Converting Logos and Text
There are 2 methods to convert a JPEG to vector format.
- Manually redrawing using the Pen tool or graphics pen. This will be by far the best way to convert your artwork into a vector, especially if your artwork contains any text or has multiple colours. But unless you have experience with this method then it will be very difficult to do as it can take some time to learn.
There are many online companies that provide a jpg to vector conversion service at low cost, depending on how complex the original jpg is.
- Using image-tracing software. Very quick and most vector editing programs have built in auto-tracing function, such as Image Trace in Adobe Illustrator also CorelDraw. There are also some online auto-tracing services such as Vector Magic.
Although auto-traced results are usually not as good as manual conversions, but it will depend on what the uses are for the final vector image. If you have a high res black and white image such as a tree, for example, then image tracing should produce good enough results.
Using Adobe Illustrator Image Trace
Go to the top menu and select WINDOWS>IMAGE TRACE.
This will open a panel with various options. Select your raster image to be traced and then you will see that the panel options are now available to be adjusted. Make sure you have the preview box ticked at the bottom. That way you will instantly see how any adjustments will affect your raster image. Although, if you have a large high resolution image, having the preview ticked may slow the process down.
Illustrator Image Tracing Panel Options
In our experience nearly all jpg or raster logos are better suited to being manually redrawn.
Notice how the sharp corners have been rounded off and also the smooth flowing curves within the flame are appearing a bit jagged and distorted. When you consider how important a company logo is to any business, it would be worth paying to have it manually redrawn.
Manually traced image
This manually redrawn version is an exact replica of the original, without any defects like the autotraced version. As a logo could be used on a large banner or vehicle graphics then any small irregularities will be magnified and look unprofessional.
Tracing Images with Gradient colours
It won’t be possible to replicate a logo using autotrace that contains gradient effects. Autotracing will only produce solid flat colours. Although sometimes you can use this to your advantage to create some nice effects such as the image below.
The autotraced version showing the previous gradient shading now broken up into solid blocks of flat colour.
Using gradient effects you can replicate the original version exactly. Although a gradient effect is not technically a vector, it’s a raster effect. But it will appear like a vector and can be scalable to any size and remain sharp.
Tracing Organic or non-linear images
Providing the image quality is a good enough resolution, then it will usually be better to autotrace images that are more organic without any straight lines, such as the examples below. Especially if the image is a single colour.
It would be hard to tell any difference between the autotraced version and the original. So there would be no point in redrawing images like this manually, as it will take quite a bit of time to do and won’t end up being any better than the autotraced version.
Text will very rarely be suitable for autotracing. But for rough, organic style text then it can often work. Assuming the image resolution is high enough.
So to summarise, both have advantages and disadvantages. In our experience, most images finish up better if manually redrawn, especially logos, but there are some occasions where it will be more beneficial to autotrace.
If you would like us to redraw your logo then please send your artwork for a free quote.