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April 14, 2009 2:06 PM   Subscribe

What is the etiquette and current wisdom regarding the practice of attaching your company logo to your emails?

In correspondence with clients, associates, and vendors, I've noticed more people seem to be attaching their company's logo to their email signature, and I'm considering doing the same.

Is this standard practice, an annoying trend, or a frequently/easily-ignored option? Does it make you appear professional, inexperienced, or pretentious?

Is it an expected hallmark of a certain type of user e.g. graphic designers? What are the pros, cons, and no-no's of adding your logo to your email signature?
posted by mattdidthat to Computers & Internet (40 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Something annoying is that it only works on certain e-mail programs. I frequently receive e-mails with missing pictures or distorted format because of a logo gone awry. Having said that, I think it looks nice.

I work for a large financial company so we are obligated to have a 'disclaimer' under our signatures and I think many other firms have to do the same. Some companies have a 'confidentiality' thing they need to include and maybe a logo makes that look prettier.
posted by cranberrymonger at 2:09 PM on April 14, 2009


(Just to follow-up on my other post, a drawback to having ALL your contact information in your picture signature is that if it doesn't work, the other person doesn't have your phone number or fax or what have you. I suggest a comination of words and logo.)
posted by cranberrymonger at 2:10 PM on April 14, 2009


I frequently receive e-mails with missing pictures

You can always embed the image, rather than link to it! That way no missing logos!

Plus, if you work for an ISP that oversells bandwidth and you want to e-mail your customers, you can make the logo a 32 million colour 1200 dpi tiff :)
posted by devnull at 2:12 PM on April 14, 2009


You can always embed the image, rather than link to it

The lesson is: don't come to me about the technicalities :) But devnull's "embedding" suggestion is something you ought to keep in mind.
posted by cranberrymonger at 2:14 PM on April 14, 2009


Once upon a time there was an established bit of email netiquette, but those days are long gone.

I get emails with gigantic blorps of images and boilerplate legal text (which carries exactly zero legal standing) all the time. No one seems to care.

Here's what you should know: Not all email programs will display images/remote images in emails. You run the risk of having your email look like a hockey player who's missing teeth as somethings may be displayed and some not.

Just say 'No'. Include one or two lines of your contact information and your business name. Reduce the traffic on the internet. Avoid looking like a lawyer's finger puppet.
posted by unixrat at 2:14 PM on April 14, 2009


A logo looks nice, I think- but the half-page disclaimer/threat is a pain in the ass, if you can avoid having that I'd say bonus.

If you can calibrate your program to not add it to every single email in a thread- it should just be on the first email- that would be even better. Signatures sometimes make gmail conversations really annoying because they nullify the "show quited text" condensing feature. A signature makes gmail repeat an entire conversation in each email just to add the 3-line signature at the very bottom.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 2:15 PM on April 14, 2009


I vote annoying trend, especially since the logos often show up as attachments. When I'm searching for something in gmail, I'll use the has:attachment command to find that document that you sent me 6 months ago. If it pulls back every email you've ever sent me, its annoying. Plus, I'm not one to really get worked up about email aesthetics.
posted by craven_morhead at 2:15 PM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've mostly seen it on sales and marketing people's emails, employees whose communication is mostly external facing. It would be very annoying to have it on internal emails, especially in long conversations where it would take up a lot of space and everyone is from the same company.

The worst thing to do would be to attach the logo to every email, thus making a simple email into an unnecessarily large download. It's possible that most of the logos you see are hyperlinked, possibly even into a system where the viewing of the message is recorded somewhere. Or the images are heavily optimized for space.

I personally find it to be a waste of everyone's time; if I don't know the sender already, then I don't need to know the company or see its logo.
posted by meowzilla at 2:16 PM on April 14, 2009


I hate it when the logos show up as attachments, because I frequently attempt to sort by attachment and that throws it off by adding lots of non-related emails into my sort.

On preview, what craven said.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 2:17 PM on April 14, 2009


Is this standard practice, an annoying trend, or a frequently/easily-ignored option? Does it make you appear professional, inexperienced, or pretentious?

