How to Convert a Scanned Signature to Vector in Illustrator

For painters, signing artwork is as easy as grabbing a pen. But for digital and graphic artists, figuring out how to incorporate a signature into a vector illustration can be tricky. Fortunately, with the help of a photo scanner, it is easy to create a vector version of your handwritten signature in only a few minutes.

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By turning your signature into a vector, you can readily include it in the corner of your digital art project.

Step

Sign your signature using a thick pen on a piece of white paper. A thick signature will be easier to trace into a vector than one done with a very fine-tipped pen.

Step

Scan the piece of paper with the signature into your computer and save it as a JPG file. Crop the scanned image so that only the signature and white background remain.

Step

Open a new artboard on Adobe Illustrator. Under the "File" menu, choose "Place" and then select your scanned signature.

Step

Navigate to the "Object" menu, then choose "Live Trace" and "Make." This will Live Trace the signature and should create a semi-realistic vector replica of the signature. Depending on your computer's scanner quality and other factors, Live Tracing may not work well.

Step

Press "Undo" if Live Trace does not work well. Then go to the "Pen" tool and carefully trace the signature with the stroke set to .25. Once you have traced the whole signature, change the stroke to match the weight on the original signature.

Step

Save the vector version of your signature in your files so that you can easily insert it into Illustrator files in the future.