vendors are messing up my logo fonts

cody324's picture

I'm in the marketing department of a large company, and we recently adopted a new logo. The logo is mostly text in a fairly obscure font.

I deal with vendors who produce promotional items and non-standard communication pieces (logo in stitching, etc).

Even though I'm sending them the logo in vector format, with the font outlined, I often get back proofs where they reset the type into whatever looks most similar to them.

How can I avoid this? What's the correct explanation to give to make sure they reproduce the logo exactly, and not try to mimic it? It seems obvious to me (after all, they wouldn't try to mimic an image-based logo, would they?), but this happens so often, that I must not be explaining it well.

Any help is appreciated.

agostini's picture

I experienced that before.
The printer couldn't open my illustrator file
and just decided it would be easier to recreate
the logo rather than asking me to save it down
to his illustrator 5 version.

I think the best way for something like this is
to ring up your vendor and ask for the file
specs and what exactly is required for the
job. Sometimes you need to investigate a bit
more than just sending a vector file.

Different processes require different files.
Some stitching companies prefer a tiff file
to a vector file, because the software used
for stitching patterns works with pixel-based images.
But by saying that, an other stitching company
might be fine with your vector art.

ring and investigate...

Cristobal Henestrosa's picture

Difficult task.

You may ask them the reason, but here are my two cents: they are doing this because it is easier for them (safer, faster or more convenient) to type the name of the company instead of placing an image.

And what if you generate a font with only one glyph: your logo? Maybe it would be even easier for them to type only one letter and change the font.

Of course, it may work only if your logo is supposed to be black and white. Otherwise, you may obtain the right logo, but wrong colors.

blank's picture

What’s the correct explanation to give to make sure they reproduce the logo exactly, and not try to mimic it?

Try telling them “This is the logo file. If you don’t use this file, I’ll not only not pay for the job, I’ll sue you for the cost of the time I spend paying someone else to do the work”.

paragraph's picture

Sometimes the plotters and stitchers and cutters need a diferent file format, my guess would be EPS, but best is to ask as agostini says.

cuttlefish's picture

Not to say this is the problem with this particular vendor (which sounds more like incompetence and/or negligence), but:

The software and drivers for many of these specialized output devices have rather antiquated format filters, or when updates are available they are too expensive to be purchased as often as a service provider would want. The software I use for a vinyl cutting plotter, for example, requires I downsample vector files to Illustrator 8 format for them to work properly. Other devices may have different needs, so press as hard as you can on the issue of file format compatibility, including version numbers where applicable. Ask them what software they use in their shop, again, down to version number and OS.

Joostmarcellis's picture

I agree with Agostini, calling your vendor about the specifications, or else send a pdf-file, pdf's are made to be multi platform, and have less problems with older versions of adobe illustrator and such

aluminum's picture

"How can I avoid this?"

You can't. Most vendors are type ignorant.

You can solve it by sending it back with the invoice unpaid.

My parents have a small business that I whipped up a quick logo for. They spent several thousand dollars on a new sign laser-cut out of metal for the front of the building. I prep'ed the files, outlined the typefaces, spec'd everything out and sent the file out.

A month or so later my proud parents asked me to come look at the great new sign.

"Umm...that's not the logo I sent them."

"It's not?"

"No, that's a completely different typeface"

"Oh, well, no one can tell. Looks good to us!"

"sigh"

Ess.P9's picture

Definitely think about the file type and software as previously stated, another idea is to send them the font as well!!! This gives no excuse as to the font used. I’m surprised that they just based the thing together, when I was working with printers they were usually very sensitive to getting the result how we wanted, and usually supplying the font or a vector would sort most things. Definitely don’t pay for sub standard work! Good Luck

cody324's picture

Thanks everyone for your advice.
Today I rejected a proof and asked for a revised version. I didn't need to send the vector file in a different format. They were able to use the version I sent originally. So, I guess they were being lazy or ignorant, or both, who knows. This specific project was for a carpet in the CEO's suite, so I definitely couldn't allow a bastardized version of the logo!

Ken Messenger's picture

This specific project was for a carpet in the CEO’s suite, so I definitely couldn’t allow a bastardized version of the logo!

Ah yes, A fine use of stock holder funds. I just hope your CEO isn't using federal dollars to decorate.

cody324's picture

This specific project was for a carpet in the CEO’s suite, so I definitely couldn’t allow a bastardized version of the logo!

Ah yes, A fine use of stock holder funds. I just hope your CEO isn’t using federal dollars to decorate.

private company

jarofmoths's picture

I worked for a company (who shall remain nameless) and when we'd send out our logo, we'd attach this corporate "warning":

The guidelines are as follows:
1. The only acceptable presentation of ********* logo is as it
appears here. Presentations with elements missing are not acceptable. Presentations that change the order of the elements are not acceptable.

2. Wherever possible, The LOGO should appear in ****(your color: PMS
XXXc), and the words *****(whatever) should appear in black, on a white or light-colored background. In grayscale presentations, the entire logo should be 100 percent black (do not present portions of the logo as grayscale). In reverse-out presentations (white text on a black background) the entire logo should be in white.

3. Do not kern, stretch or compress the text, present it in alternate
colors, or in different typefaces. There is no acceptable or approved reason to vary our identity.

4. The logo must be followed with a small (R) registered trademark
dingbat, superscripted to the "***" in "*******".

These guidelines are non-negotiable. It is vitally important for us to use our logo in a unified manner, both for legal reasons (the protection of our trademark) and for cultural reasons (so people identify with one logo alone).

jabez's picture

@jarofmoths - Nice! One client I worked for had something similar.

jupiterboy's picture

One-bit Tiff at a high res (1200 dpi) at 100% will usually work in any situation.

barkeep's picture

Ho Cody,
failing all of the great tips above, you may want to go down to your local fishmongers and buy a nice large, fresh trout (or other local fish), take it to your vendors office(the vendor who is misbehaving) and gently slap them around the head with the fish until they agree to not mess with your logo as there is no reason for it apart from lazyness.
Mart

AGL's picture

“ Try telling them “This is the logo file. If you don’t use this file, I’ll not only not pay for the job, I’ll sue you for the cost of the time I spend paying someone else to do the work”. ”

That is a way to do it.

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