At my workplace, it's an assy marketing tool that employees are strongly encouraged to adopt. I refuse, because it A) looks like crap in our email program, and B) is pretentious and annoying. Of course, I'm also the type of employee who refuses to switch over to our new business card design, because they're a Special Snowflake Size and Shape that was chosen for being "memorable" and "cutting-edge," and also "impossible to fit into any standard wallet without being folded or mutilated." Screw that. I'm keeping my hopelessly unhip cards with our old logo and humdrum 20th-century sizing because they actually function as business cards and not as irritating party favors that no one knows what to do with.)
posted by scody at 2:22 PM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it is unprofessional. When I get one of these things it is usually from someone who is a little less versed in business etiquette. I don't see the logos but it can sometimes screw up their e-mail in other ways somehow.
posted by grouse at 2:26 PM on April 14, 2009


I vote annoying trend, especially since the logos often show up as attachments. When I'm searching for something in gmail, I'll use the has:attachment command to find that document that you sent me 6 months ago. If it pulls back every email you've ever sent me, its annoying.

Yes, this. I hate those stupid logo attachment things. I hate them, I hate them.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:28 PM on April 14, 2009


Annoying trend.

I've taught undergraduates how to write workplace emails, and several different textbooks I've used all say the same thing: plaintext email only, no fancy colors, fonts, or embedded images, with a professional signature (closing, name, contact information) and nothing else. What might work in your interoffice email very well might not with outside clients or contacts.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:28 PM on April 14, 2009


Also, if you want something a little classier for a signature line, you can use plain text to do it, e.g.

Craven Morhead
Juris Doctor Candidate
University of Smartypants Law School
cm@spu.edu || 574.555.12345
posted by craven_morhead at 2:34 PM on April 14, 2009


Is this standard practice, an annoying trend, or a frequently/easily-ignored option?

Annoying trend.

Does it make you appear professional, inexperienced, or pretentious?

I am a cranky old-school motherfucker when it comes to email, so I expect I'm at least one standard deviation off the mean. But:

Putting an image into your .sig makes you appear an annoying, clueless salesdroid who's about to put his arm over my virtual shoulder and call me "Buddy" or "Bro" or some other awful thing and who I want to crush, see driven before me, and maybe hear the lamentations of your women.

Just leave it text and prepend it with a "-- " line.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:35 PM on April 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yeah, given that they don't even show up half the time when sending from one Outlook to another, I don't even want to know what happens in other mail clients. Plug all the needed info into your .sig as text.
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:36 PM on April 14, 2009


very annoying to have it on internal emails, especially in long conversations where it would take up a lot of space and everyone is from the same company

Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes to this comment.
posted by cranberrymonger at 2:38 PM on April 14, 2009


The other thing that irritates me is when a logo ends up as an attachment and I waste time opening it, only to see... a logo!

So chiming in with the 'no way' vote.
posted by different at 3:12 PM on April 14, 2009


I'll add my vote for the annoying- especially when it shows up as an attachment- vote. I hate wasting time opening files to find out it was some stupid embedded logo/signature file.
posted by Eicats at 3:15 PM on April 14, 2009


Don't do it. And don't attach those stupid .VCF 'business cards' either - there's a couple of people at my work that attach it to every email they send, even if it's just an inhouse email to one coworker to day "sounds good, see you then" or some such. Hate it.
posted by echo target at 3:18 PM on April 14, 2009


I really hate it. I think it seems pushy and makes me think I'm valued more as a "contact" than a person.

A single line with your contact info and/or job title will allow people to copy/paste the information, if you must have it. I include something like this when I send business messages to clients that might be able to use the information. Otherwise, I leave it off.
posted by amtho at 3:34 PM on April 14, 2009


Attached Logo = sales droid = delete without reading
So in a strange way I do actually find them useful!
posted by Lanark at 3:40 PM on April 14, 2009


You can always embed the image, rather than link to it

That's not how email works. Your two options are to either attach the image to the email, in which case you link directly to the attachment, or you use a remote image. If you use a remote image, you'll have to pay for hosting and you'll force your users to sit and wait while their email program downloads the image from your server.

Both options are extremely annoying.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:55 PM on April 14, 2009


Does it make you appear professional, inexperienced, or pretentious?

If any of your correspondents are techies, expect to lose points with them if you include a graphical attachment. Also, attachments in general are verboten or discouraged on many mailing lists.
posted by metaquarry at 4:43 PM on April 14, 2009


Annoying. Takes up unnecessary space--especially in internal e-mails (yes, I know what company you work for), and at least with BlackBerries, it will show up as an attachment.

