I have this image of the logo of my NGO and I want to use only the part of the actual logo (without the white background) so that I can put it on photos/flyers etc. I hope I could explain it clearly enough.

enter image description here

How can I do this? I have Photoshop CC 2015


Fairly straight-forward image to work with.

Realize that if you want high-quality image you can scale to any size, you'll need a vector version of the logo. Using that particular PNG is never going to result in a high quality image. At best you can get an image the same size or smaller without the background. Anything else would require recreating from scratch in a better format.

To get rid of the background in that particular image it just takes a few steps with Photoshop.

  • Open the image
  • Look at the Channels Panel (Window > Channels) and find a channel with a good contrast ratio. In this case, the green channel.
  • Duplicate the (green) channel so you have a new channel "Green copy".
  • With "Green copy" highlighted in the Channels Panel, choose Image > Adjustments > Levels. Click the Auto button, then move the left slider (white) to the right until it is inside the little black peaks you see. Then move the right slider (black) to the left so it is inside the little black peaks on the right. and click OK
  • Hold down the Command/Ctrl key on the keyboard and click the thumbnail image for "Green copy" in the channels panel to load it as a selection. You'll see the "marching ants".
  • Highlight the Layer in the Layers Panel.
  • Hold down the Option/Alt key and click the New Layer Mask button on the bottom of the Layers Panel.

enter image description here

That should provide an image with the background masked out. You can save the image as a PNG to retain the transparency, or add new layers below the image layer with any color you wish.

![enter image description here

You can double-click the Layer mask in the Layers Panel to further refine the things as needed. In some cases there may still be a slight color matte around the image. So refining the mask is necessary.

  • Thank you! What does a vector version mean exactly? – Sai May 8 '17 at 19:32
  • Hi @Sai - vector is an entirely different construction method which does not reply on resolution (PPI), but relies on mathematical calculations. Read more here You can easily convert vector graphics to raster graphics. But you can not easily convert raster graphics to vector graphic. You pretty much have to redraw vector graphics if they don't already exist in vector form. – Scott May 8 '17 at 19:36
  • Can I ask why you didn't mark this question a dupe of one of the many others asking similar? Was there something specific you feel differentiates it from other questions? – Ryan May 8 '17 at 19:58
  • @Ryan I did search. Seems every other removal question is asking about difficult edges, inner-image subtle transparency, black backgrounds, etc. Or illustrator /sketch / gimp, etc.... I could find nothing which was related to a solid, well defined shape on top of a background in Photoshop. Maybe I missed it, in which case it would be a dup.. – Scott May 8 '17 at 20:11
  • Took me a while to find the one I think is closest to this, if you want I can merge it so your answer migrates over to it unless you don't think they're similar enough to be duplicates - graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/21685/… – Ryan May 8 '17 at 20:20

Blending Options can make short work of this. Just go to Layer → Layer Style → Blending Options. At the bottom where it says Blend If: Gray, This Layer you'll see a slider.

You can read that as "Make transparent if this layer is this black or this white". Pull the right side in a tad and you're done.

enter image description here

  • Probably the best call. :) That was the most relatable answer :) – Scott May 8 '17 at 20:40
  • Yes! :) I can't believe how easy that was, thank you really – Sai May 9 '17 at 20:49

For laughs, I made this. In your instance, you have a shape defined by two clean ovals overlapping. If you wanted to be quick about it, you could pull it out like this... but as mentioned in Metis's answer, it's not a vector, so it won't scale well at all. If you have access to Adobe Illustrator, now would be a good time to get familiar with the basics of that program! ;)

Animated illustration

  • This is an interesting take on it, thank you for your input! – Sai May 9 '17 at 20:47
  • Select the magic wand tool w at the top select "5" for tolerance. (That's important otherwise it selects the center white portion)
  • Click the left hand portion of the image. Hold the shift key down (you see a little plus symbol appear on the magic wand tool) and click the centre top portion and the right portion and finally the centre bottom portion.
  • Now you have the background highlighted, so hit control+shift+i to invert the selection.
  • Finally hit control+j to save a new layer without the background.

enter image description here


Your photo has low resolution. Its good for onscreen purposes, but it allows high quality printing only as about 2,5 cm wide total. Fortunately we can easily increase it to 7,5 cm without very bad quality loss.

The ellipses seem to be even more unsharp than the low resolution alone would cause. We can fix the ellipses at the same time when we remove the backgroud. I assume that you want to save te white inside the ellipses as the color of the smaller shapes.

1.Take the elliptical selection tool and draw a selection over the leftmost ellipse. Goto Select > Transform Selection and drag the ellipse perfect. finally press enter to fix the selection for use.

  1. Take the smudge tool. Push the blue color against the selection around the selected area. You fix a little of the unsharpness.

  2. Press Ctrl+C (=copy), goto Edit > Paste Special > Paste in Place. You get the left part as a new layer without the background (in the screensot the selection marquee makes the border unclear)

enter image description here

  1. Do the same with the right part. You have now the logo in 2 layers without the background. The original layer is disabled in the following screenshot.

enter image description here

  1. Merge the left and right part layers, delete the original layer and crop the image to be not much bigger than the logo, Now it's ready to save as PNG.

6 We have one trick left: Enlargening. It needs appropriate software, in this case ON1 perfect resize. It can enlargen drawings and often even photos without the same loss of apparent sharpness than scaling the image bigger in Photoshop. Of course it quesses the missing detail, but in easy cases it succeeds. Here's an example. The enlargening (300%) is done first. The ellipse borders are cleaned by pushing the color with smudge against the selection when the halves were copied. Not perfect, but maybe usable:

enter image description here

Warning: This is PNG with transparent background. If you copy it and paste it to Photoshop, you probably get black background. Download it, then it works better.

  • Incredible, thank you! Couldn't imagine how I can keep resolution in a bigger size! – Sai May 9 '17 at 20:48

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