Why You Shouldn't Create Logos in Photoshop

 

Did the title of this blog post scare you a bit? If so, you need to be reading this article.

Time and time again I have seen DIY designers, or even professional designers, designing logos in Photoshop, and it’s just gotta stop.

I’m all for DIY design, giving it a go and not having a design degree to your name or any sort of education. But, there has to be some education involved.

Design is actually more than just creating pretty graphics, and if you understand some of these design “science” basics, you’ll be much better equipped for the professional design world.

Today I’m going to explain why you shouldn’t be creating logos in Photoshop, why it’s important to create them in a vector based program (like Illustrator) and what that even means.

 
 

 

I’ll try to keep it simple and as least-boring as possible.

Photoshop is a Raster based program. Illustrator is a Vector based program.

Raster graphics are made from pixels, you know, those tiny little dots you see in photographs when you zoom really far in. Also, you'll see them if you have a low quality image, or you scale an image up too large, it can look “pixelated”.

Common raster file types include JPG and PNG.

Vector, on the other hand, is made out of shapes and lines that can be scaled infinitely. A simple example of a vector graphic would be using a font in a program like Word or Illustrator. If you increase the font size to 1000, you’ll see that it has become larger but not lost any quality.

Common vector file types include EPS and PDF.

Check out this diagram below of a raster and vector logo scaled up by 10x and see the difference in quality.

 
 

 

Vectors can be turned into Rasters. For example, if I had a vector graphic in Illustrator and I pasted it into a Photoshop document, it would automatically become a Raster, pixel based, graphic. Or, if I exported my Illustrator file as a JPG or PNG, it would be come a raster.

Rasters can’t easily be turned into Vectors, and if it’s something like a photograph, it’s impossible to turn it into a vector.

So, why does it matter?
It comes down to 3 things.
 

1 | Scalability

Like I said before, vectors can be scaled infinitely. INFINITELY! This means at any possible size, it will be clean and crisp with no pixelation, fuzziness or low quality. Because people will use their logo in so many different types of media, it’s important to be able to scale it to any size possible. Using your logos For example, printers prefer vector file types because they’re always high res, and signage companies will only except vector files if they’re creating custom signage for you.
 

2 | Versatility

Because you can easily save vector files as JPGs, PNGs or other raster file types, you can see that the vector logo is more versatile. You can create all types of logo files from the vector file, but you can’t do it the other way around and get all of the file types you need from a raster (Photoshop) logo.
 

3 | Professionalism

If you are just creating the logo for yourself, this doesn’t really matter. Though your logo will LOOK more professional if you create it in Illustrator, I’m more concerned with paying clients.

If you’re creating logos for someone else, and especially if they’re paying you for them, creating logos in Photoshop shouldn’t be acceptable.

It’s bad practice to supply a client with a logo designed in Photoshop, and no vector versions of it.

It’s comparable to someone selling you a faulty product, it sometimes works and it sometimes doesn’t. You’ll probably have to pay for repairs in the future because it doesn’t work for what you need it for.

The problem here is that the client usually won’t know better, so you can usually get away with it. It’s not their job to know better, and that’s why they’re hiring you, the expert.

As a professional making money selling logos, it is your responsibility to provide your clients with a best practice, high quality and complete product.

And now that you’re educated in vector based logos, I’m sure you won’t do it again! 😉

 
 

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