How to Make a Logo Transparent

by Filonia LeChat

A logo is used to brand an identity, whether it be a business, nonprofit group, sports team, product or other item. Logos may be used on T-shirts, websites, promotional fliers, cups and handouts, created to catch a person's eye and trigger recognition. Because logos are used on so many different products, they've got to be able to be placed seamlessly on a variety of background colors and designs. To do this, logos are created with transparent backgrounds, meaning they don't have a white box surrounding them. If your logo has opacity (the white box makes it nontransparent), it's a few simple quick clicks in Photoshop to remove it and make your logo transparent.

Open Photoshop and click "File," then "New." Name the file "MyLogo" and set the dimensions to be the same size as your current logo, such as 3 inches by 3 inches. Choose "RGB Color" from the "Mode" and set the "Contents" option to "Transparent," then click the "OK" button. Click "View" and "Fit on Screen" to give you more space to work.

Click "File" again, but this time choose "Open." Browse to where the logo is located on your computer and double-click it so it tiles on top of the "MyLogo" box. Click the "Select" menu at the top of the screen, then choose "All." A dotted line appears surrounding your logo.

Press the "Ctrl" and "C" keys on your keyboard to copy the logo. Click once on the "MyLogo" box to give it focus, then simultaneously press the "Ctrl" and "V" keys, which pastes the logo on top of the checkerboard pattern.

Click the "Magic Wand" on the "Tools" palette on the left side of the screen. Click once on any white space on the logo, and the wand will grab surrounding white space as well. Press the "Delete" key on your keyboard, which removes that section of background and lets the transparency show through. Repeat to remove other areas of background.

Click the "Lasso" tool on the "Tools" palette and draw a line around any other specks or small areas of background to remove, then press the "Delete" key.

Click the right-pointing triangle in a circle on the top of the "Layers" palette on the right side of the screen. Choose "Merge Visible."

Click "File," then choose "Save As." Select "GIF" from the "Format" option; GIF is the only format that allows transparency. Select a destination to save to on your computer and click "Save."

Items you will need

About the Author

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.