Illustrator screenshot

First of all I would like to say that I'm new to AI and PS, therefore there's probably lots of things I'm not doing right. I am using CS5 version.

I have a logo that is mainly black and white, but because of the grays, I couldn't trace it automatically. So, instead, I made the path with the pen tool. The problem is that now I have the path separated from the original image instead of what I really want. Which is the original logo with the path so I can have everything that is white transparent.

I also tried in PS to change the white to other colour (so then I could easily change it to transparent), but I couldn't because some grays also change.

What is the best way to trace/ vectorize my logo?

This is the logo I gotenter image description here

  • 1
    Indeed, auto trace is rarely a good idea for logos and almost never produces clean results for fonts. Using the pen tool is the way to go (combined with searching for those fonts). However, I'm confused by this: "The problem is that now I have the path separated from the original image instead of what I really want. Which is the original logo with the path so I can have everything that is white transparent." Are you trying to create a vector version of the logo or just create a clipping mask on top of the raster image to hide the white?
    – JohnB
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 16:16
  • Do you know the fonts that were used with the logo?
    – AndrewH
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 16:17
  • Hi JohnB and AndrewH, I have no idea which fonts were used. I am trying to create a vector version of the logo, but I needed it to be exactly as it is... I've mentioned the colour because in this particular case what I need is to change the colour.
    – Ana
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 16:28
  • Can you upload the highest res picture of the logo without the logo being selected?
    – AndrewH
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 16:44
  • 1
    as others have stated, autotrace isn't the right tool for this. Ideally, you'd redraw the logo and re-set the type with the original typeface. Barring that, you're best of doing a manual re-draw trace rather than using the automated tools.
    – DA01
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 17:15

2 Answers 2


Never assume the logo file you are given by any client is the "best" they have. This is especially true if the file is a raster image. If the client does not provide a vector version of their logo, the chances that there are higher quality raster images on the web are generally pretty good.

In this case, a quick google reverse image search finds a much larger version of those logos.....

enter image description here

Using Illustrator's Image trace on that larger version yields much better results.

enter image description here

This would still require some minor clean up, but it would circumvent the need to redraw most parts.

While redrawing will almost always provide the best results, in some cases tracing a large raster image can be sufficient depending upon your needs.

  • Thank you for your answer. Doing the trace with a better image showed great improvements. Now I just need get the autotrace doing it correctly (getting the values). =)
    – Ana
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 18:21
  • 1
    Setting the color mode of Image Trace to "Greyscale" seemed to work just fine for me.
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 21:02

As Scott said, never assume that's the best there is. Someone, somewhere has the clean art.

My favorite way to try to find vector art is to search for the company name and PDF. So in this case, search for "Governo de Portugal PDF".

Almost every time, I can find a newsletter or something that the designer exported the PDF with a vector logo in it. You can then open the PDF in Illustrator and pick out the logo from the document.

In the case of this logo I found the PDF of their brand guidelines (jackpot!) here: http://www.promar.gov.pt/Download/Beneficiarios/Normas_Graficas_MAM.pdf

If you download the PDF, Page 11 has the vector art in Black & White. Page 19 lists the fonts to use for the Secretario part.

And here is the vector art for dgARTES: http://www.naodamores.com/marcos/Dosier%20Danza/marcos%20de%20contenido/IMAGENES/Logos/CORNUCOPIA.%20PATROCINIOS/logo_dgartes_vertical.pdf


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