The other day, a co-worker asked if I'd be able to modify the A&W root beer logo with some custom text in place of the "Since 1919 Root Beer" text along the top and bottom.
I used Adobe Illustrator and simply added a layer over the original graphic, where I masked out the text and replaced it with what he wanted. End of story.
Except... afterwards, I began to wonder how one might do the logo entirely in Illustrator. Those two arcs behind the A&W -- in orange and brown -- turned out to be really tricky.
My idea was to use various oval shapes and create the arcs by overlaying two ovals and then using the Pathfinder "Minus Front" to leave just the crescents. That worked okay, but when it came time to match up and overlay the orange and brown crescents, I saw the conundrum:
What I finally ended up doing was create a custom-shaped crescent arc and then mirror that in its corresponding color. This allowed me to maintain the white strokes, which work so well to accent the opposing arcs.
The golden brown "plaque" behind the rest of the logo is basically an oval united with a rounded square. I had to coax and fudge the paths of the square to give it a slightly rounded appearance.
The lettering for the "A&W" was a lost cause. I simply did not have a matching font set that came close. I ended up using a Palatino Linotype bold italic to get something that I liked instead. One layer of brown text over a layer of golden brown, offset slightly. I couldn't even come close to matching the glyph for the ampersand. That ended up coming from the Brush Script Std Medium font set. It was placed as the top-most layer.
It's a hack job, but that will do, pig.