As part of the branding process, you’ll be working with a designer to create a logo. When it’s finalized, you’ll want to get these 12 church logo files from your designer.
You’re going to need to use your church logo in lots of different ways. You’d be surprised at what a challenge that can be. Even just across the social media sites, you need:
- one with landscape orientation for banners and headers
- a square version for the avatar/thumbnail
- one with a transparent background to overlay on other images
- and the list goes on…
To be ready for all of those scenarios and challenges, make sure your designer sends you all of the following versions:
Versions of Church Logo Files
- the primary logo (typically in color and landscape-oriented)
- the reverse logo (if your logo is light-colored, this will be a dark version, and vice versa)
- the primary logo in B&W
- a reverse B&W
- a square version (color)
- a square reverse
- a square in B&W
- a square in reverse B&W
- just the icon in color (no words, just the ‘mark’)
- just the icon in reverse color
- just the icon in B&W
- just the icon in reverse B&W
But wait, there’s more!
Different Church Logo File Types
There are 2 basic approaches to creating images: pixels and vectors.
The picture files you use all the time are pixel-based. If you zoom way in, you’ll see that the image is made of a bunch of dots like a Monet painting. Their quality/resolution is measured in dots per inch (dpi). This is why these images can get all grainy and look horrible when you blow them way up for a poster or vinyl banner.
The other way to create images, especially logos, is with vectors. These complex math equations will make logos look crisp and clear if you shrink them down to the size of your pinky nail or blow them up the size of the Empire State Building. Their scalability makes them ideal as master church logo files. And from these vector files you can make any of the other dot-based files.
Your graphic designer will probably use either Adobe Illustrator (vector) or Adobe Photoshop (pixel). They’ll be in file types that us regular folks can’t do much with. But you still need to have them. You’ll want to get at least all 12 logo versions above as master files.
Master File Extensions to Look for:
- .ai (Adobe Illustrator)
- .psd (Adobe Photoshop)
- .pdf (when created by pros, these can be super-scalable)
- occasionally you’ll see an .eps file (not software-brand-specific)
But you’ll probably want your church logo files in the following versions, too:
Print-Quality File Extensions to Look for:
- .jpg, .pdf or .tiff (300dpi resolution or higher)
- does not support transparent backgrounds
- great for printing but not great for online applications because they can make pages. load. s-l-o-w-l-y.
Online-Quality File Extensions to Look for:
- .png or .jpg (go 300dpi only if your designer knows how to compress the files; otherwise go with 72 or 96dpi – they’ll load faster)
- make sure your .png files have a transparent background
- great for digital media but not great for print applications because they’re low resolution
You’ll eventually want to end up with each of the 12 logo versions in each of these file formats. That will be at least 36 actual files. Whoa. But trust me, you’ll end up using them in various contexts.
Back Them Up
The original church logo files can be all but impossible to recreate years later (unless maybe you have a simple text logo). You can’t risk losing your originals if your computer crashes, so save all of the original church logo files from your designer to your hard drive and to your cloud storage (iCloud, DropBox, Drive, etc).