This unfortunately is something we see nearly on a daily basis where we are given logos but they aren't vector based and in the world outside of digital this can cause all sorts of problems.
In this post I am going to explain why it's so important you try and get an original vector logo from the start with your designer which will hopefully save you £££'s.
To explain, let me take you briefly through the history of logos and vectors.
Before the digital world, when a company was formed they had to seek out a designer to either create a new concept for a logo or mock up a customers drawing, most likely from a piece of paper. The reason why was because there were very few software packages where you could actually design a logo in and they weren't by any means cheap.
The only way before digital you could market your company really was through print so a vector logo was paramount.
Then came the internet. And with the internet came services and online bits of software that allowed people to sell logo designs that were made from online tools. Many are free or priced very competitively which by the customer was seen as amazing. They started to ask why am I paying a designer so much money when I can get it online for only a few quid?
As a result, we have seen these online tools soar in popularity. However, the only problem with nearly all of these tools is they don't give you a vector based logo at the end. You either get a png or a jpg version which is not vector based.
So I hear you say, "Well that isn't a problem because I only need a quick logo and will only be using it for my socials and my website". Well if that is going to be your only source of advertising and logo usage then a non vector based logo may be right for you. However, what about when:
You want to have your logo printed on some business cards,
Or you want some printed leaflets and posters for an event.
Speaking of an event, I am going to need some banners,
Oh and I'd like my vehicle to have graphics on it as it's great advertising.
Actually, I would like to change my leaflet, my text on my logo is black but the background of my newly designed leaflet is black?
I am so excited to take a new property and I need some signage,
And I want to get some branded workwear.
So on and so on.
Well for all of the above, you're going to need a vector based logo for optimum results.
So, the next time you're either sold a logo by someone only charging a few quid, or you're thinking about using an online tool, make sure you check that you will get an original vector based file to use for all of the above applications.
How do I know if my logo is a vector?
When we were asking customers for a vector logo, we used to ask them for a .ai, .eps or a.pdf of their logo. They would go back to their designer and then send these file formats.
However, we quickly learnt we were asking for the wrong thing. You see what some designers were, and are doing, is taking your jpg or png logo, then adding it to a new file and saving this as .ai, .eps or .pdf file format. But this doesn't as if by magic turn your logo into a vector logo. It has to be designed in that way from the start.
So the simplest way to check is to continue to zoom into your logo. As you get further into it, it should stay looking the same. If it starts to look bitmapped or the lines start to change to blocks then this isn't a vector logo. Remember to check the entire logo as we have also seen designers use photos in a logo which are not vector based.
This hasn't been a problem for me before when having stuff printed.
It may very well not have been a problem as of yet. You may be one of the lucky few where the jpg or png you have got is a large size so the designer or printer can mostly likely do something with it to make it at least acceptable in print. But have you ever been presented with a printed logo that looks all bitmapped and blurry? I am sure we can all agree that doesn't look professional and I am sure we wouldn't want to send our business cards or leaflets with that sort of imagery on it, I certainly wouldn't.
Printers or designers that are given these logos will do one of two things. They will either just print what you have given them and this for me is similar to russian roulette. It's a 50/50 chance of what you're going to get and could be quite costly if it needs to be re-printed. Or, they are going to re-draw the logo as a vector to be used for that job.
Great I hear you say, I will just ask them to turn it into a vector before it's printed.
Well firstly, depending on the complexity of the logo this could take some time and a lot of printers and designers will need to charge you for this time.
Secondly, each time you change the designer, printer or company you're using for that method of advertising, you run a great risk of inconsistent branding. Maybe they used a different font, or different colours. Maybe they had to simplify a section to work on that advertising medium. Each and every time, your logo is changing and you have instantly started to dilute your brand identity. And in such a crowded market, brand identity is so so important. I mean how many times do you see Apple or Coca Cola changing there logos for different adverting methods? You don't, and there are many good reasons for this. But this is for another post I feel.
So what do I need to do now?
Well if you're looking for your first logo or for a re-brand, then just make sure that whatever route you choose to take, either online tools or employ a designer, make sure you get an original vector logo and check it by zooming in.
If you already have a jpg or png and want to keep it but need it changing to a vector then seek out a designer to get this converting to a vector graphic that you keep. That way, when you're asked for a vector next time you have the original to send.
Plug alert: If you have a logo that needs re-drawing, you can speak with the team at Thread A Pixel. We have a team of experienced designers with a combined 50 years experience.
So there you have it, a vector based logo is important for any business and ideally you should try and start with a vector based logo. There is a reason why getting a professional logo from a professional designer costs more than an online tool for for tenner.
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