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What filetypes do I need for my logo?

Updated on January 17, 2018

Familiarity breeds contempt

What image file type are you most comfortable with? You may always opt for .jpg [jay-peg] or .bmp [bitmap] files. That’s most likely because your pictures are (usually) saved as .jpg stright from your camera, or because you use Microsoft Paint which automatically saves as .bmp.

The trouble is, these file types are almost always the wrong types to use.

RASTER and VECTOR

There are two image types - RASTER and VECTOR. For more info please see my company blog post on this subject:

.pngs and .pdfs – Why those two file types are all you need.

These two filetypes form everything you need. Using the wrong filetypes often causes these common problems:

Why does my logo look grainy?

Your image may have been saved as a 'lossy' BITMAP file such as JPEG or GIF. When images are saved the computer does some clever things to make the file less big, whilst keeping the image almost the same. The trouble is when the image is re-saved over and over (and sometimes resized) this almost is not good enough.

Why does my logo not show on my webpage?

Its probably a VECTOR file - these types of files are exactly what you need for printing physical objects, but you need BITMAP files for web use. It could also be a BMP file - these are windows files and will often not show on non-windows devices.

Why is my logo surrounded by a white square?

It needs to be saved as a PNG to support transparency and show properly on all browsers. PNG files have transparency that also can keep shadow effects too. A jpg file has no see-through parts so anything 'behind' the logo in the image file will show as white.

Raster Graphics

‘Pixels’ make up RASTER Graphics
‘Pixels’ make up RASTER Graphics

Vector graphics

Vector files are made up of shapes.
Vector files are made up of shapes.

Your Company Needs

Your company will need a VECTOR filetype to cover physical printing needs - i.e. banners, vehicle coverings, letterheads; and a BITMAP filetype to cover computer needs - websites, social media, email graphics.

I thoroughly recommend PDF for your VECTOR filetype and PNG for your BITMAP filetype.

PDFs are importable into almost all vector graphic software (so your printer can work with them easily).

PNGs are perfect for web use as this filetype doesn't go grainy and it supports graded transparency - you shouldn't get a white rectangle around your logo when it is placed on a textured background.

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