Designers will provide specific file types based on the type of design contest you're running which will determine the end result of the file. This is because file types vary depending on whether your design will be used digitally, printed or both.
To help better understand what you'll need from the designer, and what the designer will deliver, see our breakdown below.
1. Logo Design Contests
You should ask for a vectorized logo design file in either of the two file formats listed below.
** NOTE: you may need to download a special program to view these files:
• PDF file
- this is a universal file format that can be used with any professional image editing software
• Adobe Illustrator (.ai) file
• You may also want to ask the designer to provide a JPEG, GIF, or PNG file
- These 3 file types are smaller in size, which allow for easy sharing via email etc.
- These 3 file types are also viewable using any image viewing software that typically comes with your computer
2. Print Design Contests
It's always a good idea to ask your printer what file formats they'll need. But typically, you'll want to ask the designer for a 300 dpi (dots per inch) CMYK image in:
• PDF file (which is a universal file format that can be used with any image editing software)
• Adobe Illustrator (.ai) file, Adobe Photoshop (.psd) or Adobe InDesign (.indd) file
3. Fonts / Font Files
Don't ask the designer to provide any of the files for the font they used in your designs, because font licenses are usually non-transferrable.
• You do want to ask the designer for the name of the font so that you can buy the font and appropriate license that goes with it.
• Buying the font license should allow you to use it for most any of your marketing needs.
4. Custom Website Design & Wordpress Design Contests
You should ask for a layered Photoshop PSD file.
** PSD files are only required for custom website designs that will then be coded by a web developer.