Add Your (Vector) Logo to a Photoshop Menu

February 19, 2004 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to add your logo's shape in vector format (crisp, sharp edges at any size) to your Photoshop files right from a menu in Photoshop? Here's how.

(Actually, this works with any vector artwork, but logos seem a particularly useful application.)

1. Open up your logo in Adobe Illustrator. Check Illy's preferences, in the Clipboard options, and make sure that AICB format is enabled. Doing this allows you to maintain vector path information in your clipboard.

2. Select your logo and copy it to your clipboard.

3. Switch to Photoshop and either open an existing file or create a new one. It doesn't matter which, you'll only use it as a temporary holding area.

4. Choose Paste, and from the Paste Options dialog, choose "Paste as Shape Layer" and click OK. (Obviously this will only be an option in versions of Photoshop that allow you to create shape layers, but most recent versions do.)

5. Your logo appears on a new shape layer in your document.
— A limitation of this technique is that all that's pasted is the shape itself, not the fill. You can change the fill color in Photoshop, but if you're trying to reproduce a multi-colored logo, this won't work.
— A strength of this technique is that you now have crisp, sharp outlines of your logo, which you can easily resize (use Free Transform), edit, convert to raster, use as a mask, use as a clipping path, etc.

To save your logo (or whatever artwork) as a custom vector shape in Photoshop, allowing you to quickly recall it for use in other Photoshop files, do this final step:

6. With your logo's shape layer still selected, go to Photoshop's Edit menu and choose Define Custom Shape. Give it a name and click OK.

You can now delete the Shape layer you pasted in, if you want.

Now… to recall the same shape for use in other Photoshop files, follow these steps:

1. In Photoshop's tool box, click on the Shape tool (under the Text tool). It doesn't matter which shape you select, the default Rectangle Shape is fine.

2. In the Shape Tools Options bar at the top, click on the last shape (looks like a blobby star), which is Custom Shape.

3. When you select Custom Shape in the Shape Options bar, a new dropdown menu appears to the right of it, allowing you to choose any shape Photoshop knows about. Click on the dropdown menu and scroll down past the default shapes until you see the little icon of the custom shape (the logo) you saved and named previously. Select that shape.

4. Drag diagonally on your Photoshop file. A new shape layer is added, containing your logo, and the length of the drag defines its dimensions. Hold down the Shift key as you drag to maintain its original proportions.

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