So you have lost your logo, or your logo is being held hostage by your last printer, or the person in the office who knew where it was on the server no longer works there. The only logo file you can find is the one on your website and your printer, promo shop, newspaper just told you, “Sorry! That is only 72 dpi, we need a file that is 300 dpi at size or vector art.” You gasp quietly and pretend to understand, OR you gasp loudly and ask, “Umm, in English please?”. Either way, you are probably about to learn that YOU are up that proverbial creek with out a paddle.
Never fear there is a solution. It really isn’t a difficult one either, but it may or may not cost you some money.
IF YOU HAVE LOST YOUR LOGO FILES HERE ARE YOUR SOLUTIONS
1. IF your logo is being held hostage by your last printer then call and ask them to release it to you. IF at any point you sent him a file that contained your logo, chances are your designer can extract the logo from that file and save it in a separate file for you and send it to you. Ask your designer to save it in the following formats: .ai, .pdf, .jpg, and .giff and then send it to you on a disk or email it to you. NOTE: The GOLDEN file will be the .ai file (or vector file). This is the vector version of your logo. NEVER lose this file though you may never be able to open it yourself. If your logo was created in Word, PhotoShop, or some other program you may be S.O.L. when it comes to having a vector version. These are usually image files – not vector. (don’t worry, that can be fixed too!)
2. YOU CAN HAVE YOUR LOGO RECREATED OR REDRAWN. The logo is just LOST. No one knows where the native files are. All you have is what is on your website or what has been printed on your business cards. There is a simple solution to this problem. Hire someone to redraw your logo as vector art. Your graphic designer may be able to do this for you, or you can hire someone who specializes in vector redraws. I work with a company called Production Art Services that does just that. They will recreate your logo as vector artwork and then send you a disk with you files on it. On that disk there are 2 folders. One says, FOR PRINT, the other says FOR WEB, the appropriate versions of your logo for each application are located within. They also provide a File Usage Guide so that you will know what files to use for which applications (web, print, etc.).
You really are not up that proverbial creek, so you can put down your paddle now – but you will have to pull out your wallet.
So what is having my logo redrawn going to cost? Here is that answer we all hate – It depends. It depends on the complexity of your logo, and who you choose to have redraw it. Rates vary. Production Art Services charges anywhere from $150 – $500 per logo redraw depending on the logo itself. Most logo redraws fall in the $150 – $250 range with that company. The good news is, you send them what you have, they look at it and send you a custom estimate so you will always know what it is going to cost before hand.
Now that you know what you need to do, you should learn a bit of the terminology.
SO WHAT THE HECK IS VECTOR ANYWAY?
I will define the term below and then give you the same definition in “English”.
Vector Art – (defined) An image that can be described mathematically as a series of coordinates, lines and shapes.
Vector Art – (English) An image (let’s say your logo) that is created using lines and shapes in a program such as Adobe Illustrator or Macromedia Freehand. Vector art is key for printing. Since the art is made from a series of mathematical curves it will print very crisp even when resized. For instance one can take the same vector logo and print it on a business card, and then enlarge it to billboard size and keep the same crisp quality. A low-resolution raster graphic would blur excessively if it were enlarged from business card size to billboard size. It lets you zoom in as close as you want. Look at the image below to see what I mean.
Example showing effect of vector graphics versus raster (bitmap) graphics. You can see how when we enlarge the vector graphic there is no loss in image quality. However, when we enlarge the raster (bitmap) version the image becomes blurry.
Image from Wikipedia.
What this means to you: The logo on your website is a raster (bitmap) image. It is 72dpi. You cannot use it to print from.
I will be adding a post in the near future that will actually consist of a glossary of commonly used terms in the graphic design, print and web industries. I will only include terms that are relevant to YOU and your projects. I know you don’t have time to learn a bunch of new jargon, however you should learn the common terminology.
Don’t feel like learning all this stuff? That is okay. Find a qualified designer whom you trust and ask them to take care of these details for you. My company, Blueleaf Creative specializes in just that. You need to be running your business not learning what a 4/4, full bleed, A4 document is. I educate my clients so that each of their projects has a successful outcome – BUT we only tell them what they need to know. We take care of the rest. For example: We design an ad – we send the ad to the publication, we work directly with the pre-press department and troubleshoot any issues that may arise. We design your logo – we send you a disk with all the files you need, send you a File Usage Guide and then archive your logo so that if you ever lose the disk, we can retrieve it for you and send you a new one. We also work with you on the front end of the project to make sure all your project requirements, time line and budget have been taken into consideration. We provide you with our Creative Wisdom, make recommendations and then create brilliant designs. That is what you should want in a business partnership with your designer.
Here comes the plug (I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence if I didn’t add one here). If you ever need us Blueleaf Creative is here for you. Feel free to contact us at any time. We work with clients all over the country. We are here to help. Just ask for me and I’ll be happy to talk with you, answer any questions you may have, point you in the right direction or see if “the shoe fits” to start a working relationship.
Hopefully, after all this, you will never lose that logo again!
Written By Leah Dossey, owner, art director and designer at Blueleaf Creative. Contact Leah at email@example.com