Step 8: Dispatch
You’re almost done, but there’s things you still need to do.
Here are some best practices for tidying up the logo files and preparing them your client.
We’ll get quite technical here, with the instructions specific to Illustrator – but if you’re using another program you can apply the theory behind them.
Prepare the approved logo
In Step 6 you saved time by not adjusting the small details on all of the logo concepts. Now that the final logo has been chosen, this is the time to tidy it up and make any tweaks to the vector in Illustrator.
Tidy up the vector
Outline any text used in the logo. This will stop it reverting to default text if someone opens the logo file without the font.
Zoom into the vector and fix up any untidy wobbly lines, and make sure there aren’t any unwanted sharp angular points (which can happen when you add strokes to text). By tidying up these lines you can be sure that the logo will still look good in large format applications such as signage.
Select any objects that have a fill and stroke, and expand them by going to Object > Expand Appearance.
Make any same coloured overlapping lines or objects one complete object by selecting them and clicking the ‘unite’ pathfinder icon at Window > Pathfinder.
Tidy up the logo file
In your logo file, delete all unused colours by selecting the swatches menu, Select All Unused > Click on Trash Icon.
Delete any unused elements that may be hidden to the side so there’s only your logo left. Then go to ‘Object > Artboards > Fit to Artwork Bounds’. You’ll see the artboard now fits nicely around your logo.
Then, if you want to add a defined clear space around the logo, go to ‘File > Document Setup...’ and click on the ‘Edit Artboards’ button. Bring out the edges of the artboard to where you want the clear space to be.
Make versions of the logo
Now have a think about the alternative logo versions.
If the logo has a tagline, you could make a version without it for use in situations where it won’t render as well.
For example, if being used in a social media profile image, email signature or a small print advert, the tagline could appear too small and unreadable. Or it may be too detailed to get a nice result when embroidered.
Create the logo colour file types
Now we need to create the colour file types of the logo for when they are used in print and digital applications.
For print you should supply both CMYK and Pantone versions, and for digital you should supply RGB versions.
When creating your files, make sure you name each file so you know what colour type it is (ie Logo_Name_RGB.jpg)
Saving in CMYK
Go ‘File > Document Color Mode’ to check CMYK is ticked.
Make any swatches with untidy decimal numbers (ie 26.86) whole numbers (ie 27) by double clicking on each swatch to edit the colour breakdowns.
Saving in Pantone
Find the closet Pantone colours to match your swatches.
Expand the swatches panel menu and select ‘New Color Group...’, name the group and click ‘OK’.
Drag all the swatches into the group, then click on the group folder icon which will select all swatches at once.
Click on the colour wheel at the bottom of the swatches panel, and an ‘Edit Colors’ screen will pop up.
Find the small button that looks like a grid, and select ‘Color Books > PANTONE+ Solid Coated’. Click ‘OK’, and then ‘Yes’ to save changes to color group.
The swatches are now Pantone colours. If you have access to the Pantone books, look up the numbers and double check you’re happy with the conversion.
Saving in RGB
Lastly, open up the CMYK version of the file you saved and go to ‘File > Document Color Mode’ again and select RGB. Illustrator will automatically convert the swatches in the document to RGB.
Prepare the full set of logo files
Now you’ve got the base Illustrator (.ai) files in all versions and colour formats, you can create the full set of logo files.
Make three folders, each named in a way that makes it easy to find and select the right type of logo file for its appropriate use.
Folder #1: For Print (CMYK)
Place the CMYK Illustrator .ai files into this folder and save .pdf versions of these.
Folder #2: For Signwriting (Pantone)
Place the Pantone Illustrator .ai files into this folder and save .pdf and .eps versions.
Folder #3: For Web/Digital (RGB)
Place the RGB Illustrator .ai into this folder and save .svg versions, then export .jpg and .png (transparent) versions.
Package up, and send!
Place all three of the folders you’ve made into one parent folder, and name it whatever the logo is called (ie Brand Name Logo Files).
Create a simple document that explains what each file type is, and what it’s used for. Here’s what I write:
- PDF & AI files are vector based, so can be scaled up or down without losing quality.
- EPS files are suitable large-scale printing, and often the preferred file type of screenprinters.
- SVG files are web specific, used to create resolution-independent graphics that look great on any screen size.
- Pantone (PMS) is a specific numbered color in the Pantone Matching System®. These files are suitable for applications such as signage or where colour consistency is imperative.
- JPEG and PNG files are image files for screen use only. Logos provided in this format can be scaled down, but not up in size. Only positive versions of the logo are available as JPEG files.
- For any questions about the use of this logo, contact ....
Place the document in the parent folder alongside the other three folders. You can create this quickly as a TextEdit file, or get a bit fancier put it in a mini brand guidelines document.
Zip up the parent folder, and send it off.
You’re almost done. There’s one last step...