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21 - 05 - 2019

Blog What to do if your logo is not properly displayed in MS Word?

Whenever a design agency delivers a new logo, it will usually hand over a few standardised file formats. Now it is up to you to determine which file format gives you the best result. But what do you do when the default files do not give you the desired outcome?

The best result

We refer to the best result when the logo is exactly displayed as intended by the designer. This means it is in the correct colour, without blemishes and not blurred. Many organisations use their logo in Word templates in Microsoft Office. With these, all users can easily create letters, memos, reports and other types of documents with the appropriate corporate identity, either to print or to save digitally as PDF.

Determine the right file format (step-by-step plan)

MS Word supports a wide range of image types, including the default file formats .jpg, .png, .eps and pdf. By showing you which strategy we used when making the templates for the OLVG hospital in Amsterdam, we will demonstrate how to determine which file format is best suitable for your logo.

Step 1: inspection of standard files

First, let us try if the default files give us a satisfactory result.

Obviously, the .eps file does not produce the desired outcome for this logo, since the colour blue is not correctly displayed. At first sight, the .jpg and .png files do seem to be accurate.

However, the enlargement shows us what happens to the logo when the document is saved as a pdf file. The .eps still does not appear to be the correct file. The .jpg does look better but suffers from green/blue spots in and around the logo, called compression artefacts. The .png file looks good in terms of colour but is blurred.

Since none of the standard files gives us the desired outcome, we have to continue our search for the best result and examine non-standard files.


Step 2: try Microsoft's file format .emf

In case the files you received by your designer are not an option, you can divert to the .emf format of Microsoft itself.

The enlargement shows us that the logo is clearly displayed in a pdf file and the colour seems to be correct as well. However, the underlying circle with the colour gradient is grainy. As is the cast shadow underneath the arrow, which also inherits a white border. We have to conclude that the .emf file type does not give us the best result either.


Step 3: reproduce the logo in Word

It is unacceptable for any organisation if its logo is not properly displayed. So there is only one option left; replicate the logo in Word!

In order to ensure that the export to .emf proceeds well, we strip the logo of all its gradients and (stroke) shadows in Adobe Illustrator. Subsequently, we import the .emf logo into Word and convert it into individual shapes. Then, similar to the original design, we apply the gradient to the circle and add a drop shadow to the left side of the cross. Now that the logo is recreated, it has the proper colours and stays sharp regardless of whether the file is printed or saved as a pdf.

Prevent brand blur

In case of the templates for OLVG, reproducing the logo in Word gives us the best possible result. This, however, will not be true for every logo. It is necessary to verify which file format is most appropriate for each design and every application. It is import to take the following factors into consideration:

  • complexity
  • use of colour
  • the structure of the logo
  • expected output
  • the capabilities of the file format

When you ensure that Word templates with the correct logo are available to everyone, it will prevent colleagues from making their own variations of branded documents. This is how you prevent brand blur and how your brand identity stays consistent on all your documents.

This is a blog from our IT-specialist Thijs Ballast. If you have any questions or remarks, please do not hesitate to contact him!


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