How to isolate the text from a bitmap logo?


I have been given a logo from a client that they want me to 'extract' or 'cut' the text out of and use just the text with a transparent background to fit with the design ethos of their marketing.

I'm using Photoshop CS6 and have tried using channels, magic wand and eraser but I can't get clean edges on the text.

I'm pretty new to Photoshop and any help appreciated.

Basically they want me to cut out the word 'patagonia', keep it white and have it sit on a transparent background on their marketing material

12/10/2013 4:26:00 PM

Accepted Answer

The easiest way would of course be to try and find the typeface the text is set in, and reproduce the word. Barring that possibility, you could try the following:

  • Make your image a regular layer (as in: not the background)
  • Use the Magic Wand tool set to a somewhat generous tolerance (~32) and select all of the white letterforms (use shift)+click to add to your selection).
  • Click on the 'Add layer mask' button to make your selection into a mask for the layer. You'll find the button on the bottom om the layers panel.

This will yield your text, with some darkish edges where the Magic Wand took along some black pixels and made them partially opaque:

dark edges on text

  • Then, add a color overlay in white to your layer. You can reach the color overlay by right-clicking on the layer in the layers palette and choosing 'Blending options'. To edit the colour and the settings of the overlay, remember to click on the 'color overlay' word on the left-hand list, not just the checkmark.

This will cover all of the visible pixels of the layer in white, leaving the partial transparency of the greyish edges intact, but making them white:

dark edges removed from text

12/10/2013 4:23:00 PM

The font is Belwe Bold so that should save you from selection issues :)

But for future reference with this sort of problem you can see the answer to this question where a person was having similar issues with selection.

To summarize, you could use the pen tool & convert the path to a selection. Or make a vector mask.

These are effective and quick. There is also the option of using the polygonal lasso tool (L)

If you choose to use the quick selection tool or magic wand tool (W) then be sure to consider your tolerance which is discussed in the links given as well as some great pointers from Bakabaka.

Good luck with your project.