You are a pastor, small business owner, admin, regardless – you are not a graphic designer. You don’t like one, and you certainly don’t want to start now. But the guy designing your website piece, has asked you for your logo in order to start work on your project. Unfortunately, the first thing many clients tend to do in this case, is go to a web browser – pull up their web site – and right-click to save the logo. Let me get this out of the way – that this is probably the worst thing you can do. And what’s more, it will probably cost you more money in the project, than if you took a few moments to find the “right” one to provide, as the cost for fixing the “wrong” one will not be billed.
Lesson #1: Do NOT send a file named anything “.jpeg” (or .jpg)
Lesson #2: Read lesson #1
A “jpeg”, is a typical file format used for many photos and graphics online. It allows for proper saturation and color gradients to be used, without an large file size. It’s great for photos – terrible for logos. There are several important reasons for this, none of which should be discounted:
They are a “compressed” file format. This essentially means all the elements of the logo have been analyzed, then info about the logo is dumped, in order to fit it into a specific file size, or a quality percentage. In short, it is never the same as the original. Never.
On top of that, much like how a copy of a copy of a copy, tends to look less and less like the original, the result is exactly the same when someone pulls in a jpg file to Photoshop or Illustrator, then saves it out as a jpg.
The background is always there, as a jpg image doesn’t support transparency. What this means is the nice green back ground your logo sat on that looked so nice on your previous website…stays with it. If you right-click, and save it, the background is also saved. What this means, is the designer must now open the file in Photoshop (or whatever), and remove the background. This sometimes is done cleanly, quickly, and effectively (if there are no fades, complex curves, etc.) – but you’re still left with the compression. And if the jpg you gave him is on a “white” or “black” background, and might have been either saved multiple times, or compressed at a high-level – the whites will no longer look like a solid color, due to “artifacts” (odd swirls and patterns resulting from the compression).
Next time, I’ll cover the best formats and ways to prep your logo for web use.