Back in college when I designed ads for the school newspaper, I would be asked to gather logos for placement. My account person would ask the company to send up their logo to put into their ad space.
When it showed up on my desk or in my email, most of the time it was very small in size and really blurry. I knew there was no way it was going to even be legible for printing at any size. We spent SO much time going back and forth with clients to get their logo ready for print. Very inefficient!
I’ve since learned that this is a very common issue that not everyone has learned in school or on the job. Today I'm going to clear everything up for you!
Raster files are made up of pixels (tiny squares assigned a color) that when combined, create a complete image on your screen or printed item. Everything you’re seeing on this screen right now is made up of pixels. A file is considered high resolution when there are more pixels that make up the image. Low resolution files are files with less pixels.
When you enlarge a logo that is raster file, it loses all the detailed pixels. This results in a very blurry image that doesn't look that nice to the eye.
For the internet, a raster is necessary. Rastering a logo ensures it gets sized in special way so that it isn't so big that it crashes your browser, yet still has a clean look to it. But you should never pull a logo off the internet and print it professionally. I promise you it will print fuzzy every single time.
Rastering is necessary for the web, but what’s the best solution for printing your logo?
Ta-da! Vector art!
Vector files include some magic math equations that result in smooth lines of color for your art. It can be scaled from a large size like a billboard to a small size like a pencil eraser. No pixels are visible.
They are high resolution no matter how big or how small they are sized.
They are also typically editable, so you can send them to your sign printer and they can change the color of something (example: from black to white) before hitting print.
This is the type of file I create for all of my clients using Adobe Illustrator from concept to completion for all logo design art.
A few important notes:
A vector can be made into a raster, but not the other way around.
Photographs are not vector graphics. Only illustrations that are made to look like photographs can be created in a vector work space.
For your reference, I've created a free download of these file extensions. Click the image below to get this FREE pdf:
So what do you get from me upon completion of your logo design art?
- Vector logo file types in color, black, and white (mostly for printing purposes)
File extensions: .eps, .pdf
- Raster logo file types in color, black, and white (for web use)
File extensions: .jpg, .png
I make sure my clients are completely covered with BOTH file types, so no matter where they’re sharing their logo, they’ll reap the full benefits!