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.

Now there’s something I haven’t seen in years!

I was in a neighborhood grocery store today. It’s one of those old grocery stores that used to be considered a “supermarket” back when it was built, probably in the late ’60s, but now seems quaint and almost tiny. It’s been remodeled, probably many times, but in general its decor looks modern but the layout of the store hasn’t changed a bit. Walking into the store is like walking into my childhood.

That fact really hit home today when I noticed, near the checkout, a very old, very faded illuminated sign/clock reading “Thank you for shopping with us.” But the thing that really caught my eye was barely visible — a long forgotten logo decal on the clock face. But even though I could scarcely see it at all, I immediately recognized it as something that has been burned into my mental image bank even though I haven’t seen it in years (if not decades):

Red Owl Logo

That freakin’ owl used to give me nightmares when I was 3!

Recognize it? Don’t recognize it? Here’s more…