Mimicking Logos: Low Res to High Res


Mimicking logos is not only fun and challenging, it's a problem-solving miracle for businesses and companies. There might be cases where a client or friend has given you a low-resolution logo, yet they require it's placement on a gigantic billboard. In this case, you need to re-create the logo into a high resolution vector format.

In this tutorial we give you three logo scenarios, ranging from easy to difficult and how they can be solved.

Level 1: Easy

Step 1: Insert this low resolution logo into Adobe Illustrator and place it on a large canvas - this ensures that it will be saved as a high resolution file later in the process.

Step 2: Let’s make the box’s border. The best way to do this is with four seperate elongated rectangles because strokes are less manageable.

Step 3: In this fortunate case, the font was easy to identify. It was Arial Narrow Bold. Using a colour that’s different from the one underneath, place the letters into their positions. Adjusting size accordingly and ulitizing the original layer is a tracing mark. Remember to freeze the back layer of course.

Step 4: Blind the original layer and you can see the new mimicked version in it’s high res vector glory. Change the alternative colour back to the black of the original logo.

Step 5: Some logos require a registered trademark (®), so be careful to notice this. If this is the case, you will need to include this in the logo in the same position as the original.

Step 6: This is the result:

Level 2: Medium

Step 1: Insert this low resolution logo into Adobe Illustrator and place it on a large canvas - this ensures that it will be saved as a high resolution file later in the process.

Step 2: Next, trace the logo into a vector using the “Live Trace” button and then select the “Expand” button on the same panel bar. This will give you a fairly accurate starting point.

Step 3: Like in the Easy version, it was easy to decipher this font. It is the widely-used Arial Regular. However, the letters are in a circular formation, which makes things trickier.

Step 4: Using the original as a guide and the Live-Traced mimic as a base, plot the letters in their position on the circle. To rotate them, select the “Create Outlines” option when right-clicking. NB: Turn down the opacity of the sources to make things easier.

Step 5: Once they are all their correct position, it should look like this. You can now turn your attention to the triangular shape in it’s centre.

Step 6: Although the Live Trace function did a fantastic job re-creating the triangular shape’s smoothness. The ends are a bit too round and need to be corrected by carefully planting paths on the edges.

Step 7: Now make everything black, like it’s original. You can see your level of success by placing them side by side.

Level 3: Hard

Step 1: Insert the logo into Adobe Illustrator and duplicate it side-by-side. “Live Trace” and “Expand” the copied version. As it’s a complex logo, the traced version won’t be perfect.

Step 2: First you need to correct faults in the illustrations, which although look good on first glance, suffer from disorientated lines. Remove awkward lines first with the “Direct Selection Tool”.

Step 3: Add in the straighter lines in the appropriate section. This deleting with the direct selection tool and adding shapes/lines method is up to the design but getting in the hang of it is very useful.

Step 4: If it’s a complex correction/replacement that needs to be made. You may need to trace the shape on the original layer (with a different colour) and then apply it to the duplicated version.

Step 5: There will be cases where a whole shape has to be re-drawn because deleting sections of it is messy and effects the whole logo. This is the case with the coned shape here.

Step 6: Automatic shapes speed up the process when they don’t have to be drawn with the pen tool. In cases, where you can see that a detail on the original has a rounded shape. This “Rounded Rectangle Tool” is an ideal aid.

Step 7: At first glance, this atom illustration looks complex but it can be accompolished with the stroke lines of a circle shape stretched into an oval formation. Then you copy the oval and rotate the duplicates into position.

Step 8: Let’s draw our attention to the text. Before trying to imitate the circular typography, you need to remove each one of the letters individually - using the Direct Selection Tool. This leaves space for the new type.

Step 9: Identifying the font of the logo varies from easy to difficult depending on the case. You may even have to combine methods together to achieve this goal. In this case, we combined method #1 and method #3 together.

#1: RECOGNIZE THE FONT INSTANTANEOUSLY BECAUSE OF IT’S COMMON USAGE OR FIND THE FONT ON YOUR COMPUTER.

#2: IF IT’S A FAMOUS COMPANY, THE CHANCES ARE THAT SOMEBODY ON THE INTERNET KNOWS THE ANSWER AND WILL SUPPLY A LINK TO THE FONT.

#3: IDENTIFONT.COM ASKS YOU A SERIES OF QUESTIONS TO HELP DECIPHER YOUR FONT. THIS METHOD CAN SOMETIMES WORK WONDERS.

#4: THIS REQUIRES PRECISE DETAIL, BUT YOU CAN USE THE PEN TOOL TO TRACE THE LETTER FROM THE ORIGINAL LOGO AND THEN DUPLICATE IT ON TO THE NEW ONE. OR IF THE FOUND FONT IS ALREADY IDENTICAL, YOU CAN ADD TO THE EXISTING LETTERS OR REMOVE EXCESS ATTIBUTES USING SHAPES TO COVER UP THE UNWANTED PARTS.

THIS FONT IS VERY SIMILAR TO “ROCKWELL CONDENSED BOLD” BUT A FEW STEMS WERE DIFFERENT ON A SELECTION OF CHARACTERS , INCLUDING ON THE LETTER “A”.

Step 10: Place the letters on the original layer, so that you can use this as a low-opacity trace mark. Each letter you type needs to be converted into a shape to be rotated. Right-click on the letter and select “Create Outlines”.

Step 11: You can see how we’ve added a shape to a letter to make it a more accurate representation of the original. Then group the letter and the shape together to form a new character that can be duplicated. When you have finished, move the whole new typography to the mimicking version.

Step 12: Here is the final result. Save it as an Illustrator (.ai) or pdf file.

#mimicking #mimic #logos #highres #lowres #resolution #adobe #illustrator #difficultylevels #copying #problemsolving #fonts #tutorial

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