I also just thought of a likely scenario: you send an e-mail to someone with the image in your signature, and the recipient, after wasting their time waiting for the attachment to load (especially on crappy networks--I'm talking to you Sprint), decides to ignore future attachments that come from you, as they're most likely always going to just be the company logo.
posted by booticon at 4:47 PM on April 14, 2009


Dear e-mailers of the world:

I can't understand you when you wave your pictures at me. Use your words.

Love and kisses,
Your future overlords

P.S.: You can put your words right in the e-mail, without opening Word or attaching anything.
posted by eritain at 5:06 PM on April 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Ugh. This is horribly vexing, especially when they come through as attachments. If you make me open an attachment that turns out to be a jpeg of your goddamn text-based signature with some bloody pastede on logo, I will hunt you down like a mad dog in the street. Your fate will be similarly grim if you attach a vcard to every single bloody message.

It appears that I have a lot of rage issues related to email. Hm.
posted by elizardbits at 5:13 PM on April 14, 2009


I do it because I was told to, but I'd prefer not to. It increases the probability that your email ends up in someone else's spam filter, if nothing else.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:49 PM on April 14, 2009


Nthing annoying. It shows up as attachments frequently -- not good.

A simple three or four lines of text will do.
posted by midatlanticwanderer at 6:24 PM on April 14, 2009


i personally hate this shit. because if your receiver's work has an overbearing spam blocker, it blocks anything with an embedded image. or, it will deliver the message, but your user has to right click to view the image.

or, everything goes through fine to the inbox, but because of different email readers, your message is all cocked up and runs for 8 damn pages because your fucking "stationary" and "signature pic" runs at the top and the message is way at the bottom, requiring a shit ton of scrolling, and a waste of paper if the email is printed.

or, your stupid fucking logo shows up as an attachment. so then i think i got that document i needed from you and i go to open it and it's just your stupid fucking logo. or your goddamned .vcf. don't automatically attach that thing. i personally find it useful to import to outlook instead of having to manually type it all in, but i also don't like it when every goddamned email from you has it attached.

so, while i personally like html emails for some things, this is not one of them. i don't give a shit what your company's logo looks like, it's borking up some part of the email process, and it's taking up room on my server/harddrive.

just say no.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 6:37 PM on April 14, 2009


I think my organization has an overly-zealous guard dog and it spams out a lot of those emails with graphics attached.
posted by njbradburn at 6:39 PM on April 14, 2009


Annoying as hell.
posted by mazienh at 6:59 PM on April 14, 2009


Another vote for "annoying".
posted by AmbroseChapel at 9:53 PM on April 14, 2009


Another for annoying. And on my machine, outlook is set to not download any embedded images and to display all email as plain text. So fancy HTML email ends up looking like crud, which is generally what it is.
posted by maxwelton at 10:45 PM on April 14, 2009


My personal view is that it's annoying. However, MeFi is a somewhat biased sample, and I suspect the general population is more tolerant (much like a lot of people think that forwarding chain letters is good and letters full of "interesting" pictures are the right thing to send around). So while I can't see a good use for the logo and it annoys me, I suspect that in many demographics, it's less of a problem.
posted by bsdfish at 1:14 AM on April 15, 2009


Don't don't don't! Don't! I hate it and usually end up just ignoring those emails.
posted by saysthis at 2:52 AM on April 15, 2009


Unfortunately my employer requires us to do this now. Luckily I don't generally have to send email outside the company. Which makes it even sillier, since I'm only sending the mail to folks who work for the same company. Argh.
posted by litlnemo at 4:33 AM on April 15, 2009


Agree that its use should be judicious. Any company that's *really* interested in improving and selling their image should spend some time making sure it will look right in all situations. Nothing less professional than a graphic that looked good on the 16 color Packard Bell it was created on, but looks terrible on any modern computer. Or emails from HR that have yahoo toolbar ads and star wipes...

If I was the king of the world, these sorts of things would be acceptable on the first email in a conversation, but stripped out in all subsequent ones. But I'd also proclaim that people shouldn't get so worked up about these silly things. The only thing worse than breaking etiquette is caring about someone else's violations.

(Embedding does work in email, sort of. The image is an attachment, but the headers and tags in the message instruct the client to display it inline with the message. Whether the client does this correctly is a different matter.)
posted by gjc at 5:26 AM on April 15, 2009


Thanks all... Just removed the pic in my corporate signature.
posted by joecacti at 12:35 PM on April 15, 2009


Super annoying. Wastes inbox space.

Almost as bad as unreadable fonts and "backgrounds."
posted by radioamy at 12:40 PM on April 15, 2009


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