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In Illustrator CS5 Essential Training, author Mordy Golding explains the core concepts and techniques that apply to any workflow in Illustrator, whether designing for print, the web, or assets for other applications. This course includes a detailed explanation of the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of the Illustrator drawing tools. Also demonstrated are techniques for combining and cleaning up paths, organizing paths into groups and layers, text editing, working with color, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
So we know that inside of Illustrator, we can create a type on a path object where the type flows along a path. We've done that so far with open paths, but let's take a closer look at working with closed paths because a few things are somewhat different. First of all note that in this example I have the word CULTIVATE appear across the top, but the word YOUR GARDEN goes in a different direction across the bottom. In order to create this type of design inside of Illustrator, you actually need to create two type on a path objects.
To see how to create that, let's first begin with drawing a circle. I am going to use the regular Ellipse tool and I will hold down the Option key or Alt on Windows and also the Shift key so I can draw perfect Circle out from the center. Next, I'm going to want to add some text here to this path. So to make things easier, I can actually set some of these settings in advance. I will go to the Window menu here, scroll down to where it says Type, and I will choose open up the Character panel. In fact I want to work with the Paragraph panel as well, so I am simply going to take the tab of the Character panel and drag it out so it is own separate panel.
Let me position these right about over here, so now I have both the Character and Paragraph panel visible. I want my text to be centered, so I am going to click on the Align Center option. And I want is Chaparral Pro Bold for my typeface, so from the popup over here I am going to choose Chaparral Pro and I will now choose Bold and I'll use the typeface little bit bigger, maybe around 24 points. Great. Now I am ready to add my type to this circle and create a type on a path object. Now, I will start by first coming over here to my Tools panel and I will select the Type tool.
While we know that there are several type tools here which I can access by clicking and holding the mouse button down on the type tool, I can use certain keyboard shortcuts so that I don't have to keep switching between these tools. For example when I am on the artboard with my regular Type tool, I know that if I click once, I'll create a point text object. If I click and drag, I will create an area text object. If I click on an open path, that path will turn into a type on a path object, but I also know that if I move my cursor over a closed shape, Illustrator actually turns into the cursor with those parentheses, indicating it's going to turn that into an area text object.
In other words, Illustrator thinks that I might want to put text inside of this circle and treat a circle like a container for the text. I don't want to do that here. I actually want this to turn into a type on a path object where the text runs along the perimeter or the outside of the circle. So to do that I am going to press the Option key or the Alt key on my keyboard. Now you will notice that my cursor changes to the Type on a Path tool. Now remember I had my text now set to centered, so I want my text to be centered right at the top of the circle right here.
So I could type the word CULTIVATE. So with my Option key held down, I am now going to click on this area and watch what happens. Yes, it did now convert this to a type on a path object but my blinking cursor now is at the bottom of the circle. In fact, if I start typing the word CULTIVATE I see that that text right now is perfectly centered at the bottom. Why did that happen? Well, let's switch to the Direct Selection tool and will get a better understanding of what just happened. You see when we're working with an open path and I click at one point to create my type on a path object, the place where I click actually becomes my start point.
However, a quick look now at the circle reveals that at the top of my circle I now see both the start and the end points. I also see both the in and out ports. This is because on a closed path, the same place that I click not only defines my start point. It also defines the endpoint. That's because we are dealing with a continuous path here. So when I click at this point, I have indeed created my start point, but if I then travel 360 degrees around the circle, my endpoint is right back where I started.
Since I specified my text to be centered, this point at the bottom of the circle is now the center point between my both start and end points. So to fix this problem, all I need to do is move down over here, grab the center point, and drag it up towards the top. If I am using Smart Guides, it's really easy to snap it right in to position. However, at this point I now want the words YOUR GARDEN to appear along the bottom part of the circle, but remember inside of Illustrator, I can only have text travel in one direction along a path and it can only be on one side of that path, in this case either the outside or the inside.
In order for text to travel in this direction, I would need the text to be traveling on the inside of that path. So to do that I'm now going to create a second type object. I'll hold down my Option key on my keyboard or Alt on Windows and I will click and drag to create a copy of this type on a path object. Now I can double click on the text to change my type cursor, hit Command+A to select all of my text within this particular text object, type in the words YOUR GARDEN, and then using my Direct Selection tool move the center point of this one not only towards the bottom of the circle, but also towards the inside of the circle as well.
So I have created two basic elements I need in order to complete my construct here. To align them correctly, I am going to use my Selection tool to select both of these elements and then from the Control panel I will click a line to bring up the Align options and I will align it both vertically and horizontally by their centers. At this point though I still need to make one other adjustment because if I select this, you'll see that the word CULTIVATE appears along the outside of the path, but the word YOUR GARDEN appears along the inside of the path. So I am not really getting the visual look that I'm going for. I really need the tops of the letters here of YOUR GARDEN to align up here with the path itself, not the bottom of that text.
So to make that adjustment I'm going to be using Baseline Shift. I'll take my Type tool, I'll click to insert my icon here inside of this text, and press Command+A and I can now use the Baseline Shift option, I will go here using negative values, to actually push my text out so that it aligns correctly. I could then use additional settings here inside a Character panel, for example a point size and tracking, to get my text to look exactly as I need it.
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