How to prevent font blurring when scaling an image down


Question

I'm creating a logo for a Youtube channel and it's a text logo. Youtube suggests you upload the logo at 800x800, so that's what I've been designing at in GIMP and it looks fine:

logo

However, the actual channel logo (as seen at the bottom of the video) is 98x98. Obviously, Youtube scales it down as needed and I figured I would scale the image down just to see what it would look like when displayed at 98x98. And this is where the issue begins. I designed the logo to utilize a Light variant of the Quicksand font (AEVES), which contrasts with the thicker font below it (TECH).

The issue is in that. When I scale down the image to 98x98, the letters start becoming somewhat fuzzy (someone described them as looking like they're wearing a wool sweater):

enter image description here

Does this second image (at 98x98) look acceptable? Or, if not, how can I get the text to scale down to 98x98 without becoming fuzzy?

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10/5/2014 6:55:00 PM

  1. Pass #1 "Get it approximately right" -- Align as many edges of each character as you can to a 4-pixel grid before you resize.

    • If you're pressed for time, the most important edges are the outermost edges of each character, and the horizontal internal edges.

4x aligned

  1. Shrink, (I used bilinear interpolation), down to 98x98px to check which edges are still blurry:

98px not yet aligned

  1. Pass #2 "Get it exactly right" -- Undo the shrink (or just cancel the preview), adjust the blurry edges up/right/left/down as appropriate, reshrink to 98px. Repeat until satisfied, and save:

98px aligned

  1. If you also want a 400px version which comes out crisply when you let the browser shrink it to 98px, then undo your last shrink, and save.

Final result

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10/6/2014 12:08:00 PM

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