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I contracted a graphic designer to create a business logo vector for me. They were supposed to give me one with a white background and one with a transparent background. What I ended up getting is a .ai for the one with the white background, and a .eps for the one with the transparent background.

The problem is the .eps's background is not transparent at all when I open it in gmail, it's white. I've tried converting it to a .png using zamzar to see if it would show up as transparent after the conversion, but it did not.

The graphic designer is at a lost for what the problem is, and is not helping at all.

I feel like giving a client a .ai as a finished product is like giving a person who contracted someone to build a house for them just the blueprints and leaving them on their way.

What should I do so that I end up with the two vectors that I wanted (one with a white background and one with a transparent background), being that both need to get converted into .png's and I don't have adobe illustrator.

  • Well you hired a designer, that is generally what designers deliver "Blueprints", it applies to house designers (we call them architects) or mechanical designers, or even electrical designers. They deliver blueprints. Granted in case of graphics designer its pretty easy to export other formats so they often do that. This is why its important to tell the designer up front what you need, and expect in a face to face conversation with them. Otherwise they can not deliver for your specific needs. A mechanical designer for example can contract somebody to build it, a architect rarely can – joojaa Apr 29 '17 at 18:24
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    Possible duplicate of Logo Pack - What should I include? – Zach Saucier Apr 29 '17 at 18:59
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The .ai format should be sufficient....
.eps could possibly be a bit more universal.....
However, PDF may be best.

The problem here is ... "when I open it in gmail" --

  • 99.9% of email clients have no clue what an .ai or .eps file actually is, that includes Gmail. If anything email clients may guess and what to display, if they can display the file at all. Using any email client to view .ai or .eps files is never going to be a solid solution. You might try opening the .ai file with Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat. (By default, .ai files are both Illustrator files and PDF files. Defaults can be changed, so this may or may not work, but it's worth a shot.)

Minimally, the designer should supply you with an .ai file as a "master" file, then a couple .pdf files (still vector) for your background choices. All he/she really needs to do is draw a white box in the .ai file behind everything and then save as a .pdf to give you a file with a white background.

  • Note that PDFs will always display with a white background. That's just how PDFs work. So, in many respects, you'll have to take the designer's word on which PDF does or does not have the white background. (You can, if feasible, open the PDF with Photoshop, that will make the presence of a background visible if its there.)

If you need a .png, ask for that as well. It only takes a couple seconds to save as a png from an Illustrator file (with or without a background).

Recapping... ask for...

  • .ai without background
  • .ai with background
  • .pdf without background
  • .pdf with background
  • .png without background
  • .png with background
  • Then eps files if you specifically want those, but with the above supplied, eps is somewhat unnecessary.

All of this should take 1 maybe 2 minutes to generate from a final logo file in Illustrator.

Not to confuse matters, but color (RGB/CMYK/SPOT) may also play a part in what files you may want.

See additional information here:

Logo Pack - What should I include?

Advice when hiring a freelancer for creating a company logo

What file type should I use for a logo when exporting from Adobe Illustrator?

Industry standard file format deliverables for logos?

  • so do i need adobe illustrator to view the transparent background? – shoe Apr 29 '17 at 18:23
  • Well, possibly. Although I, personally don't use it.. it's said that the free open source Inkscape can open Illustrator files. No direct experience with it here though. And in some cases your operating system may have the ability to preview images in the Finder/Windows Explorer. The simple OS preview may show the file with or without the background. A great deal depends on what software you do have available and its capabilities. As an Adobe users, I don't generally go looking for substitutes. – Scott Apr 29 '17 at 18:26
  • @shoe its actually impossible to view a transparent background with current tech. Just something overlaid on something else. – joojaa Apr 29 '17 at 18:27
  • Example of the MacOS Finder showing the icon of an .ai file with a transparent background --Finder preview -- the grid indicates transparency. I made the window background blue so the file icon stands out more. Compared to this file preview which does have a white background. – Scott Apr 29 '17 at 18:32
  • @joojaa is technically correct, but is kind of confusing matters needlessly. :) – Scott Apr 29 '17 at 18:48
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PNG isn't a vector format, it's a raster format. If you asked for vector formats, your designer gave you two already. AI and EPS are both vector formats but they don't work on the web. If you didn't specify that you wanted a vector format for use on the web, I don't see how your designer could have guessed that's what you need.

If you want a vector format that will work on websites, the only real option is SVG. However, not all email clients might support it, but most browsers do. This should be easy enough to do. Illustrator can easily export images as SVG. It will take your designer only a couple of minutes.

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The graphic designer is at a lost for what the problem is.

Ok, the first point is: define what the problem is.

  • More specific where do you need to use the logo.

  • Does the contract mention specific outputs to these applications? Have you talked to him about this?

It is not hard to do at all... but if you define your needs. If not, you will have a couple of dozen logos and you will be equally lost on which one to use.


I feel like giving a client a .ai as a finished product is like giving a person who contracted someone to build a house for them just the blueprints and leaving them on their way.

No. The blueprints are to be used by an experienced contractor. The blueprints are if you asked to design a logo.. a house, design. not to construct the house.

The same, an AI file is meant to be used by (an experienced) designer to be applied, let us say on a website or a brochure, and not to be used by the client to be magically applied or be viewed on his email.

Any application is also a design process.


So, simply ask a specific version of the logo for a specific application.

You can also, for example, a high-resolution PNG transparent logo, but users can potentially use wrong this logo, resampling it, squashing it, pixelating it or converting it into a jam.

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