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designer supplied pdf of logo, do I need more?

Posted on 2006-11-15
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Last Modified: 2013-12-03
I have had a designer put together a logo and he has sent me a pdf as I have AI. He seems to think that I can open the pdf in AI and all of the logo qualities will be 100%.

I would have thought it FAR better to be supplied with a psd or ai file to preserve the integirty of the colors and vector image.

Am I off base here. Will the pdf give me everything I need?

Thanks,
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Question by:pcoghlan
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by:MHenry
ID: 17948383
pcoghlan ,

As long as your both on PCs and he did it in Illustrator you should be ok. Although, if he did it in Illustrator on the same platform, I don't know why he wouldn't supply you the file.

If you're not on similar platforms, you may not be able to edit the file. You should still be able to resize it and print it fine, you just may not be able to make changes to it.

Best,
MH
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by:BongSoo
ID: 17948625
The only issue that might come up is if you do not have the fonts and he did not convert the fonts to outline. Otherwise, Illustrator should be able to open the PDF no problem, and should not convert any of the colors or other issues you mentioned.
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by:saukstas
ID: 17954124
PDF may be in one of these format types:
 1) vector - which means you can successfully print, resize image without loosing quality
 2) raster (bitmap) - you cannot scale up your image or print it on bigger format paper without loosing quality
 3) complex - you can probably do everything with image, even edit it because authoring application saved authoring information into pdf file. this means near .psd or .ai quality.

all you need is to try to open pdf in your authoring application. if you can scale it - you have either 1) or 3). if you cant, it is 2) or (little chances) restricted 3).

if you need to have a editable logo, ask designer to supply FULL resources for your logo. Because you are the one who pays him!
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BongSoo earned 250 total points
ID: 17955744
OK, I don't want to come off as combative, but I really don't think saukstas is stating the facts correctly. Perhaps its just a communication issue?

PDF is a format in and off itself. It does not have different formats, just different 'subsets' that were standardized for different purposes. (ie, PDF/X for printing and graphic arts; PDF/A for archiving; PDF/E for engineering drawings, etc.). Portable Document Format is meant to be open and allow people who create files in ANY application(s) to share those with others who don't have that application(s).

Now, he is accurate if he meant that those formats (as well as many others such as a quicktime movie) can be incorporated into a single PDF.

I will argue that #2 of what saukstas says is only true if the enlargement goes over a certain %. Usually anything under 150% will come out satisfactorily without any true noticable degradation. I have seen images that were scaled 200% that came out pretty good to, but others that did not. A lot of it depends upon how it is scaled and how it is rastered.

I also have to question this statement:

<<all you need is to try to open pdf in your authoring application. if you can scale it - you have either 1) or 3). if you cant, it is 2) or (little chances) restricted 3).>>

I can open a PDF that has type, vector art, AND bitmap photoshop art in Adobe Illustrator and scale it up, down, anamorphically etc. all with no problem. Nothing restricts that.

So hopefully he can clarify what he meant to say as that doesn't make sense.

Regardless, he is correct that you should be able to ask for the original artwork for the logo, sans the fonts. If you want the fonts, you are legally obliged to purchase them yourself. If you don't need them, and he provided you with outlined vector art in the PDF, you could just live with that.

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Author Comment

by:pcoghlan
ID: 17956078
Guys, my purposes are now served and I will go off to get the source files. Thanks for the input.
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by:saukstas
ID: 17956180
I was inaccurate intentionaly because authors post showed that author is not deep into this technology so I tried to explain him what he needs in a very brief but informative way. I hope he now has an answer to his question.

In addition, simply saying that pdf WILL or WILL NOT keep original colors and sizes will not work. For example, original artwork that was saved into .AI in CMYK won't print accurately (anyone will see the difference between .ai and .pdf prints) if it is exported to .PDF in RGB. However, if designer exported it without flattening (rasterizing) and without color scheme change (included used custom color scheme into .pdf), the artwork will print ok.

Some begginer designers often make production in high resolution raster (they think that full resolution A3 file will be allright) but even this file looks veeeryy big it won't be big enough to be sticked onto city bus.

So I will ask author of this question to supply us with information where this logo will be used? And will your designer supply you with original atwork (not exported)?
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by:BongSoo
ID: 17956496
OK, now you are really confusing me...

For instance: <<For example, original artwork that was saved into .AI in CMYK won't print accurately (anyone will see the difference between .ai and .pdf prints) if it is exported to .PDF in RGB.>>

First of all, what version of Illustrator are you using? I am in CS2 and you cannot EXPORT a PDF (actually you have to save as a PDF, you don't export) in RGB if the colorspace was originally CMYK without converting the original AI file to RGB. A saved PDF retains the colorspace of the original file. OF COURSE you will get a color shift if you change the colorspace, but you have to do that intentionally from the beginning. (unless the file is created as RGB and the printer RIPs it to CMYK, that is a different story).

The only thing I can think of is if the vector art was created in a program other than illustrator, there might be a color shift, but from my experience in the printing industry, this is rare.

and this:  <<However, if designer exported it without flattening (rasterizing) and without color scheme change (included used custom color scheme into .pdf), the artwork will print ok.>>

Flattening an Illustrator file has NOTHING to do with rasterizing. Are you thinking of photoshop??? It also has nothing to do with the colorspace. The only possible way that what you are saying would make sense to me is if you brought in an RGB bitmap image into a CMYK Illustrator file. Even then, it wouldn't change the RGB image when its saved as a PDF, that will happen WHEN IT IS PRINTED,  by the printing software (RIP). It will apply compression to the images, though.

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