Don’t use JPEG for logos, example #24,315

A client just sent me a logo to add to their website. I let out a little whimper when I looked at the file and noticed that, as is so often the case when someone sends me a logo, it’s a JPEG.

Don’t use JPEG for logos!

Without naming names (or, hopefully, showing enough of the logo to give away the identity), here’s a close-up detail of the actual JPEG I was sent, which does a really good job of illustrating the issues. I zoomed way in on the file in Affinity Photo (my preferred alternative to the 800-pound gorilla of design software), and captured a screenshot which I am sharing here as a PNG — the correct format for logos, because it doesn’t introduce these “compression artifacts“:

Just in case the problems are not readily apparent to your eye, here’s a version where I’ve cranked up the contrast to accentuate the inconsistency of the colors in the image:

And for comparison, here’s what the same level of detail would look like if the image were delivered in PNG format instead of JPEG:

Of course, these days we can do even better than PNG. If a logo is a vector-based design (which it really should be), we can use SVG to get a perfectly sharp rendering of the logo at any size. Here’s what that would look like, zoomed in the same amount:

To be clear: the logo is not for my client’s organization itself. If that were the case I would have pushed back. It’s the logo of a partner organization that was provided to my client to add to the site, so there’s probably little that could be done. (OK, that’s not true; I could — and did — do what I often do in this situation. I went out and found a PNG version of the logo myself.)

The fog of… blockchain?

You may not necessarily agree with his politics or his opinions (although, to be honest, I usually do), but Paul Krugman rarely gets the facts — or his interpretation of their implications — wrong. And this is a pretty good takedown of the entire principle of cryptocurrency and blockchain.

A lot of the more technical criticism of blockchain has been — justifiably — its environmental cost. But something that rarely gets mentioned does at least get that much from him here: “Why go to the trouble and expense of maintaining a ledger in many places, and basically carrying that ledger around every time a transaction takes place?”

Simply put, crypto doesn’t scale. That has been so blindingly obvious to me from the beginning that I couldn’t understand why the supposedly tech-genius “bros” championing this stuff didn’t see it. Another quote, from a very different context, seems fitting here: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

Actually, now that I think about it… I wonder if I’ve had Upton Sinclair wrong all these years. Maybe he wasn’t talking about labor when he wrote that, but management.