Often times a client will come to us with an existing brand. They’re looking to punch up their graphics and marketing, while keeping their well established logo and identity. No problem! We’re happy to help, but first, let’s go over some graphics basics. So, what is the best file format for logos?
Ensuring your logo looks its best
Depending on your familiarity with graphic file formats, this may be all news to you or just a friendly mental refresh. To ensure we can work wonders with your logo, we’ll need it in the best file format you have it in– the highest resolution available. That would be a scalable vector format.
A logo in vector format can be scaled infinitely and never lose quality. Whether it is sized to fit a business card or scaled up to display beautifully on a billboard, it will always have the same crisp quality and appearance you originally fell in love with.
Why is that? Vector graphics are actually made up of mathematical equations that dictate the proportions of all the graphical elements. When printed, the proportions are always matched, regardless of size.
Assuming you worked with a design studio for your logo, they should have supplied you with a vector file format of your logo. This could be in any of the following file formats: .eps .pdf .svg .ai
But… I just have .jpg format
Vector file format is great for logos and a variety of graphical elements, but is not the only choice on the block. The alternative to vector format is a rasterized format. Raster graphics are images that have finalized, set dimensions. This is ideal for photographs.
Without getting too technical and geeky, computer graphics are all set up on a grid of tiny dots of colors called pixels. When printed, each pixel represents a tiny dot of ink that adds up to make the full image. A lower resolution image has a smaller grid of pixels. A higher resolution has a bigger grid, with many more pixels and is thus a larger image.
Resolution is often noted in “DPI”, or “dots per inch”. The more dots per inch, the better. For good print quality, 300DPI or more is recommended.
The popular .jpg format is an example of a rasterized image. Its dimensions are set to the size of that grid of pixels, and is therefore not scalable like a vector file format. The image can only be printed at the size provided (or smaller).
Vector scaled up will maintain quality and appearance
Raster scaled up will lose quality
Trying to scale up a raster image will result in a loss of quality. This is no good! The computer doesn’t have enough ‘visual information’ to create a larger version of the image with an accurate appearance. Therefore, it will look blurry and blocky. (Though note that making that image smaller is not a problem since the visual information is being condensed.)
Popular raster image formats include: .jpg .bmp .tiff .gif .png
So, if you’ve only got your logo in a rasterized format, track down the vector version! If none exists, then make sure your image has a very high resolution. A blurry logo should be the absolute least of your worries.