The difference is in the details.
With the multitude of platform, programs and file types, it’s easy for your logo or message to get distorted (especially in the rush of internal communications). Make sure the text or picture box is locked before inserting your logo or graphic.

Learn the lingo.
Take the time to find out what application, file type or color format is needed for your project. It will not only produce better, but will save time (and money) in the process.

File formats:

JPEG or JPG
USE: self-publishing (MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and online applications
WORKS BEST FOR: color images
COLOR: RGB
HOW IT WORKS: compresses file size by simplifying data in a “lossy” format (once compressed data is lost)
CAUTION: not recommended for text or line art, re-scaling can cause fuzziness

GIF
USE: online applications
WORKS BEST FOR: logos, line art, text and simple illustrations
COLOR: RGB
HOW IT WORKS: compresses file size in a “lossless” format
CAUTION: low-resolution, do not use for high-resolution printing

PNG
USE: self-publishing (MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and online applications
WORKS BEST FOR: full color images, logos, line art, text or simple illustrations
COLOR: RGB
HOW IT WORKS: compresses file size in a “lossless” format

TIFF or TIF
USE: high-resolution printing
WORKS BEST FOR: full color or grayscale images
COLOR: CMYK and Grayscale for high-resolution printing
HOW IT WORKS: maintains all data in lossless” format
CAUTION: scaling above 100% causes fuzzy quality

 

 

EPS
USE: high-resolution printing, silkscreen clothes and premiums 
WORKS BEST FOR: logos, line art, text and illustrations
COLOR: CMYK or PMS (spot) color
HOW IT WORKS: mathematically defined “vector” format can be scaled to ANY size and stay sharp
CAUTION: cannot be inserted into MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel

PDF
USE: file sharing and review, self-publishing, high-resolution printing
WORKS BEST FOR: any file
COLOR: CMYK, RGB, or PMS (spot) color
HOW IT WORKS: global standard format can be viewed or printed on any platform

AI (Adobe Illustrator)
USE: high-resolution printing, silkscreen, packaging dielines 
WORKS BEST FOR: logos, line art, text or simple illustrations
COLOR: CMYK or Grayscale
HOW IT WORKS: mathematically defined “vector” format can be scaled to ANY size and stay sharp

PSD (Photoshop layers file)
USE: online applications and high-resolution editing 
WORKS BEST FOR: complex template files
COLOR: CMYK
HOW IT WORKS: Multiple layers of art saved in one file

 

Color formats:

RGB (Red, Green, Blue)
USE: monitors, online applications, digital photos
FACT: the brilliance and purity of these light based colors cannot be matched in print

CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black)
USE: high-resolution printing
FACT: under a magnifying glass you can see that ALL colors are made up of dots different combinations of the four color

PMS or Pantone Color (Color matching system)
USE: high-resolution printing
FACT: PMS colors are referenced by number (so no matter where you are everyone will know what color you want)
FACT: PMS colors are mixed prior to use with formulas, similar to paints
FACT: simulated color is used for display of PMS color on a monitor or desktop printers

 



HEX
(Hexadecimal color codes)

USE: the internet
FACT: these “safe” web colors will appear the same on any operating system

Grayscale (One color image with continuous tone values)
USE: black and white photography, high-resolution printing
FACT: these images can be printed in any single color

 

The branding guide and beyond

Guidelines make it easy to create professional looking communications with consistency. However, some projects go beyond the vision of standard guideline applications or the guideline execution becomes static over time; losing the impact necessary to convey a new message.

When this happens (and it will), don’t throw the guide out the window!
Instead, share your project AND guidelines with a professional designer who can interpolate the guide’s vision. Your project will carry the strength of your guidelines AND add a fresh level of diversity and interest to your brand.

 

 
 
 
Cataleno & Co., Inc. | 715 East Main Street, Moorestown, NJ 08057 | phone: 856.778.7137 | fax: 856.778.5775 | info@cataleno.com
 
Cataleno