Logo Design Process: Design Resolution and Print Media

By Narin Thakore
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In continuation of our series of Logo Design Articles and with reference to the previous article on the current subject, the designer need to exercise his/her imagination and skills while dealing with the first four logo design guidelines:

  1. Be Original
  2. Be Creative
  3. Stick to the Theme
  4. Keep Things Neat & Tidy
  5. Balancing the Elements

At this stage of logo design, deciding on the design resolution is of utmost importance, as doing so at a later stage of the design will be very difficult and time consuming.

This job is primarily done by keeping in mind the intended print media, its scope and limitations.

There are two ways to tackle the problem; either go for a high resolution design from the very beginning and apply resolution changes as per requirement or have 3 resolution levels.

1. Low Resolution-150 pixels
Low Resolution is useful when the logo design is to be used on correspondence stationery (letter head and envelopes), labels, stickers, tags, small size merchandize, gifts, icons, etc. The designer may also choose to go for a 3 to 4 color scheme or even dual tone. Special effects can also be discarded. Low resolution designs may also be more text oriented. As you can see in this example, when a low resolution image is enlarged, it becomes pixelated and fuzzy, but if it were smaller, your eyes wouldn't notice the difference.


 

2. Medium Resolution-300 pixels
Medium Resolution is most suitable with logo design which is to be used on larger print media like small posters, large stickers, medium and large packages, small and medium banners, racing cars, websites, TV commercials, etc. The design may have 6 or more colours depending upon the print media. Medium Resolution designs are rich in Graphics.

Special effects are a important element of the design here and could be slightly enhanced for added appeal. As seen in the example below, this resolution shows plenty of detail for medium sized images.    

3. High Resolution-600 or more pixels
High Resolution designs are used on large print media like billboards, banners, and even buildings, ships, aircrafts, etc. Colour schemes range from dual tone to multi color as the resolution allows for much richer color gradations. Special effects may be enhanced or suppressed again depending upon the media and its scope and limitation. As the example below shows, high resolution images provide remarkable clarity and are best suited for large print media. The file sizes may get larger, but the end result is worth it. 


(Ultra High Resolution Image 6250 Pixels)

Back-lit Flex hoardings for instance, need to be multi color and work well with enhanced special effects. However logos on aircrafts may use fewer colors with fewer special effects. Logo designs on playfields where the print media is usually turf or grass requires special attention as finer design elements may not show up in the logo.

Aside from the print media, design resolution also depends on other factors like advertising concept, business model, target consumers, products and services, etc.
For example, often the more upscale, luxurious and expensive a product or service is, the larger the advertisement campaign will be. Expect bigger billboards/hoardings that will require higher design resolution.

A little knowledge of the contemporary print technologies would be quite helpful. This may help in making a better judgment in regard to design resolution and color scheme.

To create your own high resolution logos, check out the best logo design software.

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