October 21, 2020

Your Logo is Your Friend, Start Treating it Like One.

Technical Misuse of Your Logo is Bad for Your Brand.

You’ve probably been told, often, that your logo is critical to the success of your marketing efforts. That seems to make sense since your logo is what your customers see. After all, your logo is a visual representation of your brand and its values. What could be more important?

Your logo is the least important most important thing.

True, a bad logo will hurt your marketing efforts, and a great logo will help. However, a logo is only as good as the brand, and is only as effective as the strategy and tactics for its use.

But I’m not here to argue the value of a thoughtfully crafted logo. I’m here to stress to you that your logo is important enough to your marketing efforts to be treated with the respect it deserves – especially technically.

If you thought this was going to be a philosophical essay, then my little trick worked. This is actually about technical stuff. My objective is to get you to do a few simple things to make sure your logo, whether fancy or plain, looks as good as it technically can.

Now stay calm. I promise it is not scary and I won’t delve too deeply, but you’ll have to trust me.

So what is technical misuse?

There are many, but I’ll stick to three common mistakes, which are, fortunately, easy to avoid.

The first common mistake is using a file without enough resolution.

File resolution can be a difficult concept, even for seasoned designers, so let’s not get into it. Just know that when you need to provide your logo it’s not safe to assume the image on your website or Facebook profile picture will work.

Instead, if you had your logo created by a pro, the designer likely provided a suite of files in various formats labelled for a variety of applications. If you are able to identify the appropriate file for the use from the label – send that. Not sure what to send – then provide access to the suite and let the vendor sort it out (The designer will thank you for it.) If you created the logo yourself you may need to go back to your original file.

The second common mistake is using a JPEG file.

JPEG is a good format for photographs, which is what it was conceived for back in the early 1990s. Since then its use has become ubiquitous for any sort of graphic, which is unfortunate because it truly sucks for logos and text. Won’t go into the reasons, but trust me, don’t send your logo as a JPEG. Or a GIF or a BMP. Or a PNG, TIF or any bitmap graphic useless specifically requested. Instead, send your logo as an AI or EPS file, which are vector formats intended for graphics and text.

The final common mistake is using your logo without a set of guidelines.

Wherever your logo goes, you will want its use to be consistent. If you never want your logo set in a particular color, or used below a certain size, or without a certain amount of padding, you’ll need to say so. Setting some simple guidelines will help insure your logo is used as you intended. If you had your logo professionally created you may have been provided with a usage guide.

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