I have complainedmany times (OK, only those two times here on the blog, but countless other times to anyone within earshot) about people using JPEG for logos. It is bad, bad, bad.
But it just keeps happening.
Finally, I have stopped caring. Yes, go ahead and use JPEG for your logo. Send me the gnarliest, artifactiest, lowest-quality JPEG of your logo that you can find. And make sure it’s tiny. Like, 200 pixels wide or less.
Because I bill by the hour. I’m happy to fix your logo for you, and I will do it, whether you ask me to or not, whether you notice the difference or not, if this is what you send me as part of your project. (I can neither confirm nor deny that I might also write a blog post ranting about JPEG logos while I’m on the clock.)
Egads, I’ve never looked at that emoji closely. Are those dollar sign eyes with raised eyebrows, or closed eyes with dollar sign nostrils??? (Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.)
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.)
Actually, the real bane of the web designer is that I can’t even post this directly on social media like Facebook or Twitter because they automatically convert images to JPEG and compress the hell out of them!