

selectsalesOneColorLogo.jpeg

Storing Your Valuable Camera-Ready Artwork

Your camera-ready artwork files are part of your corporate tool box. You need to keep these .eps files in a safe place. It’s critical for your future marketing applications. It is always best to have them saved in multiple locations just to be safe.

I always suggest keeping them on a CD, a flash drive, on an external drive, and in cloud storage in addition your computer’s My Documents file. It would be a smart idea to keep an additional copy of your logo files with your corporate documents. You can never go wrong with burning a CD and placing it in a plastic sleeve inside your three-ring corporate binder.

 Having your own files allows you to be able to move forward with your marketing materials without waiting for your graphic designer to get back to you. I have had situations where a client’s graphic designer either moved away with no forwarding information or went out of business, so be sure to maintain your corporate artwork files in-house. 

Your financial investment into your corporate branding can provide an outstanding return if you know exactly where your .eps, .PDF, and .jpeg electronic files are every time you need them during the implementation of your marketing plans. Just as you use your accountant during the tax season, your attorney during your legal issues, and your banker when you need a loan, your artwork files are another key partner you need to run a successful business.