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Adobe Illustrator/Proper Saving of Master Logo Files


Hi, this is my first time posting here, so I hope my question(s) are OK. I work in a graphic design firm with a fair amount of experience, but just need an experts opinion on something that I'm not 100% clear on. If any of my questions may need to be posted in another forum (Acrobat, Color Management, etc), let me know.

I am just seeking expert advice on the absolute best, most industry standard way to create final logo files for a large corporation.

We use Illustrator CS6 for all master logo creation.

We need to provide our client with CMYK, RGB and PMS versions of their different logo variations (e.g, shield only, vertical stacked, horizontal). These final files will be handed off to various designers around the globe and referenced in a master style guide we are creating.


1) Is PDF the best/safest file format to save final logo files? Years ago we would have chosen EPS, but we understand that is a dated workflow.

2) If PDF is the format we use, we just want to make sure we use the best settings for optimal quality and color integrity. So any advice here would be appreciated.
2a) For CMYK versions, should we turn off any color management in Illustrator and save PDFs withOUT any profiles or output intent (since we don't know the final implementations)?
2b) For RGB versions, would it be safest to set the profile to sRGB and embed all profiles, as this is the working space and they would mostly be used for web?
2c) For PMS versions, should we work in RGB or CMYK color space in Illustrator, and should any profiles be included?

3) We are using a couple inner/outer glow effects on some elements in the logo. I understand these will be rasterized, so just want to be sure we are using best practices for good quality. In the 'Document Raster Effect Settings', we set the resolution pretty high (1200ppi) in case the logo gets scaled really large, and then made sure the PDF settings wouldn't downsample these. Is this correct?
3a) For the PMS version of the logo, we did select the Pantone color for the glow effect color, and we checked 'Preserve Spot Colors' in the Document Raster Effect Settings. Is there anything we have to check to ensure that these effects are rasterized using the spot colors and not CMYK/RGB? Is there a preference between working in CMYK vs. RGB here?

4) One version of the logo does include a raster element that cannot be recreated as vector (even using gradient mesh). To keep quality at a maximum, should we just make the Illustrator artboard large enough to allow the raster image to be placed at 100% of size at 300ppi and work from there?

THANKS for any help here, even if a reference to someone else to ask. If this were internal use, we wouldn't be nearly as concerned and would just use AI files. But these will be used by many different agencies using different methods, so it just needs to be as professional as possible.



Hi Kenney,

First saving out files I not normally give a client EPS and PDF for print using CMYK and Spot colors. Then I also give them jpg and png files (using file>export) using an RGB color space.

I would not worry about color management in your files. Chances are your client has no idea what this is so they won't be effected by it.

As for the effects and spot colors. 1200 is pretty high unless you expect them to enlarge the logos 400% beyond the size you are submitting. I normally supply at 300 ppi and inform them that if they intend to use them for options other than print at or below size to let me know so we can supply another logo at 100% print size (with the properly sized glow). Spot colors and effects are not good bed fellows and even though you have preserve spot colors checked, does not automatically make them work. Their printer is going to have to preflight the logos to make sure they are separating properly.

You are correct that the raster image and logo should be built at 100% at 300 ppi.

Sounds like you are on the right track!



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Kevin Stohlmeyer


I am an Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Community Professional and Adobe Freelance Professional. I travel nationally speaking on Adobe Creative Suite applications, including Illustrator and design. I can answer questions about Adobe Illustrator version CS1 through the all-new Creative Cloud.


I am an Adobe Certified Instructor for Adobe Illustrator and have been teaching this software in college/higher education and for an Adobe Authorized Training Center since 2000. I have been an active user of Adobe Illustrator as a professional graphic designer since 1994. I am also the author of the Adobe Illustrator Certified Expert Exam. I am a published author for Adobe Inspire Magazine, writing articles on Creative Suite applications including Photoshop, Illustrator and the Adobe Touch apps.

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Member, Adobe Influencers Program and Adobe Freelancer Member Spotlight, National Association of Photoshop Professionals, November 2011 Runner-Up, The Next Adobe Photoshop Evangelist contest, 2010, 2011 Runner-Up Layers Magazine Design Contest

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