It's important (obviously) for your logo to look great when it gets displayed, whether on a banner at an event, on a partner's website, or in your own communications. But I often see logos that are don't scale well or started at low resolution, and the results aren't pretty. Here are some tips to ensure that your logo shines no matter where it is used:
- Don't use ONLY JPEG files unless your logo contains significant gradients or actual pictures. The JPEG format is designed for compressing photos with complex features, not images that contain large swaths of the same color (like most logos). The PNG file format is built for displaying items like logos on the web. Providing a JPEG file may be useful, but never make it the only file you give to people.
- Have a white background version. When commissioning your logo, get a version with a white background. It takes more ink to print logos with solid backgrounds and it is more difficult to size them to fit.
- Have vector versions of your logo available. A vector image can scale because the file stores the geometric information about the logo instead of information about each individual pixel. A raster logo 500 pixels wide (which are used in PNG, GIF and JPEG files) is guaranteed to look fuzzy on a 10 foot banner, but a vector file can scale infinitely. Vector files should arrive in .eps format, which can be opened in almost every design program on the market. For especially complex logos with complex gradients a Photoshop file may be useful, but make sure the logo's shape is a "vector" layer and not a raster one.
Have a recommendation for handling logos and other image files? Share in the comments!
Nick Catalano is New Media Manager at NOI