Category: Logo Design

Posts about logo design

What file format should your logo be?

Firle format

When working with a new client, one of the first things I ask for is a copy of their logo in a specific file format (usually a vector file). I’ll get one of the two following responses: “whats a vector?” or “will a JPG work?”. There are many different files types for graphics and they all work for different things.

If you’re a marketer and want to understand when to use which file format, then look no further. Even if you’re not a marketer this information can come in handy when working with a logo. 

Raster Graphics

The most common images that people are familiar with are raster images. GIF, PNG and JPEG (JPG) are the most popular. Raster Images are made up of small colored pixels on a grid that create an image. Since raster images are created with an exact amount of pixels, they become grainy and distorted when stretched or scaled to a larger size.

Rasterized image resized

JPEG

The JPEG (or JPG) file format is ideal for the use of photography and images that contain intricate colors. When compressed, JPEG files use an algorithm that creates a smaller file but loses quality at the same time. As the file is compressed the image loses information which can be referred to as “lossy compression”. JPEGs aren’t suitable for logos because they don’t support transparency and lose quality. You can pick out a misused JPEG when you see a logo with a white box behind it.

Jpeg file format

GIF

Pronunciation opinions aside (I pronounce it GIF, for the record), the GIF file format is best used with graphics that contain flat colors. GIFs use lossless compression that recreate the image using the original data. When a file is compressed to a GIF, the algorithm that’s used reduces the file to 256 colors. This method helps with decreasing the file’s size. If you are creating a flat animation to be used on the web, GIF is the best format to use. The GIF will compress to a small enough size without losing the quality. They also can be animated, so that’s pretty cool. 

Animated GIF file format

PNG

Similar to GIFs, PNGs are formatted using lossless compression. Ironically, the PNG format was created to replace the GIF file format. This happened because the GIF method for compression was patented. PNG files are better compressed than GIFs resulting in smaller sized files. PNG files also contain far more colors than GIFs which means they work well with complex graphics. PNGs have transparency options that are useful for web and print. Say goodbye to that annoying colored background that makes your logo look like cheap clip art.

Advantages of using PNG

Vector Graphics

Vectors are mathematical expressions created using points, curves, lines and shapes. Vectors are more flexible than raster images. Vectors can be edited and sized infinitely without losing quality. All logos and graphics should be created using vector software, and they should always be used in print if possible, especially large format print. The most common vector formats are AI and EPS. If a vector graphic is unavailable or you’re using a photo, you need to make sure every graphic is 300dpi when it’s being printed. Something that looks great on your screen could look horribly pixelated when it comes off the printer.

AI

An AI file is a vector file that was created using Adobe Illustrator. This file can only be opened and edited using Adobe Illustrator. Adobe Illustrator is the most popular software used to create logos and illustrations.

EPS

An EPS file is a universal file that can be used with vector software such as Adobe Illustrator, GIMP, Sketch, Affinity Designer etc.

When in doubt, talk to your production team before sending over files. And make sure you have your logo in every file version stored in a few different places. You should have, at the very least, the following file types of your logo:

 

For each version (CMYK, RGB & Black/White)

 

  • • EPS
  • • PNG
  • • JPEG
  • • GIF

 




25 Tactics Great Websites Use



A Logo is Art

A logo is art

This morning, Ryan Davey (our front end developer) and I were having a conversation which I think is always brought up when discussing logo design. We both agreed that we think a lot of people don’t understand or appreciate the true value of a quality logo. We also agreed that logos aren’t always perceived as art.

When a new logo for a company surfaces for the first time on the internet you usually read a familiar comment “ My (insert age) year old cousin could have made that for (insert low payment) in (insert short time frame) ”. Im not sure if thats a compliment to your little cousin or your disapproval for your little cousin’s artistic abilities but it never seems positive. These statements from viewers are common when it comes to art and here is why.
 
You can’t rush art
I think this is always forgotten by the observer. There’s a lot that goes into creating something that is aesthetically pleasing. A logo that you think took 5 minutes realistically could have taken an artist several days or weeks to design. There are various steps that are taken by a designer before finalizing a logo. Here is a quick list of steps that I take:
 
1. Identifying the brand
2. Research the industry and company’s competition
3. Conceptualize in black and white
4. Simplify concept
5. Create variations for different formats
6. Use color theory for symbolism
7. Make modifications after client feedback
 
Remember that this is just one logo that is created. In most cases there are multiple logos that will be designed and shown to the client.
 
Art is opinionated
Artists hear positive and negative remarks all the time because art is a communication of emotion. Art is supposed to make you feel emotion and this is why I think logos are always criticized heavily. The criticism is simply based off of either loving it, hating it or having mixed feelings about what you see.
 
