How to Break Apart a Logo In Illustrator

If you create logos with tools like Placeit or Canva, there might come a time when you may need to make adjustments to the logo, or break it apart only to use certain parts of it. The easiest way to do this is in Adobe Illustrator, but how is it done?

Objects like shapes and logos can be broken apart in Illustrator by using several different methods:

  • Isolation Mode
  • Pathfinder Effects
  • Ungrouping

Working with logos can sometimes be complicated, especially if you’re trying to make changes to single elements of a completed design. Keep reading to learn more about breaking apart logos in Illustrator.

How to Break Apart a Logo in Isolation Mode

Adobe Illustrator’s Isolation Mode allows you to edit single objects or paths by isolating them from the rest of the design.

To enter Isolation Mode:

  1. Double-click on the different elements to isolate the design
  2. This can also be done through the Layers Panel by clicking the object layers and selecting Enter Isolation Mode
  3. Now, you can delete, replace, and create new objects relative to your isolated object
  4. When you’re done, simply hit Esc or click Exit Isolation mode in the Layers Panel

Now, let’s see how to break a logo using pathfinder on Illustrator.

Break Apart a Logo In Illustrator With Pathfinder

Different pathfinder effects allow you to cut and divide objects into standalone shapes. This can be used to break apart a logo into geometric and freehand shapes so that they can be rearranged or removed from the design altogether.

To use the pathfinder method, start by opening your document in Illustrator. Next, you will need to determine which is the best way to break the logo apart depending on the different design elements.

Some of the ways you can break a logo apart include:

  • Cut through objects
  • Cut objects freehand
  • Divide into a grid
  • Hide portions of an object

Once you’ve decided how you want to break apart your logo, follow the steps below.

Cut Through Objects With the Scissors Tool

Here’s how to cut through your logo with the scissors tool:

  1. Grab the Scissors tool. This can be found on the toolbar by clicking and holding the Eraser
  2. Select Scissors
  3. Decide where you would like your split to happen
  4. Click the path
  5. Once the path is split, two anchor points will be created

Now, let’s see how to do this with the knife tool.

Cut Objects Freehand With the Knife Tool

Another way to cut through objects is using the Knife tool. This allows you to cut freehand along a path, dividing the object.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Grab the Knife tool by clicking and holding the Eraser tool
  2. Select Knife
  3. Click and drag the pointer over the area you want to cut out
  4. The cuts you create will appear as strokes across the object
  5. Switch to your Direct Selection tool
  6. Drag the part away

Now, let’s see how to divide it into a grid.

Divide Your Logo Into a Grid

If your logo is made up of repeating patterns or sections, you may want to try breaking it up into a grid of equal parts.

To do this:

  1. Make sure the object is selected
  2. Click on Object from the options menu
  3. Select Path
  4. Select Split Into Grid
  5. In the dialog box, enter the number of rows and columns that you would like to see
  6. Click OK

Now, let’s see how to hide portions of a logo.

Hide Portions Of a Logo

If you would like to hide portions of your design, this can be done with the help of a clipping mask.

Here’s how:

  1. Create the object you will use as a clipping mask
  2. Move the object over the area you would like to mask
  3. From the options menu
  4. Select Object
  5. Click Clipping Mask

That area should now be hidden from sight.

UnGrouping Logos to Break Them Apart

One of the easiest ways to break a logo apart starts with building it in Illustrator to begin with.

For example, let’s say you’ve worked on creating a logo with various shapes, and decided to group the objects together after finishing your design. Now, let’s say you would like to break that logo apart to make changes or only use certain aspects of the design.

To do this:

  1. Grab your Selection tool
  2. Click the object you would like to break up
  3. Right-click on the object
  4. Select Ungroup

You can now move the objects around freely, editing them to your liking.

Final Thoughts

Working with logos is never easy. Hopefully, this simple guide gave you a few ideas on how to break apart a logo in Adobe Illustrator so that you can keep on creating without getting caught up in the design process.