How to create or draw a funny cartoon logo or character and turn it into a vector file tutorial.

How To Draw and Create a Vector Cartoon Logo

There are several ways to skin a cat and there are just as many ways to draw and create a vector cartoon logo. This page is a guide to the 8 steps we use in creating our professional cartoon logo files.

From pencil sketch to finished vector digital files we'll take you through each step that we use in the process. As stated above this is not how every cartoonists creates a design but this is our favorite means of getting to the perfect piece of graphic art.

Please continue to visit our website and we will educate up and coming cartoonists and also provide tips to future clients. Let us know if there is any aspect of cartoon design that you are interested in learning and we'll see if we can create a short tutorial or video to help teach you.

Enjoy the article below and be sure to share it with your friends if you find it helpful. Please do not copy and reprint this article even with a link back. Using duplicate content can hurt your website and also lower the ranking of this website.


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How We Create A Cartoon Logo Tutorial

by Curtis D. Tucker

Have you ever wanted to know exactly how a professional cartoon logo is created? Read this detailed article and find out how we create our top quality logo designs.

Step 1

The first step in creating a top notch design is to research your subject. I search the Internet, books and many other sources looking for design inspiration, facts, pictures and reference material on my project. Once I have gathered all of my inspiration I try to visualize how I want the character to look. I begin sketcingh with nothing more than a mechanical pencil (7mm lead) on everyday copy paper. I draw, erase and redraw many times on each part of the design. The sketched hand to the right shows the rough lines as I erase and redraw the hand multiple times.

I place a small light box on top of my drawing table and normally draw on the light box. This allows me to see through the eraser marks and also gives me the opportunity to use two pieces of paper which I can overlay on each other and move body parts exactly where I want them without having to redraw several times. An example would be drawing the tongue on a second piece of paper and placing it under my original drawing. Once the tongue is in the position I am happy with I can trace it onto the top piece of paper.

Step 2

I loosely sketch each part of the character beginning with the head. I darken my lines by retracing over them several times as I become satisfied with the image. The full pencil sketch to the right is the rough for thiscartoon cow design. I normally have erased most of the darker guide lines so that I have a design that is as clean as possible.

Step 3

I then scan the pencil drawing using a simple home canner/printer. I scan as a 300 dpi. TIFF on color photo mode. Once scanned, I open the TIFF file in Adobe Photoshop. I quickly change the color mode from color CMYK to greyscale so that I get soft edges on my lines. If you save it as a B&W bitmal you will end up with very jagged edges.

Step 4

This is where I begin to clean up the design. I erase and thickenmy lines to get the design exactly as I want it. I try to eliminate any rough edges or jagged points. When finished the design looks exactly like it has been inked, only I now have lines with very few flaws in them. I then save this B&W TIFF again at 300 dpi. It looks like the third drawing down.

Step 5

The next step is to convert my pixel TIFF to a vector art image. I use Adobe Illustrator to accomplish this step. Open a new page in AI and PLACE the TIFF onto the page. With the image highlighted click the Auto Trace button with the setting of Comic Art. The image is then ready to be vectored. Click Expand and the image will instantly become a wired outline called a vector. The file should then be saved as an AI or EPS file.

The new file looks like the TIFF but now has very smooth lines that can be manipulated with the pointer tools. I ungroup the image and move any nodes, using the pointer tool, that do not look correct. Each white section of the vector image can be clicked on and color can be added with the click of a mouse.

I can also make any changes to the design that I needto at this stage. Notice that I changed the flowers on the cow during this stage. I also added a thicker outline around the cow to make it stand out more and repositioned the tail slightly. These changes can be seen on the first color image.

Step 6

Once the cartoon is created and colored I am ready to begin the process of creating the lettering and any background that might be needed. I scroll through hundreds of fonts picking any that I feel might work for the current project. I then take the handful of fonts and create the logotype using each font face. I throw out any that I don't t like. I look for fun, cartoony and unique lettering.

When I have a typestyle that I really like I normally try to change the font in a way to make it unique to that client.This can be done once the font is converted to Outlines. I may stretch a letter, curve the words or combine two different fonts.

Step 7

If a background is needed I create it in Illustrator. I use circles, squares, fades and other effects until I have one I am happy with.

The image to the right is a bogus cartoon logo design I created for a t-shirt company. I used a circle with cow spots for the background and used two different fonts. The top font was curved using the Fit Text to Path tool in Illustrator.

Step 8

The last step I perform is to save the completed design as an EPS file. I convert the text to curves to avoid any font conflicts with possible printers. I then actually reopen the design in Illustrator and make any last minute color modifications and might add a little shading to the design. Once completely done, I can save the design as Illustrator and EPS vector files.

I open the vector EPS file,highlight it and export it as a transparent PNG file. I also Save As a PDF file. At this stage I have a vector AI, EPS and PDF file plus a PNG file. I then quickly open Photoshop, find the EPS file and it as a TIFF and JPEG pixel file. If needed I can also create a low resolution GIF file using Save for Web.

Read why you need a cartoon logo.

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Cartoon Sketch

Closeup of the sketch. Rough pencil marks and plenty of erasing.

Cartoon Cow Rough The completed cartoon pencil sketch. Cleaned up lines and eraser marks.

Inked Cartoon Cow Character
The black and white high resolution TIFF. Created in Photoshop this step would have been the inking stage in the past.

Colored Cartoon Cow
The completed cartoon image including color and modifications. This would be the vector file.

Cartoon Cow Logo Design

The addition of a background, lettering and other elements makes this a professional cartoon logo design.


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