When you are designing a logo for someone, or are having a logo designed by someone, you should always ask that you get it in the following formats: JPEG, PNG, EPS/AI. Each one serves a different purpose, and it's handy to have them all at your fingertips.
Recently I had a client contact me because they were confused which format to use, so I put together this brief post to clear things up.
Here's a breakdown of 3 different file types
JPEG / JPG - Joint Photographic Experts Group
JPEG: Web-friendly image, easy to use on social media and send through emails. This type of file can't be transparent, your image will always have a background. These can't be blown up larger, or they lose quality, but they can be shrunk down without pixelating the image.
|This is a graphic I recently made for work. See how this one has a white background if you drag it around?|
JPEGS are often used for: Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.) and unless you have a very fancy phone, most phone cameras only take images in JPEG form. JPEGS are often used in Microsoft Word, or Powerpoint, and high quality JPEGS can even be used for print, but they need to be large and high quality.
PNG - Portable Network Graphics
PNG: Web-friendly and transparent. Often used for web-design, websites, and online documents where you need your logo to be transparent. Also commonly used in Powerpoint presentations. PNGS can also be used for small print items, like business cards, but it's not ideal since PNGS are usually web quality, which is much lower quality than print files.
|Look at me! My background is transparent!|
VECTOR / AI / EPS
Vector (EPS or AI): These are high quality graphics that are shape-based and not pixel based. These can be blown up to billboard size, or shrunk down to a postage stamp, and they won't lose any quality. These are only used for printing, like shirts, paper-based-printing, and other print-like services because you need a special program to open, view, and edit them.
|Vector images are made of shapes, so they can be as big or small as you want with no quality loss.|