3 Ways to Make the Background of a Logo Transparent: A Step-by-Step Guide
A logo with a transparent background can be crucial to having professional level designs and ads. It gives you more options of where you can place your logo, and allows for a polished look for the end product. While Photoshop is a go to tool for this, there are many other ways it can be accomplished, if you are a designer or not!
Transparent backgrounds for the non-designer:
The best free tool I’ve found is LunaPic. LunaPic works very simply, You upload your image by clicking browse button, and then and select your photo.
The Transparent background effect can be found in the edit menu on the toolbar.
Then you click on the background color—in this case, anywhere on the white. And your image is now transparent! There is an adjustment bar at the top if you feel that more or less of the background should be visible. You can easily download it to use in a variety of ways.
Another good option is Clipping Magic. Unfortunately, it’s not free, and to download your image you will need a subscription, but it is relatively inexpensive. While LunaPic is good for removing solid color backgrounds, if for some reason the background is not solid, Clipping Magic is another good choice. Here’s how it works:
To start, you upload your photo.
Then you use the red and green brush tool to mark which parts of the image to keep and which to get rid of.
You don’t need to draw over everything, just enough that the yellow lines are around your image. You can also change the brush size at the bottom of the page if your logo has thin lines.
PicMonkey is another great resource that also requires a subscription. There is a 7-day free trial, but after that you have to pay to use the service. PicMonkey is very useful if you will be doing more editing than just transparent backgrounds. To it, you start by clicking “design” on the homepage.
When you open your design, you’ll want to resize the canvas to the size of your image. In this case, my image was 4349 pixels by 2852 pixels. The “resize” option is at the bottom at the basic effects panel. Make sure you uncheck “keep proportions” unless your image is a square.
At the top of the “basic effect” panel, you can change the background of your image to be transparent.
Now upload your image by clicking on the “Overlay” panel and selecting add your own. When your photo uploads the overlay tool will appear. You will want to click on eraser, and then you can start erasing away the background of your image.
The eraser size is adjustable the help erase around small lines. Once you’re done, simply save your image to use anytime!
Using Photoshop to Make a Transparent Background
If you are a designer, or you use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, there are a few simple ways to make your logo background transparent.
It is very easy to take out the background of a photo in Photoshop. After you open your image in Photoshop, make sure it is unlocked so it can be edited. Then select the Magic Wand tool.
Then, click anywhere on the background to select it. There will then be a moving dotted line around everything that is selected.
The Magic Wand tool is great, but doesn’t always select all the white space. To make sure you will be erasing all of the background, I like to click on the “Select” drop-down menu, and choose “Similar”. This will ensure that all of the background is actually being selected.
Once all the background is selected, just hit “Delete” on your keyboard and the background is gone!
To deselect the image, use shortcut command-D and then you can save the logo as a PNG to preserve the transparency. A JPEG cannot have a transparent background no matter how hard you try.
Making a Vector-based Logo In Illustrator
While PNGs are great, they are pixel-based and not vector-based. This means that when you scale it up, you’ll lose clarity and the image will be fuzzy. A vector-based image can be scaled infinitely small or large and remain crisp with no pixelation. If the logo you have is not already vector-based, there is an easy way to turn it into vector artwork using Adobe Illustrator.
First we will want to image trace the logo. After you open the image in Illustrator, select Object from the top menu, and then click on “Image Trace – Make”. After this point there are a few different ways to continue.
Don’t be worried if your image looks a little weird right after, This is very fixable. The preset menu on the left is very helpful for figuring out which image trace is best for your logo. For this logo, I chose the 6-color option because there are 4 different colors used.
The new vector looks identical to the original image. You’ll notice though that there is still a white background If you move the vector over.
To fix this, you first have to click “Expand” from the top bar in order to give the image points that you can edit. Now, using the Direct Selection tool, you can delete the point around the logo to get rid of the white box.
You can save this file as an EPS to preserve the vector. A PDF will also preserve vectors but will give it an automatic white background.
Whether you have never edited an image before or you’re new to Illustrator and Photoshop, these tools should give you an easy way to create a more functional and attractive logo.
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Campbell Thompson is CMG’s Visual Composer. Campbell is a Creative Advertising and Studio Art major at Michigan State University. She has a passion for politics and nonprofits, and hopes to use her skills in graphic design and photography to inspire change in the world around her.