A Detailed Guide to Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI)

Here is your ultimate guide to getting your BIMI record and BIMI logo ready!


What is BIMI?

BIMI, or Brand Indicators for Message Identification is a new email authentication standard that affixes your exclusive brand logo to all the emails you send out via your brand’s email domain. You may be wondering that as the recipient of the email your email client is already showing brand logos. But what’s important is who is in control of the logos!

Usually, logos are automatically curated by email client vendors, pulling them from various sources. Different logos show up depending on different email clients and devices.

With BIMI, domain owners and brands are in control of their official displayed logos, that is maintained consistently in all inbound emails. The brand logo is the most essential identifying factor of your brand, therefore affixing the logo on every email received by your clients, partners and employees builds up a sense of trust and assurance.

It instantly captures the receiver’s attention, makes a strong first impression, is the foundation of your brand’s identity, enhances security, demarcates you from your competitors, and fosters brand loyalty.

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How does BIMI work?

In order to implement BIMI, you first need to enforce your existing DMARC policy by setting it to either reject or quarantine.

After successfully enforcing DMARC you can avail of the advantages of BIMI in your organization’s email domain! Similar to any other email authentication standard, BIMI resides in your domain as a text (TXT) record.

The BIMI record(s) resides in the “_bimi” space of your DNS with the default BIMI record being “default._bimi”. The text part holds the identifier of the record version (v=BIMI1), URL to the logo (l=), and URL to the logo certificate (VMC) if available (a=).

A complete BIMI record would look like the following:

default._bimi IN TXT “v=BIMI1;l=https://url.to/your.file.svg;a=https://url.to/certificate.pem”

BIMI and The Verified Mark Certificate (VMC Certificate)

The Verified Mark Certificate (VMC) is an optional digital certificate that authenticates your domain as the owner of the logo. Though optional, it is required by most inbox providers. If VMC is unavailable, the “a” attribute in the BIMI record has to be either discarded or set to “a=self”.

VMC is imperative to organizations who have the will to enhance their digital presence and online reputation, and establish their brand to be reliable and top-notch. A combination of BIMI and VMC puts your clients’ minds at ease and provides them with confidence and assurance while responding to your emails.

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BIMI Logo Requirements

BIMI has certain specifications while uploading your brand logo:

  • One such crucial specification is that your logo image must be in SVG format. Scalable Vector Graphic or SVG is a popular format that drives several elements of modern websites and applications. Different to popular bitmap formats like GIF, JPG, and PNG, the vector graphics are made out of lines and curves which can be easily scaled without loss of detail. SVG is comparatively lighter, loads quickly, and adapts easily to responsive sizing.

  • For BIMI implementation the exact dimensions of the logo do not matter as it is uploaded in SVG format makes it easily scalable. However, the image must be square and the aspect ratio must be 1:1.

  • The logo must meet the SVG BIMI profile. While SVG standard is very versatile and has a range of versions to choose from, the closest fit to the SVG BIMI specifications is SVG 1.2 Tiny.

How to Prepare the SVG File Correctly for BIMI?

The most commonly used tool for exporting the right SVG is Adobe Illustrator.

In order to prepare your SVG correctly, all you need to do is :

  • Open the logo in Adobe Illustrator and inspect its objects to make sure there are no bitmaps, linked files, texts, or groups. Ensure that the Control Toolbar is switched on in Window Menu to inspect the logo.

  • In case your logo is image-based, you can use the Trace Image button to convert your image into a graphic.

  • SVG for BIMI does not support text objects. In case your logo has any text, it appears in the Control Toolbar as “Type”. To remove text objects, select your text layer and select the “Create Outlines” option from the “Type” menu. The Control Toolbar no longer identifies the text object as “Type” but as a “Group” instead.

  • Lastly, you would need to ungroup all groups to make sure exporting the SVG is a smooth process. The simplest way is to press Ctrl+A to select all objects and then click on the “Ungroup” option in the “Object” menu. You may have to repeat this process until all groups in the document are ungrouped.

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Exporting SVG file

  • In order to meet BIMI SVG specifications, the logo needs to be in square dimensions. To achieve that, you need to create a new file without closing the current one. Make sure the new file is in square dimensions with a 1:1 aspect ratio, and the color mode selected is RGB and not CMYK.

  • Navigate to the original file and press Ctrl+A to select all objects. Copy all objects from the original file and paste them into the new file you created in square dimensions.

  • Click on the “Save” option from the File menu to save the file. In the destination folder make sure the file format is set at SVG and not SVG compressed.

  • Notice that an SVG dialogue box opens up. Under “SVG Profiles” in the box, select “SVG Tiny 1.2”. Under the “More Options” button adjustment the “Decimal Places” criteria to 1, 2, or 3 to preserve details, depending on how complex your logo is.

  • Lastly, click on the “SVG Code” button to review the code, which opens up in a file editor. Make sure that the line starting with <svg contains version=”1.2” and baseProfile=”tiny”. There should be no base64, ensuring that Adobe Illustrator was able to create a vector-only representation of your logo.

  • Finally, click on the “OK” button in the dialog to save the file.

Code Cleanup

You can use any text editor to manually clean up the code after exporting your SVG file.

  • You can start by removing the highlighted section with the information about the used version of Adobe Illustrator.

  • Then find the x=”0px”  y=”0px” from the line starting with <svg as seen on the image. The same element also often contains overflow=”visible” attribute that needs to be removed as it is not supported by BIMI SVG standard.

  • Then you need to find the baseProfile=”tiny” and replace it with baseProfile=”tiny-ps”.

  • Next, you need to add the required <title> tag into your SVG below the <svg…>. The purpose of the title is to provide accessibility so that it reflects your brand.

  • Finally, Save the file and use our validator to make sure your SVG validates correctly.

Alternatively, you can instantly convert your BIMI logo into SVG Tiny 1.2, with our automated BIMI SVG Logo Converter.

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Get Your BIMI Record Now!

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