Indiana Jones logo in Gimp
July 23, 2008 12:47 PM   Subscribe

I have the Gimp, I have the fonts, I have the desire, but what I don't have is a clue as to recreating the Indiana Jones logo style.

I'm not an artist and I don't have Photoshop, so this has been frustrating to say the least. There are a couple of Photoshop tutorials on the web but nothing Gimp-specific. Trying to follow them has produced less than satisfactory results given the differences and my lack of skill. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
posted by tommasz to Media & Arts (13 answers total)
 
For starters I wouldn't do it in Photoshop/Gimp but in a vector application like Illustrator, Corel Draw or even Freehand. Generate your type, get it onto the angle you want, create the black drop-shadow either with an effect or with the even simpler method of popping a black version of the type behind it and offset by a couple of points, and make a three-point gradient (white, yellow, orange) that you paste into your letters. Voila.
posted by zadcat at 1:23 PM on July 23, 2008


If you want to use a vector application (as zadcat recommends, and which is probably a good idea for doing logo work), I recommend Inkscape.

What seems to be the problem with following the Photoshop tutorials you've found? It's kind of hard for us to help if we don't really know the problem. Is it difficulty deciding which Gimp tool does the same thing as a particular Photoshop tool? Maybe you could show us your results?

Understand that the Indiana Jones logo is probably more than simply applying a fixed set of filters, transforms, etc. There may be a lot of hand-tweaking going on, especially with the kerning (spacing between the letters). Also, when you say "the font", do you mean a knock-off font that you found on some "free fonts" website? These are often very badly put together, especially when it comes to kerning, though if you're willing to hand-kern (which is a good idea for a big logo anyway), that won't matter as much.
posted by ErWenn at 2:10 PM on July 23, 2008


As the above have said, you really need to use a vector-based application to get the best results.
Understand, too, that it's a very good bet that the original Indiana Jones logotype was hand-drawn. We're talking 1981, afterall, for the original RotLA movie.

That said, it's not a difficult thing to accomplish. If you have something like Illustrator, just place an image with the Indiana Jones logo on one layer. Then simply hand-trace the type on another layer. Easy as pie, really. Great way to teach yourself some basic Illustrator techniques and tools, too.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:31 PM on July 23, 2008


you really need to use a vector-based application to get the best results.

This is not true. Text in Photoshop is vector-based, and if using an app where it isn't, all you need is to work in a decent resolution (which you should be doing anyway) - there are no vector-based display or print devices these days. Optimizing the logo for flash animation might be a reason to choose vector though.

I've done variants on the Indy logo in photoshop a few times over the years, in different versions of photoshop. It's fairly quick and easy - mainly just some transforms and layer styles, but as ErWenn notes, it does call for some hand-kerning and size tweaking to get that forced-perspective curve just right. I haven't used GIMP for a few years, so I don't know how the layer styles compare with photoshop these days, but I recall that even in an old version of photoshop with limited transforms, I could get good results with a little bit of individual letter tweaking. I don't doubt that it can be done in GIMP, but I can't advise you as to how because it's been too long since I used it.
posted by -harlequin- at 2:53 PM on July 23, 2008


Yeah ... I know. You're using Gimp. I love Gimp too. But if you change your mind and grab something like "PS Elements", Don Lee has a fantastic free Indian Jones type Style Layer.

I've used it to pretty good effect on Fark.
posted by RavinDave at 3:11 PM on July 23, 2008


zadcat: For starters I wouldn't do it in Photoshop/Gimp but in a vector application like Illustrator, Corel Draw or even Freehand. Generate your type, get it onto the angle you want, create the black drop-shadow either with an effect or with the even simpler method of popping a black version of the type behind it and offset by a couple of points, and make a three-point gradient (white, yellow, orange) that you paste into your letters. Voila.

Those are all things you can do in the Gimp, if you so choose.

First, I'd grab the Indy logo and put in in the document just to use as a guide. Then, place text over the logo in a font and size as close as possible to what you're copying. Switching back to the background layer, use the Path tool to draw a path as close to the edges of the logo text you're copying as possible. Switch back to the layer with the text you wrote, select the text, and click the 'text to path' button. This will give you a selection area shaped like the text fitted to the path, which you can color in as you so choose.

Color it and use the 'select border' option to color a border around it, if you wish.

Sorry, I don't have the Gimp in front of me at the moment, so some of this might be off, but I've done this a bunch of times; it shouldn't be too tough.
posted by koeselitz at 3:44 PM on July 23, 2008


Also, once you've got your selection area, you can easily fill it with a gradient; and, if you want that same comic-book-y look where the letters aren't all on the same line on the bottom, unselect the area after filling it and select and resize individual letters in place. It doesn't look too tough to me, just some tweaking.
posted by koeselitz at 3:48 PM on July 23, 2008


me: ...use the Path tool to draw a path as close to the edges of the logo text you're copying as possible.

By the way, I don't mean you should follow it precisely at every point and angle. Just draw a nice curve along the bottom of the text, the line you want the letters to sit on.
posted by koeselitz at 3:50 PM on July 23, 2008


I don't believe he wanted to duplicate the logo. I'm pretty sure he wanted the logo "style": probably different words in the same font with the same drop-initial-caps, outline, gradient, and drop shadow, and with the same shrinking swoop shape. So the tracing suggestions are not really useful. (Upon preview, what koeselitz said might not be a bad idea for trying to get the proper swooping baseline.)

Gimp is quite capable of pulling this off, as has been mentioned, but without more info, it's hard to tell whether this is a Gimp problem, a general logo-work problem, or a more general graphic design problem.
posted by ErWenn at 3:54 PM on July 23, 2008


ErWenn: I'm pretty sure he wanted the logo "style": probably different words in the same font with the same drop-initial-caps, outline, gradient, and drop shadow, and with the same shrinking swoop shape. So the tracing suggestions are not really useful.

Yeah, that is what I meant. Sorry if I wasn't clear; get the path the text is on and the basic gist of how to duplicate the text, and then do it again with your own text.

The paths will stick around in the Paths Selection dialogue box until you delete them, so you can draw the path, use it, and then delete everything else and write your own text and fit it to the path, using the same font, the same gradient, and everything.
posted by koeselitz at 4:16 PM on July 23, 2008


I should also say that there's a "drop shadow" option in the lighting effects section that'd be perfect.
posted by koeselitz at 4:17 PM on July 23, 2008


Style is what I'm looking for, not the logo itself. I also have Inkscape, so I'll give that a try.
posted by tommasz at 7:09 AM on July 24, 2008


Interestingly, although Inkscape claims to be able to put text on a path, it doesn't seem possible to do so. The "Text-->Put on Path" command does nothing, and the "Effects-->Generate from Path-->Pattern along Path" command raises a Python error (this is on Windows XP). I concede defeat.
posted by tommasz at 10:15 AM on July 24, 2008


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