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Before You Build: Have the Right Logo Files

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I love writing blog posts that come from questions I get asked again and again. I send instructions for gathering logo files to most of my website design clients. If you’re planning a website build or website rebrand, here’s what you need to do in terms of logos to make sure you’re ready to go.

This post is part of a new series I’m working on: things to do before you build your new website. Check back for more posts soon!

If you already have logo files…

If you’re not doing a re-brand or getting new logo files created, you need to dig up your existing logo files. Even if you’re having your website rebuilt on the same platform, your web designer/developer might need you to share logo files with them. Some website pros do a lot of graphic design, but some don’t do any at all, so everyone will have their own process for this. It’s always best to ask your prospective web designer what files they’ll need.

Typically it’s best to provide .ai files to your website designer. If you don’t have .ai files, you can usually provide a .svg or .png file. If you only have a .png file, make sure it has a transparent background. If you have multiple colors of a logo, send them all to your web designer. If you only have a .jpg file, your web designer or a graphic designer will likely need to do more work to get your logo file ready to be used on a new website, so be prepared for some additional expense for this.

You’ll also need a few orientations of your logo. Hopefully you have a logo version that’s oriented horizontally (landscape) and another that’s more vertical (portrait), and hopefully you have a logo mark that’s super simple that can be used for the browser favicon.

If you only have one version of your logo, ask your web designer if they can create other versions to use on the website or if they can use the logo file as-is. Some designers will charge extra for logo/graphic design work.

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If you’re getting a new logo created…

If you’re discussing logo work with a graphic designer, hopefully you’re able to work with a seasoned graphic designer who will create logos for a variety of print and digital uses. Great designers may include a brand guidelines document so you know what colors/fonts to use and how to properly use your logo. The best designers will consider accessibility too so you don’t end up with a lovely color palette that can’t be used on your website.

  • Final files provided in .ai format (ideally they can give you a whole folder with .png files too)
  • A horizontal/landscape version of your logo that can be used in the header of your website (vertical/portrait logos take up a ton of space in your website’s header)
  • A more portrait, square, or circular logo that can be used in cases where that’s needed (Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn profile photos, etc.)
  • A very simple logo mark to be used for your browser favicon and potentially as a design element/motif in your website’s design
  • All of these logo files in various colors — a white or very light colored version, a black or dark colored version, a one-color version, and a full-color version

A note from graphic designer Margo Stoney: Just as web designers all do things differently, so do graphic designers. If you want to make sure you’re able to use your logo whenever or however you want, discuss the licensing terms of the final logo with a designer before moving forward. Some designers may require additional licensing fees in order for you to have unlimited rights of the final design. Margo includes the transfer of logo license in her pricing to keep things simple.

If you’re looking for a logo designer, check out my recommended graphic designers on my recommended partners page.


About the author

Jessica Kennedy

Jessica builds websites and optimizes sites for SEO for small business owners who'd rather be outside. Learn more about Jessica.

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