The big three

No matter which option you go with to make a logo, you'll receive files at the end of the process. There are three main file types: JPG, PNG, and SVG (sometimes called “vector”).

JPG or JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

The Good

  • +Small file size thanks to something called "lossy compression"
  • +You can adjust the amount of compression
  • +Very commonly accepted file type
  • +Best used for photographs
  • +Can display millions of colors

The Bad

  • Can appear blurry or pixelated if not sized correctly
  • Does not support transparency
Example of JPG quality

When to use

JPGs are great for photographs because of their small file size and use of millions of colors. They're not so great for images that use text or that need to be flexible in size. Be careful resizing JPGs – they'll lose quality very quickly when you make them larger.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

The Good

  • +Lossless compression
  • + Can display millions of colors
  • +Supports transparency (can have a transparent background)

The Bad

  • Lossless compression means larger file sizes than JPG
  • Not meant for photographs
Example of PNG quality

When to use

PNGs should be used if you need images with transparency, such as logos that need to be placed on multiple colored backgrounds. This makes them a great file option for on-screen uses like websites and presentations.

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)

The Good

  • +Vector file
  • +Scalable to any size without loss of quality
  • +Small size

The Bad

  • Not as commonly used as JPG and PNG
  • Cannot reproduce a photograph as an SVG
Example of SVG quality

When to use

Vector files will always be crisp and maintain quality. For these reasons, you should use them whenever you can, especially for printing (you can make them the size of a billboard and they'll still look great). The file size remains quite small compared to a PNG or JPG.