Working with poor quality logo files can be very frustrating for a print or web designer. Many times a client will only provide a terrible raster Jpeg to work with. In this Adobe Illustrator tutorial, I’ll do a simple walk-thru to show you how to recreate a logo in high quality vector format.
Our starting logo file to remake.
You may notice the Mmmmm Yogurt logo. I exported it from Photoshop with the worst possible quality settings to use in this project.
For this logo tutorial, I’ll be using Adobe Photoshop CS3. I’m not as fast on the advanced hotkeys, but I’ll try and add them in.
Open Illustrator and create a new document. You should probably make sure the document mode is CMYK if you are going to use the logo design for print in the future. File > New.
Drag your logo file into the workspace so we can trace over it. Lock the image to make things easier. You can also copy paste my yogurt logo if you’d like.
For this I’m going to be using the Pen tool (P) to outline the lettering.
Outline the first ‘M’ and connect the last point with the first point using the pen tool. I’ve set my opacity to 0% so that my fill doesn’t block my view.
Next we do the lowercase ‘m.’ Repeat the process from the previous step to outline the entire letter. This will also require the Convert Anchor Point Tool to get the arcs. (CTRL+C). Click the points and arc them to the shape of the letter.
Here we have a chance to save time by copying this lower case ‘m’ over the other three. Select the ‘m’ and then hold ALT and drag the letter over to the next spot. Repeat the process for all three. Rotate them to fit correctly by grabbing the corner.
Go ahead and use the tools you’ve learned thus far to fill out the whole logo. Don’t worry about the negative spaces in the ‘o’ and ‘g’ yet.
Subtracting negative space in Illastrator
Ok, now comes a tricky part. Hide the ‘o’ by clicking the visibility eye. We need to be able to see the inside of the ‘o’ to outline the negative space.
Now use the pen tool and convert point tool to create the oval inside the ‘m.’ This involves the same process we used to get the arcs before. It should only take two points if done most efficiently.
Make the ‘o’ visible again and make sure the new negative circle is above the original outline of the ‘o.’ Big oval below the little oval.
Open the Pathfinder Tool. Window > Pathfinder Tool (SHIFT+CTRL+F9). Using the Selection tool click the inner oval. Now hold SHIFT and click the bigger oval. They should both be selected now.
Now we are going to subtract the path from the larger letter shape to get the negative space to be empty. In the Pathfinder menu, click ‘Subtract from shape area.’ Now the inner space should be subtracted.
Repeat the same steps for the ‘g’ and your logo should look complete in black and white.
Adding color to the logo
Now all we need is some color. You should get the specific color palette from your client but you can also try the Eyedropper Tool. Just select your design and click within the old logo to get the color. Make sure you have the foreground color selected.
That’s it! Now your logo is in vector format which means it can be scaled to any size with clarity.