You’ve got a little schmutz on your logo

I was just creating an account on Sprouter today and started poking around a bit. It’s a nice site, in the vein of Quora or OnStartups Answers. But something about it seemed just a tad… off.  Amateurish.  And then I realized what it was.

Honey, you've got a little schmutz on your punim

These are the fateful words my mother would utter right before licking a napkin and going in for the cleanup.  A kid’s adorable with raspberry juice on his face, but your business should put its best foot forward.  JPEG artefacts are not adorable, and while most visitors won’t notice them consciously, it just mucks up your image.  (Update: commenter grishick points out that Sprouter has polished up their logo right nice.)

Allow me to demonstrate.

Schmutzy JPEG:



Let me get that off your face:



Not a dramatic difference, to be sure.  And I made it a bit more egregious by cranking up the JPEG compression on the first version, although I’ve seen worse.

But it’s funny the subtle cues that signal “Real, grown up company” versus “Raspberry-stained toddler company”.  This one’s cheap and easy to fix.  Use your logo as a PNG, which offers lossless compression, and not a JPEG (or, heaven forfend, a GIF).  Go check right now.  Check the properties of the header on your home page.  PNG images across the board?  Good to go.  JPEGs?  Have a little chat with your designer and get the PNG versions.

One minor point: JPEGs offer better compression in some circumstances than PNGs, so keep an eye on your page load times.  But most logos compress well as PNGs, often better than as JPEGs – this may wind up as a win too.

So wipe the schmutz off your logo.  Your bubbe will be so pleased.

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