The type of color mode and design file you use depends on the kind of contest you’re participating in.
When you’re designing for print it’s important to use a CMYK color mode with a resolution of at least 300dpi. Note: if you are using a vector program, like Illustrator, you won’t need to worry about the resolution.
File formats for CMYK print designs:
- PDF - Portable Document Format
- an Adobe Illustrator (.ai), Adobe Photoshop (.psd) or InDesign (.indd) file
When you’re designing for any electronic device, use an RGB color mode at 72dpi resolution.
File formats for RGB computer-based designs:
- PNG - Portable Network Graphics
- JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group
In addition to these files, you must give the customer editable files. PSD (Photoshop) is a raster-based editable file and is mainly used for web-based designs. AI (Adobe Illustrator) is a vector-based file that must be used for logo designs.
When you're designing a logo, make sure to supply the following file formats in CMYK mode:
- Adobe Illustrator (AI) file
- editable PDF
On logo handovers, please additionally include a PNG in RGB mode for web use.
If you use CSD (CorelDRAW), you should also provide the customer with an editable PDF or convert your file to AI. For more information on the problems that can occur when doing this, take a look at CorelDRAW Problems: Publishing as AI and EPS.
Remember: the customer may require additional files (TIFF, GIF, etc.) so check with them and give them the files they request.