Sorry to yell. Please fix your frickin’ logo?
I love good logos. Growing up in the marketing world, it’s part of everything we do. A crummy logo will destroy or hamper everything you hope to stand for or ever were. A great logo will make you and your brand flourish. At its core, a logo should embody a company’s mission and culture in a way that makes you stand out and be noticed.
As a marketer, there is very little more frustrating when starting a project than dealing with a company who has no control over their logo. I don’t mean someone else owns it, though occasionally that happens too. No, what I mean here is how many companies have no essentially any grasp how graphics files work or how the quality of those graphics files affect everything they do with marketing.
The purpose of this article is not to critique anyone’s logo for artistic merits, workability for marketing items large and small, or whether the logo enhances or takes away from your brand. While each of those criteria is essential to how your logo and brand is perceived, we are not going to discuss them here today. We can certainly discuss any of those points in subsequent marketing articles. What I want to impress on every business owner or manager who reads this, is the importance of having your logo available in the correct format. The right format for the right use.
I have worked with ECP’s from coast to coast…and even across international borders. I’ve also worked with some pretty sizable manufacturers. One of the first things I ask for when doing any marketing is an EPS or vector version of the logo. What I usually get instead is a bitmap or raster version of the logo. Yes, I am speaking designer. Just like you say presbyopia instead of farsighted or myopic instead of nearsighted, marketers too have their technical terms. I shall, of course, explain the differences and why you want to have your logo available in a variety of formats, especially a vector version.
A bitmap is a photo file. It is comprised of dots. You will often hear things from your advertising person about how many DPI (dots per inch) an image is. Draw a picture on an uninflated balloon. No matter how beautiful your drawing, as you fill the balloon with air, the ink spreads leaving gaps and it no longer looks nice. The same thing happens with a logo that is in JPG (or GIF, PNG, TIFF, etc…) You can pretty much downsize a Bitmap file to a fraction of its original size, but you can never really enlarge it, certainly without loss of crispness in resolution. That is why you want to ask for the biggest images you can from your suppliers. An image that is 3000 pixels across can almost always be resized down to 500 pixels, but try and do that in reverse and there isn’t a person on the planet who will think the resulting image is worth saving, let alone use for marketing.
A Vector file, however, is a drawing, not a photo. It is, in fact, mathematical code. You can take a vector file and double the size with no loss of resolution. You can quintuple the size. You can take a true vector file and use it to cover Madison Square Garden or the south rim of the Grand Canyon with no loss in resolution. This is how your logo should be constructed and saved.
Here is a logo for my fictitious optical business, Eye Luv Ewe.
The logo is simple and easy to read. Let’s zoom in on both a Raster and a Vector version of the same logo. You can see the pixelation and discoloration in the Bitmap/Raster version as compared to the EPS/Vector.
Whether I want to make a sign for the side of my building, a billboard ad to promote my Grand Opening, a television ad, a magazine ad, or put it on my website, a vector file can be resized accordingly to fit. It can almost always be recolored as well. As you saw above, my logo was red and black. If I wanted to overlay it on a darker image, it would be difficult to see. An EPS or vector image allows me to recolor it easily to show up vividly in any condition as demonstrated with the following image.
Every time you need your logo, whether for an advertisement, your letterhead, your website, your store signs or for an acknowledgment from a charity you have donated to, you should be able to share your logo in a Vector format.
You should be asking for Vector logos from your vendors too. When you advertise that you carry XYZ famous brand name, their logo should be as perfect as yours, shouldn’t it? Don’t feel alone. A lot of vendors have trouble coming with vector versions of their logos too. In some instances, it is like pulling teeth to get one from them. Every time I build an ad, a poster, a billboard, even a website, it seems getting a vector version of a company’s logo takes an act of Congress, and we all know how easy it is to get anything useful from Congress. However, the more every account asks for the best logo possible, the sooner every vendor will make them easily available.
If your logo was designed before the days of PC’s, there are plenty of digital artists who can exactly reproduce your logo in a vector or EPS format for you, often for less than a couple of hundred dollars. Your logo is the symbol of who you are and what you stand for. It symbolizes the dreams and the promises of your business. The least you should do is make it as beautiful as your store or practice and as easy to see.