Design Guidelines for Logos and Event Graphics
If there's one thing that can give your event that ultimate level of personalization and character, it's your selection of graphics. From your event's logo, down to your speaker headshots, images and graphics can make all the difference. The tricky part with graphics, though, is that not every event planner is also a graphic artist. We've found many events struggle with the basic concepts of what a good image is and what isn't, and that's totally fine. We'll share a few tips with you about how to best select, edit, and style your graphics to maximize the impact your brand has.
Some Quick Definitions
People tend to mention terms like resolution, pixels, aspect ratio, and more without always knowing what they precisely mean. So let's define some terms.
Pixels - If you can imagine an image as a series of many individual colorful dots assembled together, like the building blocks of an image, each individual block or dot is a pixel. That's it. The important thing to note is that a fixed number of pixels for an image, at least for a platform like PheedLoop, doesn't always make the most sense. The reason is, PheedLoop is a web-based platform that is designed to run on multiple devices. With thousands of devices out there, there are just as many screens with different dimensions of pixels (i.e. resolutions).
Resolution - Simply put, the number of pixels on any given screen. An image which is defined by a number of pixels and rendered only in terms of absolute pixels may look huge on a mobile screen, but tiny on a desktop screen. This is why PheedLoop never renders images in absolute pixels. PheedLoop's system scale images so that they look good on all screens. This makes the exact number of pixels an image spans a little less relevant, compared to the ratio of pixels between an image's height and width (i.e. aspect ratio).
Aspect Ratio - The most important metric for the purposes of PheedLoop, and pretty much any web-based software designed for the masses. Aspect ratios measure the ratio between the width and height of an image. So, a 1:1 aspect ratio would be a precise square whether it's a 10-pixel X 10-pixel or 1,000-pixel X 1,000-pixel image. Maintaining the right aspect ratio is crucial. Beyond that, you also want to ensure that the image's resolution is high enough so that when the image is rendered on a large screen at the same aspect ratio, it does not look blurry.
Sizes of Images to Upload to PheedLoop
PheedLoop offers a vast number of image upload fields, so there isn't one single list that will specify all the images in the PheedLoop system. Also, there are many custom rich-text fields where you can upload entirely custom images inline with text and other information, where there are no restrictions or guidelines at all (e.g. event description, . Most fields in PheedLoop's dashboard which support direct image uploads offer helpful information about our suggested image resolution (select the question bubble).
More important than the precise resolution is the aspect ratio, so pay close attention that. To make life easier, for certain fields we've added a built-in image cropping tool that allows you to modify images on the fly to meet our guidelines. Images, especially ones that are strict about aspect ratios (e.g. square headshots, thumbnails) will not allow you to change the aspect ratio of the cropping area and lock it. Other images that are more flexible in their aspect ratios will allow you to crop while adjusting the aspect ratio of the cropping area as well.
Image Fields Which Don't Suggest or Enforce Sizes
Most images in PheedLoop are accompanied by size suggestions - again, those are suggestions only. The reason they are suggestions is that PheedLoop is a flexible system and will adapt in most cases to the images you upload. If you upload a banner image for the virtual event lobby, as an entirely arbitrary example, that is suggested to be 1,000 X 200 but you upload something that is 1,000 x 300, that is absolutely fine. The image will not be stretched or skewed, PheedLoop will adapt.
There are many images in PheedLoop's system which don't even suggest sizes, let alone enforce them. Albeit rare, you'll mainly find this to be the case with logos. Logos for your event, sponsors, exhibitors, etc. The reason is that every logo has its own aspect ratio. We do not force, or even suggest a specific aspect ratio as a result. This does not mean you should not optimize the image you upload (we'll describe some tips to optimize images below).
Optimizing Image Uploads
There are several ways you can ensure your images look good in PheedLoop. If you feel an image you uploaded looks strangely small in PheedLoop, doesn't match the background, looks blurry, or anything else, try implementing some of these tips.
Eliminate Blank Space
A perennial mistake that users can't seem to avoid is uploading images with a lot of blank space included. To be clear, blank space doesn't have to be white, necessarily. Just extraneous space which doesn't contribute to the graphic itself in any real way. This is wasteful, as the blank space takes up valuable real estate on your image and skews the aspect ratio away from the true aspect ratio of the actual image itself. PheedLoop's built-in image cropping tools can greatly help you eliminate blank space without using any third-party tools or software, but it's still important to be aware of this very common problem. The image below illustrates examples of what blank space looks like (gray background just for contrast).
Efficiently Using Image Area
In addition to eliminating blank space in your image, you want to ensure that your image's proportions make sense as well. A mistake we see every now and then is that a logo, for example, is an emblem/image of some kind, paired with some text. The emblem/image is much larger than the text itself, so the relative scaling forces the whole image to look unexpectedly small or disproportionate. Our advice is to try and use up all the area of your image to create the most impactful designs and graphics.
Simply put, do your best to always upload PNG files with a transparent background. It will ensure your images show up nicely on all interfaces and do not unnecessarily contrast and look unprofessional if placed in an interface with a colored background.
If an image field in PheedLoop provides some specifications for image resolution, do your best to follow them. Otherwise, ensuring your image fits in approximately a 1,000 x 1,000-pixel bounding box is a good rule of thumb to ensure when your image scales it is not pixelated, and the image is not so large that it is slow to load.