I'm working on a logo that the client is going to print with transparent background for putting as a watermark on photos and other materials and i'm making another format for a stamp of 40x40mm.

I'm creating the logo in Illustrator and I have few questions:

1) Should i convert the text in shape using the option Create Outlines before preparing the file for printing? I would prefer to avoid giving the font to the client, so i guess this is the option to go for?

2) After i've finished the illustration should i use the option Expand the Appearance and Flatten Artwork to flat down all the design elements? Is it better for print purposes?

3) I used clipping masks to create the logo. Do i need to do anything before preparing the file for print?

I would appreciate your help, please keep your answer as simple as possible i'm not an expert about printing :)

enter image description here

  • For an accurate answer you should also edit and add the logo to your post so we can actually see it.
    – Lucian
    Feb 24, 2017 at 18:37
  • Hi Lucian thanks a lot, you have clarified my doubts i'll attache the logo in a minute i'm trying to figure it out how to do it, i'm a newcomer here :) Feb 24, 2017 at 19:10
  • There's a link to edit your post then there should be one to insert a picture.
    – Lucian
    Feb 24, 2017 at 19:13
  • If you have any suggestions regarding printing feel free to drop a line and Thanks again Lucian! Feb 24, 2017 at 19:17
  • I made some more edits to my answer below. If you feel this answers your question try clicking the check icon and the up arrow next to my answer. Thanks!
    – Lucian
    Feb 24, 2017 at 19:19

2 Answers 2


Be aware: It's a good idea to retain a "master file" containing live type and un-expanded art for you in case it's needed in the future. Don't provide the "master" to the client. But you keep it in your files for your use.


Yes. Whenever possible and feasible convert type to outlines for client delivered files. I post "possible and feasible" because it's not logical to convert a 20 page InDesign file to outlines, However, for logo work you should really always convert to outlines for your final production files. The client shouldn't ever need any fonts to use their logotype. (This also, takes care of the legal issues regarding sending someone font files).


This somewhat depends upon the art. In most cases I do everything I can to expand, flatten, and merge all artwork for a logo. There are a couple of reasons I do this. #1) It makes editing more difficult. The more difficult the file is to edit, the more it will discourage the client altering it. Since a logo shouldn't ever be altered beyond set brand guidelines, ease of editing shouldn't be a concern from the client. I provide all brand requirements necessary. And B) in some cases expanding/flattening can help with things like screen redraw if you have very complex appearance items. It can also make output a bit more direct (speedy). Flat artwork generally takes less postscript to output. Not like you'd really notice and this is really kind of minor, but it certainly won't do any harm to expand things.


Completing #2 will generally remove clipping masks if possible. If it doesn't, then they shouldn't be a problem in terms of production. I, personally, like to remove as much complexity from logo files as I can. So if that means I need to manually go in and remove a clipping mask and redraw a shape or something, I will. This is really more a matter of preference. There's no absolute technical reason you need to remove clipping masks in Illustrator -- there's more a concern about what is being clipped. Hopefully it's not a raster image for a logo, that would just be bad in many ways. *Clearly, the image you posted doesn't have rasters, so no worries there.

The big thing you can do to make a client happy with logo file delivery is to ensure you provide proper file formats. There are a few questions here with suggestions on that:

  • HI Scott, thanks a lot for your detailed answer, is very helpful:) Even though i know the file format i'll go to check the post and have a review on the topic. It's better to be safe and do things perfectly when is the time to handle the work to the client! Feb 24, 2017 at 19:59
  • No problem @Th-Ink --Posted the links just to be "complete" :)
    – Scott
    Feb 24, 2017 at 20:01
  • Thanks Scott your post is complete and it was good to review the delivery files. I wonder if i should prepare all these formats for a small budget work... Feb 27, 2017 at 12:54
  1. Yes. Generally it is good practice to convert your text to outlines when delivering logos. The client shouldn't need to do any editing on the actual logo artwork, so no reason to deliver with editable text. Also no reason to deliver the font file either, unless they require it for other purposes too. It is however a good idea you keep an editable version in your own backup, its easier to make changes later if you need to.
  2. Yes. It is advisable you Expand Appearance and Group all the pieces of your logo into a single layer and a single group, to rule out possible print errors. Flatten layers before delivery.
  3. Clipping Mask should be fine. Make sure your file color mode is CMYK. Check if the gray bits are the same CMYK code everywhere. If you are using any strokes, you should convert these to shapes via Main menu > Object > Path > Outline stroke.
  4. You should also deliver an additional white-only version (where everything is white). If they apply this over photos in batch (possibly via Bridge or Lightroom), a white watermark is more common and probably more visible (see below).

enter image description here

  • Hi Lucian, i actually missed the last part of your message (Part 4) and it's a relevant one. That's what exactly the customer asked me to do this morning. They will use the logo as watermark in magazines and other printed material, where pages have a dark grey/black colour background. I checked all the grey colour too giving them the same #code. Thanks again! Feb 27, 2017 at 13:00
  • I'm having problem to save the White Logo version on .pdf. The design is on White Colour on White Background in Illustrator. Do you know how can i save a .Pdf with transparent background so that i can see the white logo? Feb 27, 2017 at 14:23
  • You don't need to see the white logo. Make the shapes white, save and send as AI or PDF. This is normal for a white vector logo. When they open this up they can use it to watermark photos. By the way you approved the other answer so why getting back to me for a problem I anticipated? No offence to anyone :)
    – Lucian
    Feb 27, 2017 at 14:33
  • I've just discovered what i thought it was the issue this morning when i saved the design in pdf, that's why i needed to ask you again. I worked with the .Ai files on white colour before; when i give the .ai to the client he/she can use it and make his modifications desired, but i never saved a white logo on white background for printing purpose before, so i wasn't sure what exactly the Printer would see when opening the Pdf. So i know it did sound as a silly question but without experience i just wanted to be safe and deliver all the proper files. Thanks for your time! Feb 27, 2017 at 14:43
  • 1
    People EXPECT a vector watermark to be white on white. Its the only way it can be. They will go into keyline mode (CTRL+Y) and they will see there is a white shape in your file.
    – Lucian
    Feb 27, 2017 at 14:48

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