As we’re trying to be perfectionists when it comes to the high quality use of your new logo, any BW usage of your logo should also be viewed as extremely important. Having access to a vector based version of your logo is critical when it comes to creating high-quality black & white grayscale (halftone) and linear images. Conversely, if we only have access to pixel based versions of your logo, our choices are limited.
This is the typical black and white version of most logos that originally started in color. Vector based halftone images use a series of black dots to make up the grays and tones that have replaced the original color information. If we have a vector based version of your logo, we have no issues. If we only have access to a pixel based bitmap image, our choices are a little more restricted. Firstly, the image will have a background (a bounding box made up from the logo footprint) which will make placing the image on backgrounds difficult (one method is the creation of a ‘clipping path’ in Adobe Photoshop). We can’t enlarge the image as it will ‘pixelate’ (above right). Printing a black and white image from a pixel based halftone can certainly be accomplished, as illustrated above, but it will not have the sharpness of a vector version.
The same principles apply to linear versions of our logo (a continuous tone version of your logo in which all tones and screens have been removed). As the pixel based linear bitmap version of our logo requires what is known as ‘aliasing’ (in order to make up curves, the image requires pixels of various gray tones to give the appearance of smooth edges), a bitmap version of your logo will still require a full tonal range to reproduce. Not a terribly big deal, but it will create the fuzzy edges that are shown here (above right). For more information, visit the design help center for a quick reference guide for all logo formats.
Logo design formats explained. Video graphically illustrates the advantages of vector-based artwork over its pixel-based (raster) based counterpart and illustrates why you should (almost) never design a logo in Photoshop.