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I have to print some banners that will be 2'x3'. They will have different company logos on them sized as large as I can to fit on the banner, with 3 lines of text below.

The problem is many of my sponsors do not have high resolution logos, they are asking me to use web images or scan in a business card or letterhead.

How can I resize a jpg larger without losing quality?

I need them to be at least 150dpi, but then be able to size them large enough for the banners.

I have Fireworks, and all the programs in Adobe Design Suite C5 - there has got to be a way :(

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    There is no way, no. Doubling the DPI and maintaining the print size means doubling the amount of information present in the picture, which is only possible on CSI. If you’re scanning business cards and letterheads yourself, you can make sure to scan them at a higher resolution—preferably 300 or 600 DPI if you can, just in case—but for existing pictures, there’s no way around artefacting and pixelation. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 8 '15 at 23:08
  • The way is to re draw them. Ask for an aditional fee to do that or they will have to deal with the low resolution. Good quality costs. – Rafael Dec 9 '15 at 14:34
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How can I resize a jpg larger without losing quality

For the most part, you simply can't. There are some tools that supposedly can make an upscaled image look better than if you were just using the defaults in Photoshop by using fractal scaling and the like, but there just isn't a magic trick for this.

If the logos are big enough and not overly complex, you might get away with auto-tracing them in a vector illustration tool. That might give you a be of leeway in upscaling (since vectors can be scaled without a loss in detail). The catch is that there just may not be enough detail to begin with.

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There's no way to truly increase the resolution of a picture/logo if it's not originally there. If you do, all the software will be doing is actually "invent" new pixels and ultimately, you'll end up with a blurry image anyway.

In most case, you can increase the resolution about 20% more on the original file before you start seeing some visible degradation on your image.

That might not help you much since you're working on a very big size layout.


Since you have a specific need and already mentioned how you plan to use these logos, there's some ways to go around that low quality logo issue:

  • Sometimes, simply showing a sample/proof of the logo at the real banner size can be convincing enough to make the sponsors work a bit harder to provide you better logo than web logos. That's usually the first step you should try. Lot of time, clients have bigger logos, they just don't know that web logos are simply not suitable for printed projects. They're usually horrified to see their blurry pixel-like logo and paid a good amount of money for sponsoring... they'll help you get a better quality logo quickly after seeing the low quality logo in context!
  • If you can't reach them, there's some tricks you can use to transform quickly a logo. For example, with logos that are "real logos" and don't have a lot of special effects such as gradients and drop shadows, you can always try to trace that logo in Illustrator at 72ppi and recolor it (the bigger the image is, the more details you'll get). You'll end up with a vector that isn't perfect but still better than a web jpg at low resolution.
  • For the logos you can scan, you can't get miracles from very small scans but scanning at very high resolution and "cleaning up" the logo can help a bit. Sometimes, all you need to do is re-trace it in Photoshop to sharpen the edges and re-do stuff like shadows or gradients. It's not a bad idea in some case to scan in "lineart" (true black and white) and manually add back the colors in the logo using Photoshop. Or you can always trace that lineart in Illustrator (as mentioned above) and colorize the logo there. It's even better and probably easier too.
  • If that client has an online presence, you can also try to find PDF online and extract these logos from it. It's worth searching for this. Sometimes you can be lucky and the logo will be in vector in that PDF! If you find a PDF with one of the logo, you can try opening it in Illustrator to get a vector file or you can extract the logo directly from software such as Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  • If you can, you can also try to ask for an invoice in a Word file format or that kind of thing. Sometimes these files can be exported as PDF and you can get a better quality output than using a logo from the web. And sometimes they have a high resolution logo in these files too.
  • If you're lucky, the sponsor may have a "media" section on their website and you can get better logos there. It's also worth looking for press releases, annual reports and such; You could find a file that has a vector or high resolution logo in it. Look on the small footer links of their websites, most of the time these sections are not in the main navigation menu.
  • If you are close to a local printer, you can always ask them for logos. They often have a bank of logos of pretty much all the local businesses dealing with them and do a lot of sponsor projects themselves. If you print that banner locally, you can ask that printer if he has better logo files.
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    Excellent summary of workarounds. I'll often hunt around for PDFs online to extract a logo. My tip is to search for reports or white papers from an organisation; more often than not they are PDFs. – Dre Dec 9 '15 at 11:44
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    @Dre Thanks! And yes, looking for online PDF is often a life saver. Sometimes they even have online brochures or white papers as you suggested. It can be faster to just look for them than explain what's a high resolution or a vector! Very hard to deal with sponsor projects for this reason. The low quality of the logos is often the biggest problem. – go-junta Dec 9 '15 at 11:54
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    I used to work at a printers, so over the years I've had to re-create hundreds of low quality logos before they could be printed. The worst I ever received was a 600x400px cellphone photo of the logo printed on the inside of a shoe. I wish I was kidding. – Dre Dec 10 '15 at 12:49

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