How to Create & Use PNG Files of Logo Designs in Illustrator
Let’s find out how to prepare a PNG files of logo designs in Illustrator!
Want to know how to create PNG files of your logo design in Illustrator? When you create a logo, you will receive the digital files in different formats once it has been finished. You might be wondering. The design is the same. So why does it come in different formats? And what do you do with them?
Here’s the answer: each format or file type is optimized for certain usage. For example, if you want to put your logo on websites, blogs, favicons, online shops, or social media, PNG format is the best option. Similarly, for physical printing, JPEG is ideal.
As for what to do with them, well, that depends on how you plan to use the logo design. Since virtually every business needs an online presence nowadays, it is always nice to have your logo in formats that accommodate physical and digital marketing materials.
In this post, we will focus on the PNG format. We tell you everything to know about PNG. From what it is, what PNG files are used for, how to create PNG files of your logo design in Adobe Illustrator, and the pros and cons of the format to how it compares to JPEG, and frequently asked questions.
What Is PNG?
Portable Network Graphic, better known as PNG, is a type of raster image file. The format was created in 1995 as an alternative to the GIF. It was created in response to the limitations of the GIF. The GIF format has a limited color palette, which is only 256 colors. It requires a license as well.
Unlike the GIF format, the PNG format supports a wide color depth. It is also patent-free, which means anyone can open a PNG file using any image editing software without the need for licensing. It doesn’t support animation, however.
The format was built with the web in mind. This explains why PNG files are great for almost any digital use but not so much for physical printing. It has built-in transparency, uses an RGB color profile, and can handle 16 million colors. PNG files use the .png extension. Today, PNGs are a web standard.
What Are PNG Files Used for?
Since it is a rather versatile image file format, it can be used for many things. Here are a few examples.
1. Logos with transparent backgrounds
Graphic designers often use the PNG format for logos. The built-in transparency enables designers to layer logo files on multiple different backgrounds in a way that looks natural.
In addition, PNG files are great if you want to put your logo design on websites, blogs, social media, online shops, images, letterheads, presentations, and even favicons.
2. Image editing
The format’s lossless compression means that, regardless of repeated encoding and decoding, the PNG files retain their image quality. This makes the PNG great for storing digital images for editing. No more worrying about losing quality from compression.
3. Graphics elements
One of the main features of the file type is lossless compression. Meaning it retains all of its original data contained in the File when compressed.
This makes it an excellent choice for detailed charts and graphics on websites, as the format keeps all of the original data. Its lossless compression prevents vital information from getting lost.
How to Create PNG Files of Your Logo Design in Illustrator
Creating a PNG file of your business logo design in Adobe Illustrator is a straightforward process. Here’s how the process goes.
1. Create your logo design in Illustrator
The first and foremost step is to create a logo. All logos have to be created in vector editing programs. They have to consist of vector paths and shapes. Vector logos, unlike raster logos, can be scaled up or down without losing quality.
Illustrator is an amazing vector editing program. It is also the industry standard, so it is a great tool to use. When creating your vector logo, make sure that you don’t include a background in it.
2. Export the logo as a PNG file
After your vector logo is created, the next step is to export the logo as a PNG file. To do so, click File, then Export… On the Export dialog box, name the File as desired and select where you want the File to be saved. Set the format to PNG, then click Export.
You will see a PNG Options dialog box. Select the resolution you want for the logo design. Set the anti-aliasing and interface as desired and elect Transparent as the background color. Click OK.
And there you have it. This export option removes the empty space in the board. As a result, only the logo is included in the File. Since only the essential parts of the logo design are included, the image is much more versatile.
3. Open the File
Now your logo design is in the format you want. To see the result, just go to the folder where you save the new File. Open the File, and you should see your logo with a gray background.
No need to worry about the background. It is there only to display the image. The image itself only includes the essential parts.
The Pros and Cons
Unlike the GIF format, the PNG format is patent-free. Meaning you don’t need a license to view and edit a PNG file. You can use any image editing software for the task.
B. Lossless compression
One of the main advantages of the format is that it is lossless compression. This is why when PNG files are compressed; they retain their data, quality, and details. This is true regardless of the amount of decoding and encoding.
The lossless compression feature also makes the format an excellent choice for editing images. Images in PNG format retain their detail and quality. They are easier to store and transfer, too.
C. Wide Color Depth
The wide color depth of the format makes it suitable for different types of digital images. For example, graphics and photographs. The format supports not only palette-based images with 24-bit RGB palette and 32-bit RGBA palette but also grayscale images and even full-color non-palette-based RGB or RGBA images.
To be exact, the format can handle 16 million colors and display sharp edges and solid colors. As such, the format is ideal for images containing text, graphics, and line art.
D. Support transparent backgrounds
Another main advantage of the format is its built-in transparency. It supports digital images with transparent backgrounds. As a comparison, the JPEG format renders such backgrounds in a solid white color.
This is especially useful for graphic designers. Due to the format’s inherent support for transparency, they can layer multiple different backgrounds and make them look natural.
The support for transparency also means that you can utilize the important logo design elements without having to change things like the background color.
A. Bigger file size
One of the shortcomings of the format is the bigger file size. When a PNG file is compressed, it retains all of its original data. As a result, the files tend to be much larger in size than GIF or JPEG files. This means they will take up more space in your storage.
B. Slower page loading times and responsiveness
The high-quality, detailed image data that compressed PNG files contain are certainly great. But they come with a cost: speed. Their large size can potentially slow down the loading times and responsiveness of web pages.
