You should be able to print your logo design at any size without image degradation.
Be it postage-stamp sized or big enough to put on the side of a building.
No worries at all when it comes to DPI and printing out your designs.
Alternatively, when it comes to online usage, your website let's say, things are a little different.
Electronic screens can have their limitations when it comes to image resolution because of the use of raster or pixel-based images.
What works on paper does not necessarily work online, and this can mean your process and application of using images may need to change for your online usage.
Your logo design needs to reflect this, but first, you need to understand resolution – how to do it and why.
What is Resolution?
Resolution on computers and electronic devices is the number of pixels contained on display.
This is given as the number of pixels on the horizontal axis by the number on the vertical axis.
Resulting in the calculation of pixels per inch.
How sharp the image appears on the screen depends on the size of the screen as well as the number of pixels.
The same pixel resolution will be sharper on a smaller screen and become less sharp the bigger the screen becomes.
This makes sense because in essence the same number of pixels are spread out over a larger area.
The output, of course, will depend on the actual device and the display.
So your image may appear differently on devices and screens depending on the product.
Resolution is often advertised when an electronic device is being considered for purchase.
Pixels and DPI
Bitmap formats will be what your logo is saved as and these formats are finite and include JPEG, PNG, GIF and PSD.
Pixels are individual squares that make up an image when stacked on top of each other in rows.
That is why when you zoom in, you only see blurred squares.
DPI stands for dots per inch.
The higher the DPI, the more information there is within an image which means you can see more detail and the picture looks crisper.
Although dots per inch is usually used when discussing printed output, and pixels per inch is used for displays and digital images.
Both can be interchangeable.
They are often mixed up when discussing the resolution and you can understand why as they are so similar.
However, what you would be led to believe is the higher the DPI or Pixels per Inch, the higher quality the image will be and would not be a problem.
How big are the pixels?
The size of the pixels and the physical size of an image once it is printed plus the number of pixels there are in the picture are all factors to consider when it comes to image quality.
So, the size of the pixels in the image you want to use online make a difference to how your logo will appear.
To understand you need to know many dots per inch, and how big the image is, in the end, are entirely dependent on each other.
For example, a low DPI and lower pixel dimensions will cause a blurry image when the size is increased.
Similarly, higher pixel dimensions and higher DPI can also cause a picture to become blurred when resized.
The detail in the image is the key to how the final image will be seen in any given space.
What size logo do you need?
You can calculate the size of the space for your logo using a square feet in circle calculator or similar.
This will help you understand what size and resolution image you need for the space your logo will be taking up.
This can be different for social media icons, website headers and other icons.
You may need multiple sizes for different platforms or be able to resize easily.
Here are some example logo sizes:
There are so many different sizes that are required out there on many different pages.
Here are some examples of logo sizes that work best on different websites and social media pages.
Social media logos
- Facebook profile logo: 200 pixels x 200 pixels
- Google+ profile logo: 250 pixels x 250 pixels
- Twitter avatar: 400 pixels x 400 pixels
- YouTube Channel icon: 98 pixels x 98 pixel
- Instagram avatar: 110 pixels x 110 pixels
- Favicons for URL header and favourites icons: between 16 pixels x 16 pixels and 48 pixels x 48 pixels
- Website Horizontal icon: 250 pixels x 150 pixels or 350 pixels x 75 pixels or 400 pixels x 100 pixels
- Website Square or Vertical icon: 160 pixels x 160 pixels
What DPI should your logo be?
This is not always necessary when using an image online, but most will tell you that 72 DPI is the best.
However, that does not always make a difference when looking at images on a screen.
The resolution of the actual screen may make the image appear differently.
This can be the same for colours and focus too.
What if it is more or less?
Well, it will not make too much of a difference on your current website, but you might find problems when you want to print or change the format of your site.
What format should your logo be in?
As described above, most logo formats will be raster files, and if you do not have the professional software, then this is perfectly fine.
However limited amendments and size changes can be made with these files and resizing may result in image distortion.
If you want to make extensive changes in size, then vector images are the best.
Professional logo designers will offer you a vector image format as well as the more familiar bitmap files.
If you have the software then always try to keep your original logo as a vector image, then you can resize without the worry of distortion or blur as vectors are resolution independent.
What to look for in a logo design?
Ideally, your perfect logo will enable customers to identify your brand immediately, make it stand out and achieve plenty of customer interest.
You should go for a simple logo design which makes it easy to recognise and is memorable.
Think about logos you know well and what makes them stick in your memory.
These are the kinds of things you want for your logo, something that will stay with your customers for the duration and grow your business.
What logo design mistakes to avoid?
There may be problems when it comes to the resolution and quality of online logos but what mistakes can you avoid?
First of all, you do not want to scrimp on whom you employ, if you are hiring someone to create your logo.
Offers may seem great, but the quality and reality of results you receive won't compare to more established professional designers.
Avoid the use of generic artwork.
You want your logo to stand out and be unique, so you do not want an image which is the same as many other logos out there.
You want individual, unique designs that suit your business and looks professional.
Don't follow changeable trends.
You want a logo design that will be timeless and not something that will date very quickly.
As your business grows and expands, your logo should continue to be the forefront, professionally showing what you are about.
Avoid a design that is too complex.
There can be too much going on in a logo which draws away attention or convolutes the message you want to send.
Make your design simple but effective for the best results.
How do you do get it right?
Using scaling software in photoshop and illustrator will enable you to create your logo and save it as different sizes depending on your needs.
By taking into account the above answers and understanding the different terms you can be sure to create the right resolution logo for your website.
Think about the end size of the image, the total DPI or PPI of the image and the dimensions required for the location your image will be placed.
Also saving your main image as a vector if you have the software, will mean you can create different sized logos without the worry of distortion.
Also, think about the format you are saving your logo as and how you will be able to use it in the different ways you wish to.
There's a lot more to think about than might have initially met the eye.
Especially if you are planning to use the same logo in a growing business. Its worth the effort if you have the skills, time, patience and software to hand.
However, if you are still having problems you can always leave it to the professionals and get a quote from a top Creative Branding Agency for your logo design.
Professional design services will give you the options to choose between different designs that are close to your businesses style and brand.
Inkbot Design is a Creative Branding Agency that is passionate about effective Graphic Design, Brand Identity, Logos and Web Design.