May 21, 2020

How to troubleshoot/validate SVG Tiny Exports for BIMI

While your BIMI logo’s final state should be SVG Tiny Portable/Secure, you’ll want to ensure the starting file (SVG Tiny 1.2) doesn’t contain any problematic elements. While SVG is, at its core, a mathematical way to describe an image, the standard supports broader use cases. As contradictory as it may sound, SVG even supports the inclusion of bitmap images inside an SVG file – and this may cause display issues.

According to the BIMI logo specifications, non-vector (bitmap) elements, scripting, and external linking and references are incompatible with the standard and will impact logo display. This can be difficult and sometimes impossible to see with the naked eye. Furthermore, it isn’t possible to convert a bitmap image to vector format by exporting it as a vector file, even though the file extension may indicate that it is vector-based (such files usually end in the suffix ‘ai’, ‘eps’, ‘pdf’, or ‘svg’).

How to inspect your SVG file for Bitmap Images: step-by-step instructions

  1. Download your logo and inspect it by opening your image in a browser. You can do this by right clicking your logo > “Open with” > select your browser.
  2. When the image is visible, right click your logo > select “View page source”
  3. In the image code, search for “img/.” You’ll notice a PNG image is embedded in line 3 of the below example (where it says “data:img/png;base64”), thus making it incompatible with BIMI specifications:
how to inspect svg file for bitmap images - valimail

How to Edit a Vector-Based Logo

Recommendation: If you detect a bitmap image in your SVG, you will need to upload a new, purely vector-based version of your logo, which will require you or your designer to edit the file in an illustration application. Here are some of the most popular apps to create and export vector files:

As a reminder, when you export your image, it is imperative that you save it in format “SVG tiny 1.2.”

External links/references and unnecessary data

While the format of some images may indicate that they are “.svg,” when exported, some files can contain extra, unnecessary data. As is true for most web files, the more compact/smaller the file, the better.

To inspect your logo for unnecessary data, follow the below steps:

  1. Download your logo and right click “View page source”
  2. The image code should contain the essential information instructing the points and curves (see the code snippet above for an example of a typical SVG logo).
  3. If your image contains hundreds of lines of scrolling code (usually a giant, nonsensical block of letters), your image contains unnecessary data. This will add unnecessary bulk to your image.
  4. If your image contains a reference or URL (which would look something like “xlink:href=”#” or  “url(#”) you will need to delete these references and/or links in a code editor.

Recommendation: If you detect unnecessary data within your SVG, you can edit the file using a text editor. Here are some suggested applications to edit text within your SVG logo:

When inspecting the image, you will most likely be able to remove all data found within the <i:pgf>…</i:pgf> tags. The logo will not be impacted so long as the content housing instructions for the visible parts of the image (the points) are left intact. This article contains helpful information to help you clean up your image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Quibik/Cleaning_up_SVG_files_manually

If your image contains linked or referenced external data, you will need to remove these lines of code. Because these lines are not essential to your logo, it should appear unchanged after it’s edited and saved.

As a reminder, when you export your image, it is imperative that you save it in format “SVG tiny 1.2.” Depending on the application you are using, this may not be your default setting.

Ensuring your logo is properly formatted as “SVG Tiny 1.2” before you make the XML code edits is critical to creating a BIMI-compliant logo.

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