Does it seem hypocritical that we pontificate about the importance of distinguishing your business from the competition and then riff off the fun format of our friends at theSkimm? Kinda, yes. But we love it and are going to vindicate ourselves with the ol’ “sincerest form of flattery equals imitation” line of defense.
So today, a la theSkimm, we’re debunking and demystifying a couple design terms. We never want anyone to feel at a disadvantage when attempting to articulate how they envision their logo, or any design component for that matter. When you speak the language you’re halfway there. Well, not really. You need years and years of design experience, fancy ass software – this is not a job for Microsoft Publisher – and oh yeah, talent.
What to say to your graphic designer when your logo looks fuzzy and super crappy compared to those of the other companies on that important promotional flyer
Oh. Is that what you meant by a high resolution image? Is that was 300 DPI means? We know we do this for a living, but seriously, if you are told you need a high resolution (if you’re super cool, “high res”) image for your hard copy collateral – then you do! We have had scads of people tell us they “cut their logo out from the website” and added it to the brochure. Well, that ain’t never gonna fly. As the phrase Dots per inch (DPI) implies, it is the measurement of how many tiny pieces comprise an image in a finite space. Think about the difference between standard definition TV and high definition. High definition channels broadcast with more horizontal lines so the picture is way clearer – for images, the currency is dots, not lines. If you’re told the resolution of an image needs to be 300 DPI; believe it! A decent resolution for the image in your email marketing is 72 DPI, for print-quality you need 300 DPI. Slap a low res image on a postcard? Yikes! Talk about distorting your message!
REPEAT AFTER ME
What we say about the $5 logo
Do you think buying a logo online is a good idea? A phone charger, sure. The essence of your company’s identity? Nah. First we’ll tell you, you get what you pay for, but the fascination with super cheap online designs must end! If you want to skimp on your website by “building it yourself tonight with Go Daddy” you may as swing by Home Depot for supplies and construct your own house while you’re at it. But the foundation of your branding is your logo – everything rests upon it. Resist the urge to be stingy here. And I’ll tell you why. For $5 you’ll get the swirly font and the colors you selected contained in a happy circle. Great. But you won’t get all the multi-circumstance, associated files you are going to need. One example is the vector file. Blasphemy aside, it is your Holy Grail. Comprised of a super-ton of elements that actually make up your logo, its size can be adjusted without its quality being degraded. You need your logo on a billboard? Boom! You got it! You need to brand a thumb drive for a client gift? Boom! There it is again, in all its shiny splendor. All deference to those kids out there who are vying for your business and trying to build their portfolios, but if your logo is for human consumption, you need every native design file so it can grow with you. We good?
This is first in a series: Next week we’ll get super fly and throw some CMYK and PMS (no, not pre-Monster-al syndrome) for your designing pleasure. In the meantime, stick to shaking what yo’ momma gave you, and leave the logo designs to the pros.
Gloria F. says
New terms for me: riff off and vector file. Great article!
Emily Montes de Oca says
Thanks Gloria. Stay tuned for part 2 of this series next week!