PowerPoint Tip: Finding high-resolution logos and research graphics for your presentation

If you have ever had to put a logo on a slide, you know some of the challenges that exist.  If it is your own logo, you probably have a high-res image easily available from your marketing department.  But if it is a client or supplier logo, now you’ve got problems.

You can go to their web site and grab the logo from their home page, but it is usually small and low resolution.  When you try to resize it to be large enough for the slide, it looks chunky, and not a good representation of that organization.  You could search for the logo on Google Images, but you might end up with the old logo and be embarrassed during the presentation when they point that out.

How do you get a high-res logo from their web site?  You need to know where to look.  Some organizations actually have a logo download page, but most do not, and you need to be a little more crafty in your approach.  In this tip, I’ll outline a way to find the high-res logo you are looking for and use it on a slide.

The key is to find the logo on the company’s web site embedded in a PDF document.  PDF documents almost always have high-res graphics in them that look great in a presentation.  Finding an appropriate PDF document could take hours of searching, or you can use Goolge’s advanced search tool to find it quickly and easily.

In the Google search bar, use a search phrase like this:
“annual report” filetype:pdf site:www.abc.gov
I use “annual report” as the primary search phrase because most organizations usually post their latest annual financial or other type of report on their web site.  You could also try “press release” as another type of common document that gets posted.
The filetype:pdf narrows the search to only PDF documents so we aren’t using low-res web pages as a source for the logo.
The site:www.abc.gov narrows the search to only their web site (obviously you would replace www.abc.gov with their web site address).  This means we are only using documents that they have posted and will reflect the official logo.

From the results of this search, select a recent report and open it to see if it has their logo (it almost always will).  Zoom in to make sure the logo is clear and high-resolution.  Save the PDF file to your computer and exit your browser.

Open the saved PDF file using Acrobat (the free Reader is fine).  Zoom in on the logo so it fills the screen as much as possible.  In Acrobat, use the Snapshot tool to capture the logo: Click Tools – Select & Zoom – Snapshot Tool.  Use the crosshairs cursor to draw a rectangle around the logo.  As soon as you release the mouse button, the logo is captured to the Windows clipboard (you may see a message notifying you of this).

Now switch over to PowerPoint and paste the logo on to your slide.  You may want to crop it and you will want to size it to fit the usage on this slide.  If you want it to have a transparent background, try the Set Transparent color tool in PowerPoint, which usually works quite well with logos.

Now you have a high-res, good looking, current logo on your slide.  You can use this same technique to locate other graphics, such as diagrams or graphs from research firms who make them available in press releases.  The next time you need a logo in your presentation, use this technique to make it look good.