This month we endeavour to answer the age old question that pops up nearly every day in the office when talking to clients about their Logo usage. Yes, you guessed it… What format of our logo should we use?
Let me give you some background first. There are many types of graphic file formats on the market today and these can often be used for exactly the same thing. Many formats are interchangeable in their usage and application. In order for your logo to render properly across a wide variety of applications, the correct and compatible file format must be utilised. If after reading you are still confused? Not to worry, we are here to save you time and effort. Just ask!
Simply put, vector logos are incredibly small, scalable and editable images that are independent of file size limitations. A vector file is broken down into a series of geometric shapes, consisting of outlines that are curved and joined at X Y co-ordinates or points. These co-ordinates and shape outlines are stored as mathematical equations creating small and portable file sizes that are infinitely editable. Vector files usually feature the file extensions .eps, .ai and .pdf.
Vector logo design is key for printing. The use of a Vector logo gives your business the flexibility to set fixed colours (pantone matching) providing precise color printing and clear definition in all reproduction (never again see your logo reproduced pixelated!). You can then use your Vector logo for your stationery, brochures, cups, posters, vehicle livery, signage and even billboards… So just about everything!
Pixel based Logos, also know as raster based images or bit-mapped images (if anyone asks!) are comprised of pixels in a grid. They store image data as a map of individual pixels. The data has a fixed resolution and can not be enlarged without sacrificing image quality. Pixel files usually feature the file extensions .jpg (most common), .gif, .tiff and .psd.
Pixel files are less predictable. A high resolution file does not mean high quality reproduction in colour matching or definition. Pixel logo files are much trickier to work with than Vector because Pixel files do not scale or hold quality like Vector files do.
So why do we need a Pixel based logo at all? Well, many office software products utilise Pixel based images to import a logo (i.e.: your Website, PowerPoint, Word etc.) and cannot use a Vector based logo.
Vector vs. Pixel
Ding Ding …Round One. Well to start with, both are valuable and essential in the reproduction of the logo branding and development. The differences between them are vast in structure so usage and application must be correct each time!
Not much of a contest here so let’s get to the point. If you are using just a Pixel logo you are punching way above your weight. The most important point is that logos should always begin life as a Vector image. So the vector wins! Well, not really, both are just in different weight divisions and create that knock-out punch when used correctly.