I'm not a graphic designer but I sometimes play one at work.
November 30, 2010 8:27 AM   Subscribe

Illustrator gurus - I need your help!!! Need to recreate a logo and I'm out of my element!

Long story short: We're working with a great business and I'm trying to get a postcard designed to advertise a promotion we're doing. However they are not graphics-savvy and I can't seem to get the original logo file from them. (So far I have a low-res jpeg, an eps that has a bitmapped image embedded in it, and a psd that won't open on either of my computers.)

I have decided that the easiest thing might be to recreate their logo* from scratch in Illustrator...however I'm not very familiar with Illustrator beyond rearranging, resizing and recoloring objects. Oh glorious MeFites, can someone help me? Assuming I have the correct fonts**, what would you do to the text to make it look like that?

I am currently on a PC running XP and CS4 but if necessary I have a Mac with Leopard and CS5.

*I don't need all the presents underneath
**I've figured out the swirly one, working on the second
posted by radioamy to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try this. If it was a vector graphic to begin with automatic BMP to vector conversion scripts should do a decent job of converting it back.
posted by empath at 8:29 AM on November 30, 2010

I would try vector magic. They offer free trials.
posted by milarepa at 8:30 AM on November 30, 2010

Oh, I didn't even look at the actual logo. No chance that's going to get converted back to vector automatically, if it was ever a vector graphic to begin with.
posted by empath at 8:35 AM on November 30, 2010

an eps that has a bitmapped image embedded in it

Yeah, but what does it look like when it's printed? Try that, if you haven't already, as there's no sense in reinventing the wheel if you don't have to.
posted by nomadicink at 9:02 AM on November 30, 2010

Response by poster: It doesn't look great printed...it's going on a full-color glossy postcard. Also I was hoping to "unstack" the logo so all the words were next to each other.
posted by radioamy at 9:07 AM on November 30, 2010

E-mail me the eps and the psd (address in profile). I'm not promising anything, but I'll check it out when I get home tonight and see if there's anything I can figure out.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:16 AM on November 30, 2010

That logo was created from an available font. It's just letters with unfortunate bevel treatments. You need the original font. It's not an uncommon font; I've seen it before (probably on DaFont) and I think I have it but I can't find it right now. What the Font is failing because it's got a red extruded background under the white letters. Basically you need to know the font the white letters are formed from because they make the red background too.

But it should be identifiable. Ask at the WTF forum and if you fail there, the other on with the scary font people I can't ever remember the name of. (MeFi should provide; it's often linked here for font ID questions. Type-something... typophile?)
posted by DarlingBri at 9:21 AM on November 30, 2010

Response by poster: DarlingBri - I found the swirly font, it's called Action Is. It's on DaFont (big surprise!). How would I do that kind of beveling?
posted by radioamy at 9:24 AM on November 30, 2010

Response by poster: Weirdly enough, in the EPS the only thing that is vectorized is the word "secret." I am really not sure where this guy got this logo!
posted by radioamy at 9:48 AM on November 30, 2010

I am partly embarrassed and partly proud to say that I have no idea how to commit those kids of atrocities in Illustrator. I'm not even sure bevelled is the right term but here are some tutorials.

To get the red background letter I'm pretty sure you type the words, convert them to outlines, drag them out and fill them with red, using a gradient.

Also, looking again, I have no idea why secret is vectorized because that's a DaFont font too; it may just be to create the outline. The WATER one seems like it would be instructive for both jobs.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:20 AM on November 30, 2010

Response by poster: WOOT! Just got the go-ahead from the logo-owner to do whatever I want with it (turns out not everyone is as protective of their logos as I am!).

DarlingBri et al, what would y'all suggest if you were to re-do the logo? Not exactly the same, just the same feeling I guess.
posted by radioamy at 10:59 AM on November 30, 2010

what would y'all suggest if you were to re-do the logo?

Why not just have one (or three, if you have to) presents next to the letters? Use the same font for all, just change "secret" to green or make it italic/a different weight to help it stand out. It's pretty unfortunate so most things you do will be an improvement. I'm not a fan of drop shadows, beveling or anything that comes close to their logo so you'll have to decide how refined you want to make this—maybe the client (and its audience) has bad taste so you should keep it in.
posted by Bunglegirl at 11:36 AM on November 30, 2010

I'm assuming that font is fine for their market. It isn't necessary that I like it, just that it position the brand correctly. (This is... some kind of Christmas shop, or perhaps a Santa workshop/activity for children, or website aimed at families, yes?) I'd just use the font with a less 90's treatment. Maybe white with red outlines, green outline for the SECRET part, no gradients or drop shadows.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:52 AM on November 30, 2010

Response by poster: Our geographic market in general is pretty behind the curve in everything including aesthetics. DarlingBri, your second guess is right - it's a huge mansion decked out like Santa's house...I haven't been through yet but there is a guided tour with elves and all sorts of stuff. The guy who owns it is a special-effects whiz (the building also doubles as a haunted house) so it will probably be pretty over-the-top.
posted by radioamy at 12:13 PM on November 30, 2010

I'm a little late, and possibly irrelevant, but you can use Live Trace in Illustrator to vectorize a picture.
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 5:13 PM on November 30, 2010

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