C. Not ideal for printing
The format is optimized for the web. As such, it only supports RGB color profiles. Although it makes an excellent choice for almost any digital use, it is not ideal for printing.
D. Doesn’t support animation
The file type was created as an alternative to the GIF. While it doesn’t have the limitations of the GIF, it doesn’t support animation as the GIF does.
Note that it is a raster image file. It is pixel-based. While the format allows plenty of details to be displayed, it results in a pixelated image when significantly resized.
PNG vs. JPEG
How does the format compare to the JPEG? While both are raster image file types, they have differences. Here’s how the two compare.
1. Lossless vs. lossy compression
The compression processes of the two are different. JPEG is a lossy compression, while PNG is a lossless compression. What does this mean?
The JPEG format is designed to store high-quality photos full of details and colors efficiently. It can compress large images into smaller file sizes. This, in turn, makes them easier to store and transfer. This comes at a price: it is a lossy compression.
That means when an image is compressed, some of the original data from the image is permanently deleted. This might not be an issue if you only compress the image once. But that is quite unlikely. As you edit and save the File, the more data it loses. This compromises the quality of the File.
The PNG format, on the other hand, is lossless compression. When an image is compressed, there is no data loss. Regardless of how many times you edit or save the File, it retains its original quality.
2. File sizes
The lossless and lossy nature of the file types has an effect on the file sizes. In terms of file sizes, JPEG is more efficient. With JPEG, more quality of images is lost with more compression.
However, it can turn large images into more manageable file sizes. This is quite useful if storage space is a concern and if you want to speed up page loading times and responsiveness.
With PNG, the quality of images is retained. But, as a trade-off, the size of the files is larger as much more information is retained. The relatively larger file sizes make it a less ideal option if storage space is limited or if the internet connection is not fast.
How the two types handle transparency in images is also different. PNGs support transparent backgrounds. JPEGs don’t.
This is why non-rectangular logos and graphics that have lots of text in them usually don’t work well in the JPEG format. It is also why JPEG images tend to struggle to blend seamlessly with web pages that have different background colors.
PNG files don’t suffer from those issues. The format has built-in support for transparency. In the format, designers can apply transparent backgrounds to images.
The support for transparency doesn’t end there, though. They can even layer different degrees of transparency. As a result, the files can blend seamlessly with pages, even if they have different background colors.
4. Logo design
Since PNGs handle transparent images well, they are a much better option than JPEGs when it comes to designing logos. Since the format support transparency, you can layer a logo design with a transparent background on top of other images or web pages. Things are harder with JPEGs.
How to open a PNG file?
Almost all built-in image editing software can open PNG files. If you open a PNG file, just search for the File and double-click on it. You will then see a list of programs using which you can open the File.
You can also open the File on a web browser. Web browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Edge can display a PNG image file. All you need to do is drag and drop to the browser.
Does the format support animation?
The format doesn’t natively support animation. That said, there are unofficial extensions that enable the format to support animation.
Are PNGs raster or vector files?
They are a type of raster file. Raster files are pixel-based, which means they are built using a fixed number of pixels. Vector files, on the other hand, are built using mathematical algorithms. This is why PNGs can display detailed images but get pixelated if they are significantly resized.
Are PNG files compatible with CMYK?
No, they are not compatible with CMYK. The format was designed with the web in mind. Hence why they are not ideal for printing.
Do size limits apply to PNG files?
No, at least not theoretically. The dimensions for PNGs are unlimited in theory. In practice, however, the sizes are limited by other factors such as storage and the software being used to open the File.
Does PNG support EXIF data?
No, it doesn’t support EXIF data. It is unable to embed EXIF data.
Are PNGs effective in displaying written text?
Yes, they are. If anything, they are very effective at it. The lossless compression feature of PNGs allows them to display text-heavy images, such as page layouts and screenshots, at a high quality. The same applies to scans of printed text, including newspaper pages and handwritten documents.
PNG vs. JPEG, which one is better?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on the context. Each type of image file is optimized for certain purposes.
For example, PNGs are great for almost any digital use, including logo design. The file type, however, is not ideal for physical printing. The files use up more space than JPEG files as well.
JPEGs, on the other hand, are more suited for digital photos. They can display high-quality images and make them more manageable in terms of file size. However, they suffer from loss of quality the more they are compressed. So, which file format is better depends entirely on the context.
When to use and when not to use a PNG?
There are times when you want to use it, and there are times you don’t want to.
You want to use it when
- you need high-quality transparent web graphics.
- You have illustrations with limited colors.
- You need a small file
You don’t want to use it when
- you are working with photos or artwork.
- You are working on a print project.
A logo design usually comes in different formats, one of which is PNG. The format was developed with the web in mind. Thus, it is ideal for digital marketing materials. For example, you can use it on a website, blog, social media, online shops, and even favicon, just to name a few.
It is lossless compression. A PNG file doesn’t suffer from loss of quality when compressed. It also has wide color depth and support for transparency, making it an ideal format for graphics, photographs, and logos.
Like any other format, PNG has its shortcomings. For example, it has a relatively bigger file size. An image with similar quality and resolution will have a larger file size if it is in PNG format than it is in JPEG format. It is not ideal for printing, either, as it doesn’t support CMYK.
To sum it up, the file type has many uses, advantages, and disadvantages. Now that you know how to create PNG files of your logo design in Illustrator, you can use your logo in PNG format whenever you want. The process is straightforward. You will probably get used to it with just a few tries.