Why Is My Logo Pixelated?

When it comes to logos, there are 2 major file types your logo can be: Bitmap or Vector.

Bitmap images (Which are also called raster images) are the most common of these two file types. Bitmap images are created on a pixel grid. Pixels are tiny dots that make up the image. Because bitmap images are made up of a set number of pixels that contain a set amount of information, when you enlarge the image, it doesn’t increase the number of pixels and looks stretched out and strange the larger it gets. This is the reason that when you try to enlarge a bitmap image, they become blurry. The benefit to Bitmap images, is that they are able to be opened by almost any program and can be saved in a variety of file types for a number of different purposes. Photography files are almost always bitmap images.

Bitmap image file types include:

  •  BMP
  •  GIF
  •  JPEG, JPG
  •  PNG
  •  PCX
  •  TIFF
  •  PSD (Adobe Photoshop)

Vector images are not as common and require specific programs to open, but they have some incredibly valuable properties. Vectors are comprised of shapes that are formed by mathematical equations rather than pixels. This means that vector graphics will always display at the highest possible quality. Vector images will automatically adjust as you make the image bigger or smaller, so they can be enlarged or printed without the image distorting and becoming pixelated.

This scalability of vectors makes them great for logos and typography. The ability to shrink a logo down to icon size and blow it up to billboard size is crucial to representing a brand consistently and with quality. Once vectors are sized correctly, they are able to be saved in any of the common bitmap file types depending on the usage.

Vector file types include:

  •  AI (Adobe Illustrator)
  •  EPS
  •  SVG

So if your logo is looking a bit blurry, check your file types, and make sure you are using a vector based logo.