Where, Oh Where, Is A High Res Logo?

Here’s a frustrating situation that designers, printers, and yes, even bloggers, face from time to time.

You’re looking for a company’s logo. I’m not talking about using a logo for the wrong reasons … I’m talking about when a company has asked you to create a web page or an ad for them . . . or they’re working with a partner and need to feature the partner’s logo . . .  Sure, you can find something on the Web, but it’s a .GIF, a .JPG, or even a .png format, and it’s the wrong size for your needs. Or it doesn’t have a transparent background. You end up doing tons of production work using Photoshop to make it look right. And it still doesn’t work because of pixels (which my son calls “pickles,” but that’s another story . . . no, this is not a soccer mom blog. At least mostly not).

Fortunately, through a combination of Google, a bunch of friendly “logo” websites, and Acrobat Reader, you can solve about 90% of these problems. (Disclaimer: I am making up the 90% figure).

Here are four helpful tips:

  1. Do a Google Search on “[company name] logo vector” — if the company you are looking for is at all in the public eye, chances are you will pull up one of a number of “free vector logo” websites that offer this material free of charge.
  2. If you don’t find something on Google, go to the company’s website and look for a PDF of the company’s annual report or even press releases. You can often open a PDF in Acrobat and copy-paste individual images into Illustrator. Failing that, you can open individual pages of a PDF in Photoshop and get images at much higher resolution than you’ll find them on the Internet.
  3. If all that fails, do a Google search for “company name” and “pdf” or “psd” or “.png”
  4. Or even “company name” and “.ppt”. It’s amazing how many PowerPoint presentations are floating around in directories not indexed in companies’ main websites, but find-able through Google.

If you would like to save your designer this trouble, please make sure that a vector version of your company’s logo is stored where everyone in your company can find it. Where I work, we have a company Wiki that contains everything from employee expense reimbursement forms to links to our logo in various formats. Whenever I get an email from someone looking for our logo, I point them to the right page on the Wiki.

After all, pickles are great on your cheeseburger, but pushing them around one at a time to try to make a yucky JPEG look better is no one’s idea of a fun time.


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