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ATPM 3.04
April 1997




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Art Department

by Jamal Ghandour,

Reproducing Logos in Digital Format

Due to the overwhelming requests from friends and ATPM readers, I've decided to make this month's lesson about Vector graphics.

Vector vs. Bitmap

It is important to know the major differences between Vector graphics packages (i.e. Freehand, Illustrator, Canvas...) and Bitmap graphics packages (i.e. Photoshop, Xres, Color it!...). Here is a list illustrating the major differences:

Vector Images vs. Bitmap Ones

[art2 graphic] [art3 graphic]
  1. Vector graphics files take up
    much less hard disk space and
    are less memory hungry.
  2. Vector graphics look sharper
    and "crisper."
  3. Vector graphics are layered
    (deleting an object will not
    affect underlying ones)
  4. Vector graphics are resolution
    and size independent (you can
    scale them to any size without
    losing resolution or sharpness)

  1. Bit map graphics can render more
    complex effects (i.e. soft shadows,
  2. Bit map graphics are normally faster
    to print (generally speaking)
  3. With Bit map graphics, you can retouch
    scans and photographs
  4. Bit map graphics are better suited for
    cross-platform file sharing

With that Sorted Out Let's Get Down to Work!

But before we begin, allow me to thank Dr. Belinda Wagner for her efforts at editing this section. Thank you, Belinda! [You're quite welcome, Jamal! -BW]

Here is the Scenario

You are stuck with a logo on a business card and were requested to print that logo to poster size! What will you do?

Reproducing Logos in Digital Format!

Since we dedicated this month's article to vector graphics, I will take for granted that you scanned the logo already and continue from there.

The software that will be used here is Macromedia's Freehand 7.0. However, the principles of all vector graphics programs are the same, so adapting this section to any vector graphics software should be easy (perhaps with minor revisions).

Tip: Since the "TIFF" format was invented by "Aldus" - the company which wrote "Freehand 1.0," I recommend you save all images you plan to import to Freehand in this format.

1) Start up "Freehand" and open a new document. (File>New)

2) Import the logo which I scanned earlier. (File>Import)

[art4 graphic]

The Scanned Logo

Tip: Over the years, I found out that scanning logos in grey tone (high resolution) and colorizing them afterwards, is actually better than scanning them in color. By doing so, you avoid the bad scan casts acquired by scanning color images!

3) With the logo selected, go to the "Layers" window and clicked on "Background" (this moves the logo to the background).

4) Lock the background layer. The benefit here is to see the logo while tracing it in the next step.

[art5 graphic]
Using the Layers Palette

5) Now, begin tracing. The trick is to look at the logo in parts and not as a whole (e.g., notice the sun is just a circle, glasses are rectangles, etc.)

6) Once the elements of the sun's face are finished, the tricky part is the sun's rays. Well, as I said, if we look at all the rays together, then it would seem more like "Mission Impossible." But, if we looked at only two rays we will definitely see the symmetry there. So, presto I used Freehand's "Power Duplicating" feature to automatically duplicate the rays in a circular motion.

7) Text is completely re-written using the "Text Tool." Never trace small text. No matter how good you are, you will fare much better with the Text Tool!

8) With that, one last thing remains...Colors! (I just love this part.)

9) I use Freehand's "Color Mixer" to combine colors, then just drag them over to my logo. And presto, the logo is finished!

[art6 graphic]

Which one do you prefer?

Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions, inquires or comments at

[apple graphic] Copyright © 1997 Jamal Ghandour, Jamal Ghandour, is a "Senior Graphic Designer" and "Computer Section Manager" at CSS&GREY(kuwait). He also works as "Creative Art Director" at Swiftel international communications.

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Reader Comments (1)

Fernand Farin · October 4, 2001 - 19:09 EST #1
I am interested in buying software for making company logos.

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