Step 8: Dispatch
Wohoo! You have an approved logo design!
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.
Tidy up the 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 artboard
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.
Tidy up the swatches
In your logo file, delete all unused colours by selecting the swatches menu, Select All Unused > Click on Trash Icon.
If your colours aren't in CMYK at this stage, convert them now.
Now double click on each remaining swatch and tidy up any decimal numbers (ie 26.86) to whole numbers (ie 27). At the same time, make sure that 'Global' is ticked for each swatch to ensure that any changes made to the colour is applied globally to all areas in the logo where that colour is used.
After doing this you'll want to make sure these swatches are actually used in your logo artwork, so go through and select the various coloured parts of the logo, checking the correct swatch is selected in the swatch panel.
Finally, I like to reduce the amount of colours used in the CMYK breakdown if possible. If it's possible to use only two or three CMYK colours, as opposed to all four, then do it. In offset printing, by reducing the amount of plates (CMYK colours) you use, you'll reduce the likelihood of the appearance of setoff (which is when there's a slight shift in the plates, which can create muddy print results).
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 modes
Now we need to create the colour modes of the logo for when they are used in print and digital applications.
For print you should create CMYK file types, and for digital you should create RGB file types.
When creating your files, name each file so you know what colour type it is (ie. Logo_Name_RGB.ai)
Saving in CMYK
Go ‘File > Document Color Mode’ to check CMYK is ticked.
Saving in RGB
Open up the CMYK version of the file you just saved and go to ‘File > Document Color Mode’ and select RGB. Illustrator will automatically convert the swatches in the document to RGB.
Note: Pantone Color Libraries are no longer in Adobe CC as a default due to licensing changes. Because of this, I no longer provide Pantone files to my clients and instead let them know I’m happy to liaise with their signwriter if needed.
Prepare the suite of logo file formats
Now that you have Illustrator files in both colour modes, create the following suite of logo file formats based on each colour mode:
.ai / .pdf / .eps
.ai / .pdf / .svg / .jpg / .png
Once created, place all files into a folder structure in a way that makes it easy for your client to find the right file.
After years of manually creating logo file formats, I invested in the Adobe Illustrator extension ‘Logo Package’ (affiliate link). It’s a huge time saver, and exports full logo packages in under 5 minutes. Use the code dguide20 to get $20 off.
Provide file formats information
Your client may find it overwhelming when they want to use a logo file (or supply it to someone) but they don’t know what the colour modes or file types mean.
It’s a good idea to provide them with a simple document that helps them confidently choose the right file, and maintain brand and colour consistency across various mediums and platforms.
In my Logo Design Process Kit you’ll find ‘Dispatch Resources’, including a final file ’Folder Structure’, and a ‘Logo File Formats Guide’ PDF/InDesign Template which you can provide to your clients. Use as is or update to their (or your) branding.
Package up and dispatch!
Zip up the parent folder, and email it off to your client, or create an online folder they can access at all times (like Dropbox, Google Drive, or the Logo Package Portal from the ‘Logo Package’ (affiliate link).
You’re almost done. There’s one last step...