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This Old Logo: Modifying the Wheel (Photoshop Tips Galore)

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posted on Mar, 10 2006 @ 03:18 PM
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Howdy folks!

Today we’re going to gut and renovate “this old logo”


Into something along these lines…


The other day I was looking at the logo our office uses….It’s been plaguing us these past few years with fuzzy, low-resolution print jobs and I decided it was about time someone to stepped up and made a few changes, starting with making it so friggin ginormous that small and unreadable print would be a thing of the past….

In a semi-tutorial kind of format, let me walk you through some of the steps I took and show you how this thing evolved…My intention was to give our logo a face-lift, not a complete makeover – Maybe this can help some of you to do the same…
You can follow along, or try recreating one of your own…

Not having the PSD source file for the old logo, I started by locating an outline of Florida using the Google image search…


As you can see though, there’s a great deal of difference in the shape between the two…The image I found was geographically exact, versus that of our logo, which takes much more liberty with the general shape of the state…

Keep the sharp jagged inlets and islands just wouldn’t flow well, so we’re going to nuke a few of those areas and clean them up…

Make sure the image is saved as a PSD or JPEG, then create a new layer…In the upper menu, go to Image, then Canvas Size, and give yourself a little more space to work by increasing the pixels respectively for height and width….Select your brush tool and take the pixel size down to 1, and choose a nice bright color that will separate any new additions you’re about to make from the original outline….I chose red

Now smooth your edges out by selecting a starting and ending point, like the sample below, which is a blown-up portion of the western panhandle…Sooner or later, natural erosion and hurricanes are bound to do this work for us anyways, but in the meantime, take that mouse into your hand a play God for a bit



Go around the state and set your markings on that separate layer….Once you’ve inked the page up with red, or whatever color you selected, take your eraser tool, select the original Florida outline layer, and carefully delete the outline between your markings…

Selecting your marked-up layer and under the blending options, check the color overlay box and blend it to a shade of black that works good – It doesn’t need to be perfect, the main goal is to make sure you don’t have little faint pixels lying about unnoticed…


Next, take your magic wand and set the tolerance to around 45 – Click on the Gulf of Mexico and while holding the shift key, click inside the state itself….Right click and choose select inverse…

Edit Copy – File New – Now make sure the resolution is 300 or higher, the color mode is RGB, and the background is transparent - Also, give yourself some extra space here (add 1000 pixels or so) – Edit Paste…

Oh no!! It’s too faint…I can’t see that!! – No problem


Go to your blending options and select stroke – Black – Position should be set to center…Everything else is downhill from here really…

If you have CS2, go to Edit, Transform, Warp – Have a ball – Make Florida do the limbo – You can shape her any way you like….

Getting on to the ripples coming out from the Eastern coast…All we have here are basically two copied layers of the eastern coast butting up to each other…The top right corner of the panhandle makes for an excellent cut-off point….Copy your freshly distorted Florida outline and drag it off to the right

Keep in mind that if you hold the shift key while you move objects, they’ll stay in their respective horizontal or vertical plane…

Copy that same Florida outline and bring it to the crux of that “V” in the western tip….Erase the rest of those two new layers you won't be needing and merge the two layers that have been sandwiched together until you’re left with something like this…


Now copy that ripple layer several times and move it an equal distance to the right for each copy – This is a good opportunity for you to learn how to use the guides if you haven’t learned already – Make sure you have the rulers viewable by going to View, Rulers….Then you simply drag lines from the top or bottom as you need them – They can be readjusted by selecting the move tool, and cleared by going to View, Clear Guides…

If rulers are not your friend, do what I do….Select the square marquee tool and drag out a box showing how much space you want to divide the shapes…drag a line out and it will snap into place along the borders of your box….drag the marquee box along with you each time and slap a new guide line down each time as you go – Perfect measurements…

