I'm about to hire a freelancer to create a logo for my IT consulting company. My personal thoughts:

  • The logo will be vector based as I might need to use it at different sizes.
  • It should look good in color as well as in black and white.
  • I'll give the artist as much freedom as possible, as I think the result will improve.
  • Antialiasing should be done using different levels of transparancy. So that I may use my logo on different colored backgrounds.

Some questions:

  1. Which vector based file format should I choose? I work exclusively in GNU/Linux and use free software.
  2. Should I ask for a color and a black and white version? The alternative is just to ask for a color version and just turn it into black and white myself, or let the printer driver take care of it.
  3. How would you recommend I structure the project until delivery. I don't want to be unreasonable and I want the artist to have as much freedom as possible. Still it would be nice to get a few rough choices (maybe done using stencil or another quick way) fairly early in the project.
  4. Should I provide 2-3 backgrounds which the logo should look good against? Or maybe just say that it should look against white and black backgrounds.
  5. Anything else I should think of?

2 Answers 2


You're never wrong to give a designer as much information as possible. It doesn't do the designer's time budget much good to come up with three concepts only to discover after the fact that the colors won't work, or your target market hates a particular type of symbol. The more the designer knows up front, the faster and more effectively he or she can get you a great product. I will quiz clients thoroughly until I have a good feel for what they need, but I'll still ask for samples of what the competition uses in their market, what to avoid, etc.

When I create a logo, I generally supply color and monochrome. The set provided to the client includes RGB, CMYK and spot color (where applicable) versions in .Ai, .eps, .tif and both large and small scale .png. In the case of small-to-medium business clients, I never assume the client has the necessary tools to convert file formats or even view them, so I generally include a PDF with all the different versions, what they are for (web, desktop printing, sending to press, etc.), and the folders and file names involved.

From your perspective, it doesn't much matter what vector format you get as long as you can open it. SVG and EPS are common formats with support from OS software.

  • Sorry, that wasn't too clear. I meant to convey that among all the other formats (png, ai, etc.) I provide a PDF version of the logo because the client usually doesn't have a vector editor like Illustrator, but might need a vector version for some other purpose, like a large poster or sign. Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 23:10
  1. Standard formats - EPS, PDF, AI. EPS and PDF being the most versatile formats. I would absolutely insist upon these and designate vector eps and vector pdf. Just because Photoshop can save an eps and pdf, it doesn't make them vector.
  2. Any decent logo designer will provide these as part of the project. It wouldn't hurt to clarify expectations up front though. I traditionally deliver a 1 color, 2 color and full color version of a logo in RGB, CMYK, and Spot color.
  3. Ask. Delivery time generally depends on a designer's current schedule. The more time you can allow for the initial creation stage, that's where it'll be the most beneficial. Taking a solid idea to final production-ready art is all labor. The creation is what can take more effort and in the end will be the most fruitful given more time.
  4. With the vector format, you can create whatever backdrop you'll need. Customarily I deliver .psd and .png raster formats with transparent background and without color mattes. The png will work for any backdrop should you not be able use the .psd or vector formats for whatever reason.
  5. I would ask exactly what formats will be delivered, and specific application versions if applicable. I would also instruct the designer (or simply express as a preference) that you don't want to use drop shadows, glows, or other raster-based effects.

A usage guide can also be very beneficial. Many designers don't do this though. It would provide specific rules for usage - mandatory white space around a logo, what (if any) color modifications are allowed, when to reverse, etc.

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