Why we only accept vector files, not JPEG or PNG

Gilli Sigurdsson 07 Aug 2022

We get asked all the time if we will be allowing people to use JPEG and PNGs for logos in Baseline. Our answer is always no, and that's because we care about our customers and want them to look their best. That means we will make hard choices that will pay off for them in the long run.

We want to do everything we can to make sure our customers brands look as good as possible, especially since we plan on adding print features. Currently, our competitors do not care at all if your design will look good when printed out. I've seen a lot of examples where the logo looks horrible because it was simply way too low resolution for them to print it out.

Vectors allow us to be sure that this won't happen to our customers. It does create some bottlenecks when setting up the brand but in the long run, the effort will pay off.

Vectors are the best format for logos #

Vector files, such as SVG, are simply the best format for your logo because they offer infinite scalability, which means you can use them for a small logo in a website footer, or on a design that will go on the side of a skyscraper, it won't matter because it can scale infinitely. You also don't have to worry about things like DPI, when printing.

And on top of all that, their file size is usually a lot smaller than their raster alternatives, which means better for websites as well.

Raster images, like JPEG and PNG, have strict limits #

Both JPEG and PNG have strong limitations when it comes to using them as a source for a logo. They don't scale and their file sizes tend to be a lot bigger than vectors.

JPEG is the worst #

JPEG is a terrible format to use as a source for a brand logo. The only reasonable use-case for them is in very specific cases, where it's used on a background with the same color that is used in the logo image, in a scenario where you don't have an option for an SVG, and you need the file size to be small. That's it. Otherwise, you constantly have to update it to fit the background it will be on and resize it for each medium.

On top of that, every time you edit it, the quality will drop because every time you save it, it will optimize it. This is the reason some of those memes you see around the internet look quite terrible after people copied them, edited them, and then posted them again. Every time that's done the quality drops. JPEG is simply a big no-no for brand logos.

PNG is better but not good enough #

PNG is a better format than JPEG if the logo is on a transparent background, but to use it as a source for something like Baseline where you might design a huge banner in the future, it would have to be extremely high-resolution to be flexible enough. I rarely see logos, exported in PNG, larger than 1000x1000px. That means the largest it could ever be printed in good quality is 3.33 inches or 8.5cm. That rules out a billboard or even just a large concert poster.

But it's so easy to extract it from the website and use that. #

Logos downloaded from the header of websites are usually the worst sources to use for designs unless they are SVG. They are exported to fit the header perfectly and optimized for that size. So they tend to be something like 100 x 40px, which means if you need it even a tiny bit bigger than that, it will be pixelated and blurry.

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