Why a gif is not a logo (and why your designer hates it when you think it is)

Why a gif is not a logo

You must be familiar with the scenario – your designer has requested your logo and you’ve sent through the jpeg you use on all your powerpoint presentations, word documents, email signatures and that social club invitation.

The next thing you hear is your designer sighing in your ear, saying that’s not a high resolution vector file (or some other file format you’ve never heard of) and they can’t use it.

 

So what is it that they’re looking for?

If you recall any physics lessons in your past, you might recall something about vectors. If your logo is a vector, it means you can print your logo as big or small as you like, it will always have sharp edges (even if it is printed on a six-storey building).

A vector file is usually called an EPS (encapsulated postscript, if you must know) or Adobe Illustrator file. Other good things included in this format are accurate information about your company’s logo colours.

 

What if you only have a jpeg, png or gif?

If you have to use one of these, at least make sure it’s over 500kb (kilobytes).

Example: The below logo is 100kb and measures 250pixels wide x 100pixels high (8.5cm x 3.5cm high) at 300 DPI (dots per inch). As a general rule, divide the number of pixels by three to get the millimetre equivalent.

Dot Com Words logo

If you print this logo on a large banner, a foyer sign or even an A4 proposal, it’s going to be too small. And contrary to popular belief, photoshop can’t fix this. Your logo will simply look fuzzy or pixelated and unprofessional.

 

Can I have my file converted to vector?

Yes, you can…but there’s a catch. A designer can take your jpeg, png or gif and try to re-create it. How accurate the re-drawn logo is will vary greatly, depending on a variety of factors, such as the complexity of the original logo. It definitely won’t be exactly the same.

Imagine if you had to re-draw these logos?

Unilever

Jims mowing logo

ford logo

 

The best advice we can give you?

Last but not least, when you are given your brand new logo files, file them somewhere safe. Back them up. Ensure your designer provides your files in a suitable vector format. Every time you do, a graphic designer fairy claps their hands…or maybe they clap and the fairy lives…something like that.

For more information, we recommend buying Tess McCabe’s excellent resource on Graphic Design Speak.

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