Blog - MS Word: what to do when your logo is not properly displayed?

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, meaning it is clear, in the correct colour and without blemishes. Many organisations use their logo in Word templates in Microsoft Office. These templates ensure that all users can easily create letters, memos, reports and other types of documents with the appropriate corporate identity, either to print or digitally save as pdf file.

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 show you 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.
Vergelijking eps, jpg, png-01
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 accurately displaying the logo. When you take a closer look at the enlargement, which shows us how the logo will be displayed when the document is saved as a pdf file, the .eps still does not appear to be the correct file in this case. 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 not sharp. Since none of the standard files gives us the desired outcome, we have to continue our search for the best result and take a look at non-standard files.

Step 2: use Microsofts .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, 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 moreover 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
For any existing organisation, it is unacceptable that its logo is not properly displayed. Therefore there is only one remaining option: to replicate the logo in Word! In order to ensure that the export to .emf proceeds well, the logo has to be stripped 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 the logo has been recreated as accurately as possible, it is displayed with the proper colours and it stays sharp regardless of whether the file will be printed or saved as a pdf.
Replicate in word-01
In this specific case, 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. Issues such as complexity, use of colour, the structure of the logo, the expected output and the capabilities of the file format are of importance.

When the organisation ensures that Word templates with the correct logo are available everyone, it will prevent employees from making their own variations of branded documents.

This blog has been written by Thijs Ballast, IT specialist at RGN brand identity services. Want to know more about templates in Word? Feel free to contact Thijs via