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Type on a path vs. text as an art brush

From: Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Type on a path vs. text as an art brush

Another great use for an art brush is creating text on a path; which is particularly useful if you want to distort the text along a path, as in the case of the stacks at the very top and the bottom of the illustration; or when you just want to auto fit the text to the path. That's something that art brushes take care of on their own, however you have got to do all kinds of custom fitting when you're creating type on a path. So what we're going to do in this movie, I'll show you how we might pull off this effect using standard type on a path, and then in the next movie I'll show you how to express text as an art brush.

Type on a path vs. text as an art brush

Another great use for an art brush is creating text on a path; which is particularly useful if you want to distort the text along a path, as in the case of the stacks at the very top and the bottom of the illustration; or when you just want to auto fit the text to the path. That's something that art brushes take care of on their own, however you have got to do all kinds of custom fitting when you're creating type on a path. So what we're going to do in this movie, I'll show you how we might pull off this effect using standard type on a path, and then in the next movie I'll show you how to express text as an art brush.

So I'll go ahead and switch over to my illustration in progress, and notice that I do have text on the path up here at the top and the bottom of the illustration. If you're working along with me, twirl open the path-type layer here inside the Layers panel. And notice that just the bottom two objects on this layer are currently visible. Go ahead and make them invisible by turning off their eyes. And then turn on these other four formerly invisible objects by dragging down the eyeball column like so. So you should have two lines of type; this one is a little hard to see, so I'll drag it up here.

Two lines of white type expressed as point text and then we have two invisible paths as well. So I'm going to go ahead and affix this bottom text first, and I'm not seeing any kind of selection here because my edges are hidden. So I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac in order to bring them back. So click on the baseline for the bottom text, then go up to the Edit menu and choose the Copy command or press Ctrl+ C or Command+C on the Mac. Then go ahead and meatball the bottom of the two crazy paths here, that's what they are called here inside the Layers panel, and that's just the easiest way to get to them because after all they are invisible.

And press the T key in order to switch to the Type tool, and then click somewhere along the path. And I'm just going to click right there in the center because my text is currently center aligned, so you would think when I go up to the Edit menu and choose the Paste command or press Ctrl+V or Command+V on the Mac, that everything would work out great. But it doesn't, as usual. So I'll go ahead and switch to the Black Arrow tool. And it's just, I have to say, that text on the path can be maddening at times to work with. So if you feel the same way, I share your pain. I'm going to go ahead and drag this first bar all the way over here to the left-hand side and drag this last bar here all the way to the right-hand side; but unfortunately we still have overflow text.

So with the text selected, I'll go ahead and bring up my Character panel, which I can get by pressing Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac. And I'm going to change this Vertical Scale value to 110% and then I'll take the Horizontal Scale value down to 90%. Then I'll go ahead and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac and that should take care of things with the exception of the fact that we have some weird spacing problems here and there, especially right there in the center. The F and T are not resolving properly, and the only way I would get them to resolve properly is to smooth out this transition.

But what we've got is a corner point at this location, a cusp point actually. And that never goes well when you're working with text on a path. All right! Now let's do the top text. I'll go ahead and click on the baseline for that text to select it. Then I'll press Ctrl+C or Command+ C on the Mac in order to copy it. I'll meatball the only remaining crazy path item here inside the Layers panel, because the other one got renamed to the text along the path. And with this path selected I'll go ahead and switch to the Type tool again, by now maybe I've learned my lesson, I'll click on the first anchor point in order to set the insertion marker at that location and I'll press Ctrl+ V or Command+V on the Mac, in order to Paste the text.

Then I'll switch back to my Black Arrow tool; looks like the first bar is in place but second bar needs to be moved over a little bit. We have got overflow text again, so we need to do some copy fitting. I'll bring up my Character panel. Change that Vertical Scale value to 110%, change Horizontal Scale to 90%. And I also need to move the text down, so I'll go up to the Type menu, choose Type on a path, and then choose Type on a Path Options. And I'll change Align to Path from Baseline to Ascender, Turn on the Preview checkbox, and it looks like that. Which isn't really precisely what I want.

I want the top of those capital letters to be aligned with a path, so I'll click OK and I'll change my Baseline Shift value here, which raises the baseline upward. And I just happened to know that a value of 6.5 pt. works for this text here, and I end up getting this final effect. But it's no good, because again we have the spacing problems right there, most obviously in the word FOR. But you can find spacing problems elsewhere as well. And of course, we're not going to be able to create the distortion effect that I'm looking for either. So in the case like this, you're much better off going with an art brush.

So let me show you how that works. The only bit of bad news associated with text expressed as an art brush is that you've to convert the text outlines. You can't work with live text. So you need to make sure that all of your copy editing is done, everything spelled properly and so on. Then you want to select your text objects, so I'll select both of these guys right here-- that is the point text objects, not the path text. And then I would normally recommend that you copy this text just so you keep the original editable text handy. However, we're going to live dangerously here.

So I'm just going to go up to Type menu and choose Create Outlines or you can press Ctrl+Shift+O or Command+Shift+O on the Mac. And now we've path outlines where formerly we had point text. All right, now I'll click off the text to deselect it and I'll click on the top letters to select them, and I'll bring up my Brushes panel and I'll just go ahead and drag and drop these path outlines into the Brushes panel. Obviously we want an Art Brush, the Scatter Brush wouldn't make any sense because that would just scatter different versions of this row of characters around. And a Pattern Brush of course would repeat them.

So we just want a nice fluid art brush. Go ahead and click OK, and then I'm going to name this guy different strokes. And that's it; you don't even need to change the colorization method because the text is going to remain white. So everything else is already done, just go ahead and click OK. And now grab this bottom text right there and drag it and drop it into place and set it as an Art Brush, click OK. The toughest part is naming this art brush, especially because I'm not a particularly good typist. And I believe it's curiously handcrafted.

That's all I have to do, just name it, click OK. And you can see now these lines of white texts, they are very squished inside of the Brushes panel. But the great thing is that there are appearing now inside Illustrator CS6 against a light gray background, so we can actually make them out when they're set to white. And if you were to stretch the panel horizontally then the text is going to stretch as well, and that's because art brushes always fit their paths, which is such a great thing.

And in fact, I'm going to show you exactly how to fit the art brushes to the paths in the next movie.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

118 video lessons · 14353 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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