It seems like not a day goes by that I don’t see some raggedy, blurred, or skewed nonprofit logo on TV or in print that looks like it has been sent through a fax machine three times. Don’t lift your logo off your website or from a word processing document and expect it to look good elsewhere.  Instead, create several different files of your logo so you have the right files for the right uses. For example, you should have a color version and a black-and-white version. You should have web versions and print versions.

Go find your original artwork files. They are most likely Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop files. Once you find those, label them “original” in the filename so you know not to change them.  Then make copies and start saving them in different formats and resolutions appropriate to various uses, putting “web” and “print” in the filenames to help you keep them straight.

For online use, the resolution should be 72 ppi (pixels per inch). So if you want your logo to appear as 1.5 inches square on your website, the dimensions would be 108 pixels by 108 pixels (that’s 72 x 1.5). Save web resolution files as jpgs, gifs, or pngs. Use these on websites, blogs, and in email.

For print use, the resolution should be at least 300 ppi. So your same 1.5 square-inch logo on a piece of paper would now be 450 x 450 pixels (300 x 1.5). Save these as eps or tiff files. You can also use jpg, but just make sure that the resolution and size are set high enough.

For TV, I recommend sending the highest quality logo you have and letting the company you are working with adjust the size and resolution to match their needs.

If you can’t find your original artwork files, get them redrawn. Either ask your graphic designer to do it or find a volunteer or college student who knows Adobe Illustrator. You’ll need to know which fonts you used or be willing to have the designer take a guess. Unless your logo is extremely complicated, it will probably take a designer about an hour to redraw an old logo. The $100-$200 you spend on this will pay for itself by making your organization look much more professional.