Working with logo formats
The difference between vector and pixel formats
Most people will be familiar with pixel-based formats for photography such as JPEG or TIFF. We know that more pixels equals a better quality image, so it’s tempting, when asked to supply a logo, to think the same way and assume that a JPEG is the best way to go.
In some cases, mainly for online use, that’s true, but most logos are drawn in a vector format, so supplying a pixel based logo will miss out on all the benefits that vectors have to offer.
When to use pixels
If you’re asked to supply your logo for use on a website, then by all means supply a JPEG, TIFF or PNG version. All you need to do is make sure the resolution is 72ppi (pixels per inch – sometimes also referred to as dpi) at the size you want it to appear.
When to use vector format
If your logo has been drawn using Adobe Illustrator (and, if it’s been done by a professional designer, it most likely will have been) the resulting EPS file will be in vector format, and should be used in all printed applications.
What’s the difference between vectors and pixels?
A pixel-based image always has a fixed size for a given resolution – 72dpi for web and 300dpi for print. So, if you have a 300dpi image that’s 10cm wide and you want to enlarge it to be twice the size, it will still have the same number of pixels, just twice as big. You’ll see that if we enlarge a pixel-based logo beyond it’s ideal size; eventually we’ll start to see the individual pixels that make up the image.
A logo drawn in vector format contains no pixels of its own, instead it contains a series of instructions that allow the final output device (usually the printer or plate making device) to construct the logo at it’s maximum resolution no matter what size it is.
For example, if you were having your logo printed on an exhibition panel, and the output resolution of the printer was 1200dpi, your logo would be printed at 1200dpi whether it was 1cm or 1000cm across.
You can see from the above example that for all printed applications, supplying a vector format EPS file will give the best results.
Hopefully you’ll now be confident of always supplying the right format for the job. Please feel free to give us a call on 0845 468 0982 if you need any help or advice on different logo formats.