Without a doubt, the most important image you should have on file is your logo. Your logo is your company’s most identifiable mark, and it is found on every marketing piece from your website to your letterhead.
Surprisingly, many advisors don’t have the appropriate logo files they need. Many only have low-resolution versions of their logo and rely totally on their graphic designer when a high-resolution version of the logo is needed. This is a sure path to problems in the future.
Your company’s brand is too important to not have total control of your logo. Your designer may have created your logo, but you should have full control over these files. This means having versions of your logo appropriate for different applications and owning the rights to your logo.
Get Scalable Versions
Your logo can end up on small items like pens and business cards, but it can also be blown up into larger than life proportions. If you need your logo for a tradeshow exhibit, on a billboard, or just a poster or banner, you need a version that scales up well.
The best solution is to get a vector file of your logo from your designer. Vector images can scale up or down without any loss of quality, or even a change in file size. Using one vector graphic file, you can make a 1 inch square image for a business card, or a 30 foot by 30 foot image for a billboard. Usually the file will end with an .ai or .eps extension. You shouldn’t be surprised if you can’t open these files since it requires special software such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator to open. You might not need it immediately, but having a vector file of your logo will save you from headaches in the future.
Get Different Versions
As mentioned previously, your logo might end up on several different mediums. This requires you to have different versions of your logo on file. Aside from the full color version of your logo, you will need a black and white version for materials printed in only one color such as newspapers. You also need both color and black and white versions on a white background, a black background, transparent background, and perhaps other colors that match or complement your logo.
You may also need different file types for the different applications of your logo. For web, the file types that work best are JPEG (.jpeg, .jpg), GIF (.gif), or Portable Networks Graphics (.png). For larger applications, the same files work, as well as TIFF (.tiff, .tif) and Photoshop (.psd). If you have a vector version of your logo, it will most likely come in Postscript (.eps), or Adobe Illustrator (.ai) format. Different vendors may ask for different file types and you need to have at least some of these files on hand.
Get a Style Guide
Your logo is your brand’s most prominent symbol, and every aspect of it has to be exact. Aside from the logo itself, your designer needs to address a few other things. These specifications make up your identity guidelines, often called a style guide, and they specify how your logo can and should be used. These include:
- The minimum sizes of the logo in different applications
- The different elements of the logo, as well as their proportions
- The exact colors used in the logo, as well as the background
- The fonts used
- The amount of empty space surrounding the logo
When you commission a design, many designers will attempt to maintain ownership of their work, and only sell usage rights to their clients. To avoid any future problems, make sure that you own the rights to all logos designed for you by carefully reviewing the contract. You don’t want just exclusive rights to use your logo – you want to own your logo. This is, after all, your company’s identity. Fortunately, many designers will make an exception, handing over ownership while maintaining rights to display your logo in their portfolio.
Own Your Brand
Your logo is the most prominent symbol of your brand and it is too important not to have total control. Make sure you “own your brand” by obtaining the various files and rights you need to use your logo in all situations into perpetuity.