Why You Shouldn’t Use Photoshop to Make a Logo

Why You Shouldn’t Use Photoshop to Make a Logo

So, way back in college on an April 1st afternoon, I walk back from class to my dorm building and see a huge, huge poster hanging from a window outside in the front of the building. I walk a little closer, take a quick look at what it was, then do a double take. Immediately, I freak out a little inside then quickly scurry into the building with my head down low. My friends were pretty creative when it came to April fools. One time, some of them sealed our door shut with saran wrap. Another time, some of them taped someone’s blankets and stuffed animals to the ceiling.

But this year, I came back from class to see a huge picture of my face with whipped creamed smeared all over my hair and face (an old picture from when they whipped creamed my whole body for my birthday) hanging on the front of our dorm building for everyone to see. The whip cream disguised my face pretty well, so strangers passing by would probably not recognize me in human form anyway. I’d have to say that they did pretty well (Good job, guys). And thank goodness it was a raster image (printed from rasterbator.net).

So “What’s raster?”, you say?
And why shouldn’t I use Photoshop to make a logo?

First, let me introduce to you: Raster and Vector images.

RASTER images (aka bitmap images)

Raster images are made up of thousands of pixels. Depending on the dimensions of the file as well as the resolution, the larger the dimensions/resolution, the more pixels. This is also one reason that raster image file sizes are much larger than vector images. This can result in taking up more room on your computer and taking more time to load and save. Photos are raster images made up of thousands of pixels of different colors. The most common program to use to edit raster images is Photoshop. If you’re using Paint, that’s a raster editing program as well. If you want to print a raster image, make sure to set it at 300 DPI (dots per inch). You need to begin with a high resolution if you want your image to print in crisp quality. If you already start with an image of a lower resolution, you can’t make these images larger without sacrificing quality. If you try to increase the size, you’ll get a blurry/fuzzy/pixelated image. This is why you never use Photoshop to make a logo. If you want to be able to put your logo on a billboard or even a large poster eventually, use Illustrator (see below)*.

Use for:
– photos, photo editing, designing textures, web design

Don’t use for:
– logos, posters, anything you want to blow up in size later

Common raster file types: jpg, gif, png, tiff, psd


VECTOR images

Vector images are made up of points and lines that form shapes. They can be sized up to any size without the loss of quality. The files end up being a lot smaller than raster image files because it uses mathematical descriptions for the points and it doesn’t use individual pixels. This means that it’ll take up less space on your computer and the it shouldn’t take as long as Photoshop to save and process when you’re working on a large file. The most common program to use to edit vector images is Illustrator.* Most designers use this program, and in my opinion, this is the best way to go. If you’re not a designer and don’t have these programs, I recommend you go find one (a designer) and have them design your logo the right way. Don’t skimp and use Photoshop because that’s the only program you have. It may cause you to run into more issues later.

Use for:
– Clean shapes, lines, clean drawings, identity print work (logos, posters, business cards, etc)

Don’t use for:
– Photos, some illustrations (the ones that don’t have clean lines)

Common vector file types: .ai, .eps, .cdr, .dxf, .svf

So there you have it, raster vs. vector. I’m glad that the poster hanging from my dorm building was a raster image since it became a bit pixelated and blurry at that huge size. I guess that’s maybe the only time that I’ll be glad a huge poster was blurry. Pretty interesting program though, if you want to print a huge poster with just your regular 8.5 x 11 computer paper. Check it out! (rasterbator.net). Otherwise, thanks for reading. And remember, never use Photoshop to design your logos!