When providing logos and images for print projects, there are a few things to keep in mind. Not all logos are created equally. We are looking for Vector files or HIGH-RES images only. Here’s a brief rundown so we can efficiently move forward with design for you, and meet your deadline.
Logos and Images for Print Projects That Will Definitely Work (aka the Ideal):
Vector files, which can be scaled. These are created with mathematical formulas vs. raster files, which have a fixed number of pixels on a grid. Vector files will have clean lines, even when blown up, and will not lose their image quality.
Look for the following file types that signal a vector file:
*Not all logos derived from PDF files are ideal; for example, PDF logos created from JPGs or GIFs – low resolution images inside PDFs are simply using the file as a “container document” which does not change their image quality.
Other ways to tell if you might have a vector file:
- You can’t open it.
- Zooming in very high (>500%) on the PDF file does not seem to change the logo image quality (logo does not look blurry or pixelate)
Note: It is best to screen for what will definitely work vs. try to assess what might work based on the criteria below. When in doubt, request an .ai or .eps file from the designer who created the image or the company’s marketing department and/or download from your partner portal or branding site. We are happy to obtain logos that are readily available on the web for you; many of the logos that indicate a status and are granted to certain channel partners only must be provided.
Logos and Images for Print Projects That Might Work:
Raster images that are at least 300 dpi. This is especially important for printing, as 300 dpi is ideal for most printers. Lower DPIs will result in lower quality prints, and sometimes, unintentional shrinking.
To be a possible candidate for print, look for your image/logo to meet the following criteria:
- Has a .psd file extension OR
- Has a .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, or .tiff file extension WITH a file size greater than 1MB and a large image size on your screen when opened
- Has width and/or height of 500 pixels or more
To check criteria on a PC, right click the image and select one of the following:
- Open With>Photos: Select the 3 dots at top right and go to File Info. Note the Size and Dimensions. The dimensions should be at least 500×500.
- Open With>Paint: Go to File>Properties and note the Size and Dimensions.
- Properties : Go to the Details tab to see the Width and Height in pixels.
To check criteria on Mac OSX:
- In Finder, right click File > Get Info: Note in the dialog box under “More info” the size of the image.
- Open with>Preview: Select “Tools>Show Inspector” and note in the dialog box the image size and DPI.
Note: PSD & PNG files are ideal as they often come with transparent backgrounds, and can be used on a variety of colored backgrounds. JPEG files do not offer transparency, and will not work well on different colored backgrounds. For example: a JPEG image on a white background will show as a logo in a white box when used on top of a darker image.
Logos and Images for Print Projects That Will Not Work:
Images or logos saved from websites or screenshots, or PDFs generated from a GIF or JPEG (these will generally be lower quality).
Please don’t provide the following file types:
- All .GIF files
- .BMP or. JPG files of small image size or DPI smaller than 300
Quick test: With the image open, zoom in to over 300% original size; if the logo starts to looks blurry or pixellated as you zoom, then it is most likely not suitable for use in print projects.
About This Post and Other Resources
Special thanks to Sam Wang for contributing to the details of this post. Many other resources from designers exist which are more educational about the finer points of design. TDZ Creative Partners’ intention was to provide an easy-to-use reference for non-designers with an emphasis on practical application. For more detailed explanations and education, visit:
Canva Design School: Print vs. Web
What Is a High Resolution Logo?
Searching Google for High-Res Corporate Logos
Which File Type Is Best for Your Graphics
Image Resolution and DPI Explained
Resolution and Dimensions Explained for the Non-designer