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  Vectorize a Logo From an Image

Vectorizing a Logo From an Image

This tutorial describes in detail how to recreate a logo from a small GIF image that will be suitable to be used in a desktop publishing layout program such as QuarkXPress® or Adobe® InDesign®. It sometimes occurs that a company will not have their logo in vector format. Whether it gets lost or was never delivered in vector format (even though it may have originally been drawn in a vector program) or for whatever reason, you may be called upon to recreate it even from as little as a scan of a printed piece.


I wish to thank the Eco-Life Foundation for allowing permission to use their logo in this example. In this tutorial you will utilize a number of software applications together to achieve the desired result. In this tutorial I used :

Adobe® Photoshop® CS
Adobe® Streamline®
Macromedia® FreeHand® MX 2004

If you prefer, you could use Adobe® Illustrator® instead of FreeHand as the illustration program.

QuickTime® Movies

This tutorial employs QuickTime® movies to help demonstrate how to do the various steps. You will need the QuckTime plugin for your browser. If you don't already have it, you can download it free from the Apple® website here. Your monitor should be setup with a screen reslution of at least 1024 x 768 pixels for best viewing. When you click a link to one of the QuickTime movies, it will stream to your computer and start playing automatically. The movies will play with a control bar with VCR controls. You can pause and replay the movie with these controls if you want. If it takes a little extra time to start, then the movie is just streaming enough to your drive to play without interruption. It is simply adjusting to the speed of your connection or network conditions at the time. Just be patient, it will start. The movies were recorded on a Macintosh® so I used Macintosh commands in the narratives. Windows® users please see the translations for these commands at the tutorial steps that show the movies.

Snap To Guides and Snap To Point

In Photoshop® and FreeHand® make sure that "Snap To Guides" is setup. In Photoshop click View > Snap To > Guides. In FreeHand click View > Guides > Snap To Guides. Also in FreeHand, click View > Snap To Point to make sure "Snap To Point" is also enabled.

The Strategy

This is a 2-color logo. The strategy is to first separate the 2 colors into individual shapes that we can trace with Adobe® Streamline® which converts raster images into vector art, then use Adobe® FreeHand® or Illustrator® to clean up the converted vector art to make an EPS file that is suitable for print layouts.

With this logo, the easiest approach to take is to select only the orange areas when separating the two colors because the orange areas are the easiest to isolate. We will first select the orange areas, then invert the selection so everything except the orange is copied. This will isolate the green color. Then we will select the orange areas directly and copy only these for the second color.

Click Here To Continue...


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