I was asked by the Deputy Principle of Carrick-on-Shannon Community School to provide a hi-res digital version of their school crest for general use but specifically for a large sign outside the school. The original graphics were done back in 1994 and the designer was not contactable so all we had to go on was a jpeg of the embroidered crest from a school jumper!
I’ve done a few of these and quite enjoy them but this job had a little more detail than normal website logos. The process is normally the same each time, I import whatever low-res original I have into Photoshop and blow it up to the required size and proceed to trace out the detail using mostly the ‘Pen’ and ‘Selection’ tools. I fill each large Pen traced area with colour, using gradients if required. I create ‘Paths’ for the circular text and let the text follow that.
For details that can’t easily be traced with common shapes, ie – the fish, water, etc below, I use the ‘Free-form’ Pen tool and just trace by (steady!) hand then use the ‘Stroke Path’ option and some custom brush settings to get some nice line art effects.
Before and After below: