• Barb Peterson says:
    Mar 2 at 06:57

    Thanks for this really instructive tutorial! I am not a graphic designer by trade (I’m just a one-person website designer) but have had to craft a logo or two for clients who want something basic. This is the 1st tute I’ve found that really details the logo finalization workflow. Great stuff!

  • Ali says:
    Jun 17 at 03:49

    Love this! Super helpful! Would be thrilled to see your File Type 101 page!

  • Jack Wallington says:
    Sep 5 at 05:05

    Hi Julie! This is really helpful although I am having a couple of problems. When I go to unite my logo, the rectangle I have used as the outline of the logo turns grey covering the fonts. If I try replacing the rectangle with lines, the lines disappear and one of my solid fonts changes and becomes just outlines! lol I don’t know what I am doing wrong with the unite stage 🙁
    You can see the logo I am trying to recreate in Illustrator on my site.

    1. HoodzpahAdmin says:
      Sep 23 at 08:05

      Hi Jack! Try outlining your path (the grey outline of the rectangle. To do this go to object > path > outline stroke), as well as outline your fonts (type > create outlines) so that all pieces of the logo are filled shapes, not outlines. Then unite all elements. Let us know if this works 🙂

      1. Jack says:
        Jun 18 at 04:29

        Once I completed this step, it still took the fill of one shape.

        1. Jennifer Hood says:
          Jun 24 at 08:10

          Hi Jack, if the items are two different colors, and you need them to remain so, then only unite items of the same color. It’s ok if all your gray items remaing one united element, and all your black items remain a separate united element, for example. The goal here is to just clean up any random objects and to simplify the logo to it’s most basic form.

  • Nikynelia says:
    Oct 31 at 03:31

    Amazing article, helped a lot thanks!

  • caroline says:
    Dec 13 at 11:49


    thank you for helping me not look like an idiot.

  • Mally says:
    Jun 13 at 08:47

    Great tutorial! Very helpful and easy to follow.

  • Sarah says:
    Aug 4 at 09:14

    Quick tip: If you rename your artboards you won’t have to rename all the files each go. 🙂

    1. TheHoods says:
      Dec 12 at 07:38

      Great catch! This tutorial was a bit outdated on that front, and we just fixed it per your note 🙂

  • Emilie says:
    Oct 25 at 08:15

    Beautiful and helpful site. My version of Illustrator doesn’t have the ‘unite’ option under Effect>Pathfinder. Should I just ‘group’ instead? Thanks.

    1. TheHoods says:
      Dec 12 at 07:33

      Hi Emilie! Which edition of illustrator are you using? Group wont quite do it, as it will still be individual shapes. The goal is to have it all treated as one individual object.

  • Katie says:
    Dec 8 at 09:55

    Thanks so much – this workflow was exactly what I needed to organize my brain to get it all done.
    One thing that speeds it up significantly – name your artboards before you start saving – then it will pass those details on and you won’t have to rename as you go!
    Thanks again,

    1. TheHoods says:
      Dec 12 at 07:34

      Kate, so true! We wrote this back when that wasn’t an option. Gotta update the text 🙂

  • Phil says:
    Feb 21 at 03:39

    Nice Workflow, I came around here because I wonder what’s best in terms of colour mode. What would be the best way? Do I need 2 illustrator files one in CMYK and on in RGB to export versions both for print and digital? Or is there a simpler option?

    1. TheHoods says:
      Feb 23 at 07:38

      Hi Phil, it kind of depends on the colors you’re using, and the client. If the client’s intent for the logo is primarily web use, then you might start your logo files in RGB mode, understanding that when the logo is printed, you might need Pantone ink to match the vividness of your RGB color. Saving to CMYK from the rGB color mode will result in a definitely duller color, but there’s no getting around that, even if you change the whole doc to CMYK color mode, it will still be duller in many instances. Just let the client know that if they use a vivid hue unique to web for their brand color, they might have to use a spot color ink to recreate it in print, rather than traditional CMYK printing. If we’re not designing a logo that’s intended mainly for digital existence, then we’ll use a CMYK mode file for our logos (this is most of the time). The client picks the Pantone color for their brand, we have art boards for the logos with the pantone color applied, as well as art boards with the logos with CMYK equivalent applied, then we export for CMYK file types. Then, save to RGB using the “save for web” function or by file > export to PNG/JPG, which you can set for rGB or sRGB. The file itself remains in CMYK mode, but the export function saves it in RGB/sRGB for you. If the brand color is a red or purple, the default save for web can be tricky, as sometimes those colors look crazy different from their CMYK equivalent when you export for web. Try futzing with RGB versus SRGB in your save settings. And if that doesn’t work to right the color, sometimes we have to adjust the RGB color to more accurately match the CMYK color. Hope that helps!

  • Nesha says:
    Mar 24 at 03:35

    Hi, I tried to unite my logo and it turned all of my colors black. Can you please tell me where I made a mistake? Thanks.

    1. TheHoods says:
      Mar 26 at 11:40

      Hi Nesha, you’ll want to unite all shapes for one common color when you’re saving color logos. Like select all blue objects and unite them together. Same for all red items, etc. And when you’re saving one-color versions (Black usually), you can unite the complete logo as one main shape unless you’re dealing with different shades or gradients within the logo.

  • Audrey says:
    Nov 14 at 02:19

    I have a completed black and white logo for a client. I followed your steps and when I unite, it turns my entire logo white. What am I doing wrong? I already converted the type as well outlined strokes. Thank you!

    1. TheHoods says:
      Nov 14 at 06:44

      Hi Audrey, it’s odd but sometimes when you pathfinder items, it turns the whole item white or removes the color entirely. So you’ll just need to reapply your final black swatch or preferred color to the final logo.

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