So you’ve finally completed a shiny new logo for your client. They have approved it after several rounds of revisions and they’re ready for you to send it to them. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just send a few Illustrator files and be done with it? fortunately this complex process can be made simpler with a little organization.
You know that your client needs their new logo packaged up in a variety of arrangements, colors schemes, and file types. If the idea of organizing dozens or even 100+ files seems daunting to you, imagine how your poor technologically challenged client will feel decoding them…
Clients aren’t the only people who need to be able to find the right logo for a particular usage — you need to be able to easily find their logos for your own work as well. There’s nothing quite as aggravating as getting stuck scouring through Finder — or even worse, a messy desktop — just to find the basic assets you need to get your project started.
Which leads us to part one of this two part blog post about logo package organization.
We obviously have to organize all of these different logo files into folders, but what is the BEST way to do that?
You may think that the logos should be foldered by vector vs raster files, or perhaps dividing them up by file type. Both of these ideas are misguided. To better illustrate the theory of organization I’m presenting in this post, let’s imagine we’re trying to find a specific logo for a specific application. That’s how it works in the real world anyways!
Ok, so let’s say that your client is having a banner stand produced for an exhibit. Whether they’ve asked you to design the banner stand for them, or they are having the work done through a vendor, a very specific logo will be needed for this project:
- a full logo (logo mark and logotype combined);
- that is in full color;
- and is in a file format that’s meant to be printed (high resolution).
Let’s walk through the hierarchy of what’s needed here and how the folder structure of your logo package should reflect that.
So what’s the first most important thing? Well, that would be finding the appropriate logo components and configuration of the logo.
These are the elements that make up the logo — usually a mark and the type.
This is important when there are different layouts for the logo. Configurations with the logo mark stacked on top of the type (vertical), or where the logo mark is next to the type (horizontal) are two examples. There are other potential configurations, but you get the picture.
These components and configurations should be separated out into their own folders.
You can see how color or file type don’t really matter if you haven’t figured out which logo configuration you need for the project at hand.
Alright, so we know that the file has to be the full logo. That’s step one.
What’s next? Now we can talk about color scheme. Don’t get this confused with the actual colors used in the logo, or the color gamut (RGB, CMYK, or PANTONE).
Sometimes referred to as color space, color scheme refers to how color is being USED in the logo, or if color has been restricted in some way.
Again, things like color gamut (or color space) don’t matter if we haven’t established if the logo even NEEDS color.
The next step after choosing the correct color scheme is probably the most relevant for your client. Most often they will not be savvy enough to know much about color gamuts. They may think that an RGB file is best for printing. They may have never even heard of a spot color or Pantone. To make things easy for clients, we need to first separate out the color gamuts by their application — namely “Print” or “Digital.” Now you’re speaking a language your client will understand!
So now that the correct application has been chosen — the banner stand is a print project — the next step is choosing the appropriate color gamut. Vendors will normally provide some sort of direction or spec naming the kind of color space they are working in. In the case of a banner stand the vendor will most likely have specified CMYK. And you have a folder for that!
We have reached the final step in the hierarchy — choosing the correct file type!
If you’re struggling with identifying exactly which file types your clients need, you can read my very simple explanation of file formats. There’s even a cheat sheet you can download.
The logo is going to be large on this banner stand, so we need a high resolution file type. Fortunately all of the file types in any “Print” folder are going to be vector based, and can therefor be rendered at high resolution. Your client really can’t go wrong at this point — another great benefit of splitting color gamuts into “Print” and “Digital.” The vendor may have specified a file format like EPS. If the client has that info, they’ll know what to pick. If not, they can send all three!
One last touch I like to add to the folder structure of a logo package is numbering. I number the subfolders according to the most used formats. This helps keep the most likely candidates right at the top.
And that’s it! It may seem like a long journey because you had to read this whole comprehensive blog post, but in reality your mind and mouse are much more muscular (look at that alliteration!). It is a simple matter of a few clicks.
If you’d rather not do the grunt work of creating and naming 20+ folders, I got you! You can download my logo package folder template below.
Check out part two of this series on logo package organization to learn the best way to name your logo files so they carry as much meaning and organizational integrity as the folder structure that contains them.
By the way, manually sorting dozens of files into folders is never fun, no matter how well organized those folders may be.
That’s why I created Logo Package Express to do it for you in record time. Learn more about Logo Package Express.