It can take time to appreciate art
There are occasions when time will tell if your dislike will transform into love. I think a great example that I can give is the Nike swoosh. The Nike swoosh was created by Carolyn Davidson a graphic design student at Portland State University in 1971. The swoosh was chosen by Phil Knight who taught accounting at the university. Knight, who needed to meet production deadlines for Blue Ribbon Sports (now Nike) said, “I don’t love it, but it will grow on me.” His comment couldn’t be more true.
 
We are all individuals and we have our own opinions throughout our lives. Next time when critiquing a new logo, view it as a piece of art. You don’t have to love the logo but maybe with more insight you’ll appreciate it for what it is.



25 Tactics Great Websites Use



Custom Logo Design vs. Stock Logos

Stock Logo Design

Above you see a logo I created using a stock image that I found online. It took me about 5 minutes start to finish.
 

Many people may not know the difference between a custom logo design and a stock logo upon looking at it, but those differences are vast. The biggest one being that when you purchase a stock logo, you don’t truly own that logo. That same logo can be sold to hundreds or even thousands of other businesses. You have purchased a license to use that logo, and that comes with restrictions.

Stock logos are similar to stock photographs. Websites that sell photography and illustrations for a one-time payment are known as royalty free stock websites. When purchasing imagery from a website like Shutterstock all assets are under a royalty free copyright license. You are given the right to use the asset you purchased without having to pay fees for how many times you use the imagery. But it’s important to read the fine print. Stock logos or images often have restrictions based on how many people will potentially see it. If you purchase a stock logo, and it’s seen by millions of people, other people won’t want to purchase that same stock logo.
 
The biggest issue with stock logos and stock imagery is the licensing is usually non exclusive. You can purchase a logo just as you would a stock photo online but that same logo is representing another business with a different name. Many business owners fall into buying stock logos or stock imagery because they are a cheaper option instead of paying a professional for a custom logo design.
 
I personally would advise all business owners to avoid purchasing a stock logo or creating a logo that contains stock imagery. If image is important to you, spending the extra money on a custom logo design is well worth it. I would also do my research when purchasing a logo to make sure that you’re not purchasing a logo that already exists. One thing that you can do to see if your logo is a stock logo or contains a stock image is to use Google’s image search. Try it out and see what happens.
 
Looking for a custom logo design? Contact us!



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Choosing the Perfect Logotype

Typography_header

If you’re a designer you should know that most logos are composed of two main elements, the symbol or emblem and the logotype (a single piece of type). There are some logos that only consist of a font to visually represent a company. When crafting a logo most designers choose the logotype after creating the symbol. This is done because its easier to compliment the symbol after its constructed. But what about the logos that don’t have a symbol? Lots of big brands like Coca-Cola, IBM, and Google create their logos with just type. Logos like these make logo development seem easy to an outsider. But deciding which font a company should use is really difficult, especially in a digital world with an infinite amount of typefaces. Here is a simple guide to start with when you’re choosing the right typeface for your company’s logo.
Times new roman type

*Useful throughout everyone’s school career, preferably used at 12pt- Times New Roman

Serif– Serif fonts can be distinguished by the small lines at the end of a letters stroke. These lines can be found at the top of the letter as well as the bottom. A serif font has a formal feel which is why its described as traditional, classy, and professional. Businesses that use these fonts are usually banks, law firms etc.
Helvetica Font

*Superlative design award for “most reliable”- Helvetica

 

Sans Serif– It may be hard for some people to differentiate or remember the difference between Sans Serif and Serif fonts. Sans Serif fonts do not have small lines at the end of a letters stroke, hence the word “sans” which in french means “without”. A Sans Serif font is an informal font that is friendlier and more inviting than serif fonts. Sans serif fonts are modern and are used more often in the world of branding and logo design.

 

Bickham script MM font

*The essence of formal but fashionable- Bickham Script MM

 

Script– The word Script is defined as ” something written”. The characters in script fonts look handwritten instead of printed which makes this typeface easy to recognize. Most people classify script fonts as cursive writing because of the natural flowing strokes that join characters together. Script fonts are elegant fonts that correspond well with luxurious brands.

 

Acknowledging the characteristics of each typeface should shorten the process of searching for the proper font.

 

If you’re still not satisfied with a free or purchased font you can always create your own logotype or tweak an already made font to meet your needs. This can come in handy when your trying to create something that’s completely original.

 

There are hundreds of thousands of fonts to choose from. Being able to think about your business, and the message it wants to convey before diving into these fonts will help narrow down your choices. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the brands that you see, and think about how their logotypes make you feel. This will help you make those connections with the brand you are designing for.

 

Have a comment or a question about branding? Send us an email at [email protected]




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