After merging each of those legs together into one layer, I decided to distort them a bit to give a diminishing effect by selecting the top-right corner of the distortion field and gently bringing it down until I got the desired result – Bottom line is, eventually, you’ll end up with something like this…


Well – I promise to not leave hanging the one or two of you who’ve read this far


To be continued…;-)

[edit on 3/10/2006 by EnronOutrunHomerun]




posted on Mar, 10 2006 @ 08:41 PM
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A hush has fallen over the crowd….Clearly I have your undivided attention…


So – Picking up where we left off…

The FSU seal legally should not be available for download in its full resolution format….however…I tempt thee to google image it – Low and behold, it’s there…

. o O (What isn’t these days?!) O o .

However – I obtained my copy fair-and-square, thankyouverymuch

And now we’re going to liven things up a bit with some color….If I were being thorough and precise here, I’d go on with the world map backdrop, but we’ll get to that later…I like to spread the more challenging parts out so it seems like we’re having fun here


Lets play with the seal first…


Not that seal silly….

Once you’ve isolated the seal, break out your magic wand again – Select all of the white areas within the seal, including the spaces in the Os, As, Ds, etc…Select Inverse…Ctrl+J (create new layer from selection)

That layer should automatically go to the top of your other seal layer and will plop right over what exists there presently, which for now, is the same thing…Go to your blending options…

All we want to do here is give this seal some vibrancy and glow, so we’re going to check the Gradient Overlay box….Change your blend mode to Linear Burn….Click the actual gradient bar there that has the default color fade showing….We want to change those colors – The Gradient Editor will pop up after clicking there and you’ll see a larger version of the gradient bar with little squares on each of the four corners….Double click the bottom left box and select a garnetish color….Double click the bottom right box and select a goldish color….Batta-bing, batta-boom


Hope we all don’t go to jail for that


Oh – While I’m thinking of it – Let me just apologize real quick if you see different versions of the images popping up as I go through this tutorial – I’ve probably created around 70 variations of this logo, so I may not be pulling my examples from the same one each time – Especially since they’re coming from mixed PCs (home/work) – And no…I don’t have PC Anywhere damnit – I don’t want access to work files while I’m trying to relax away from work at home


So we’ve got the Florida image resting there – I think I want to merge all those files together now (Key point here…Use the “Save As” function each time you make a major change, that way you’ve got access to every stage of development)

Now I want to warp the image some more as a whole…Have fun with it – You can reverse it all by canceling out at any time…

Select a garnet color again as your foreground color in your color palette section – Get out your paint bucket tool - About three or four clicks in each open space should fill the white areas…

Now we’re going to give this a little more panache…¡El Blendo Optioniono Seniora! How do you say?? Ah yes! Go to blending options


We’re going to add a stroke again…About 7 pixels, outside, black

And we’re going to add a gradient overlay…Select the garnet and gold like we did last time…Reduce the scale all the way down to 10 so you can see exactly where the gradient line will be…By either scrolling your mouse wheel in the angle box, or clicking the mouse button around the wheel, find an angle you like, then increase the scale until you find a blend that works…

Yikes!! Does your Florida look crooked?? Mine sure does…

Right click on the eyedropper tool above the magnifying glass on the bottom left section of your toolbox….That gives you the option to select the Measure Tool….

Find a line in your image you want to be straight – I’m going to go with the upper left tip of the West coast, and the upper right tip of the East coast – Click and drag your mouse across those points…

Image, Rotate Canvas, Arbitrary, Do nothing but click okay here….Voila! Straighter than a Conservative Republican watching Brokeback Mountain….


Go back to your blending options again because I forgot something here…Check the Bevel/Emboss box – Turn every dial and push every button – See what you like and don’t like…Play around – All of Adobe Photoshop is like a big sandbox….a big old Etch-a-sketch….You can just shake it and it all goes back to the way it was – Note: Do not actually shake your PC and blame me if it doesn’t work again…


So once you’ve found an emboss you like, smooth things out a little with the contour feature….And if you want to give Florida a huge case of the measles, check the texture box


Got something like this? Good on ya mate….Any of my fellow “Vegemites” know the origins of that phrase? Just seeing if you’re all still awake out there



The text used here is a Sans Serif…Why? Because tradition says so….haha – Apparently it’s easier for people to read quickly – That’s why we all type and submit 99% of our daily work in Times New Roman, Arial, Georgia, Tahoma, what-have-you…

The text has been set to center…I’ve made a few adjustments in the character editing field….In the upper tool bar, you’ll see in the middle-right a text warping button – Right next to that is a button that looks like a menu….The Character Editing box pops ups when click there…Play around with it to get the feel for how you can change your font…You’ll have to go to select another parameter before you’ll see any changes you made, again, all easy to restore if you goof something up….

You’re all pros here at gradients by now…But did you know you can make your stroke a gradient?!
Go on, that’s the ticket, hop in that sand-box kiddo….In the stroke section, just change the “fill type” to gradient and have at it….

Now all that’s left really is the world map in the background – See! I told you guys I would get to this eventually…

I didn’t incorporate it into my logo until last b/c it wasn’t until I actually spoke with The Big Cheese that he said, “Eventually our goal is to go global….Can you add a globe in the background?”

“Sure thing,” I said…

Finding a globe map on google images is tougher than it sounds….Take a look for yourself – This was the best I could find….


While I’m sure that “German Imports of Chrome Ore” maps are probably a dime-a-dozen in your neighborhood - why….given the excitability of the subject matter and all….but I just couldn’t find a niche to fit into our little center logo…

We’re going to take that map…zoom in…Get an appropriately sized paint brush….Alt-click on any of the white countries (Note: White as in RGB value, not nations of Caucasian origin, for all you sticklers out there) and begin to fill in those arrows and text markings….

If at any time you feel like you’re committing fraud or debauching another’s artwork while doing this…..Drink a few glasses of wine, read 1984 one more time while soaking in a hot tub, then commence to tell yourself you’re a starving artist, you’re a starving artist, you’re a starving artist….Repeat until cleansed…..

Continue debauchery….

Do the same thing for the black areas…

Now we’re going to commit mass genocide…

See! I told you guys this would be fun! Bring the kids in and do this as a family exercise!

Keep that black paint brush handy and wipe out some of the smaller islands and tiny little inlets around the globe...While you’re at it, make the parts that are supposed to be black, completely black, and the parts that are supposed to be white, completely white….

Now to invert – Ctrl+I

Ahhh! Blink your eyes a few times, it’ll be okay….


Magic wand time again….shift-click once in the Atlantic…once in the Arctic behind Russia….and one last time in the Caspian….Select Inverse…Copy….paste into the rest of our logo….

You may need to stretch this out a bit to fit in the background….Edit, Free Transform, hold the shift key down while you pull the cursor out diagonally to keep the image proportioned…Also, make sure this layer is dead bottom…

So there we have it folks…That’s pretty much it – Where you go from here is up to you, so long as you don’t slap this logo on your business card and call it your own, have fun and do what you want with it….I don’t think you want the State of Florida suing you ;-)

Lots of potential still for subtle changes and personalization….

For example, we’ll be using this version as our full-color web logo….


The other one I showed at the beginning will be our limited-color print logo to cut down on print costs…

Another version of the logo has been modified to black & white for non-color print…

Little details….That’s where it’s at


I hope this has given some of you a few new pointers on how to use Photoshop….I’d love to see the fruit of your labor if you actually took the time to go through this tutorial…

Ask me any questions you may have and I’ll be more than happy to answer…Maybe I blew through something too quick, or perhaps in my capricious sarcasm and windy text, I overlooked a step….

This is meant for someone who has CS or CS2 and has a familiarity with Photoshop, but again – If something isn’t clear – Just ask!!



[edit on 3/10/2006 by EnronOutrunHomerun]



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