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Setting type along a pen path

From: Photoshop for Designers: Type Essentials

Video: Setting type along a pen path

Before I show you my own very modest example of putting type on a path, I wanted to show you a couple of excellent examples of what's possible with this tool, or indeed what's possible even without it. This first example, a historical example by a surrealist poet called Guillaume Apollinaire, and he wrote this I think in 1918. The poem is Il Pleut (It's raining). I mean if this were done in Photoshop today, it will be done using the Vertical Type tool along a path. We see how the form of the text clearly illustrates the content of the poem.

Setting type along a pen path

Before I show you my own very modest example of putting type on a path, I wanted to show you a couple of excellent examples of what's possible with this tool, or indeed what's possible even without it. This first example, a historical example by a surrealist poet called Guillaume Apollinaire, and he wrote this I think in 1918. The poem is Il Pleut (It's raining). I mean if this were done in Photoshop today, it will be done using the Vertical Type tool along a path. We see how the form of the text clearly illustrates the content of the poem.

It was revolutionary at the time and still very relevant today. A much more contemporary example is this poster advertising a retrospective of the works of famous graphic designer, Kit Hinrichs. This is a fairly low-resolution picture of it, but it's a beautifully done piece with the beard created through pieces of type, just absolutely brilliant, and everything in here is a letterform of some description. So this would have been done by creating multiple paths and then putting type along them, not vertically, but just regular type along many different paths.

As you can imagine, extremely time-consuming. In my modest example, I've just taken a small excerpt from Alice in Wonderland and have drawn six different paths, and I have put type along them. In the case of these, we're working with vertical type, and this one and this one, it's just regular horizontal type. Not really much to say about that. It's very, very straightforward. Just draw yourself a path. So let's say I'll choose my Pen tool, and we can use any of the vector tools to draw the path, but I'm going to use my Pen tool, create a nice path like this, and then come and choose your Vertical Type tool, and then click on that path.

Start typing away and then Command+A to select all of the type on that path, and you've got your regular type options. The thing to bear in mind, which is a little bit disorienting at first, is that you are adjusting what would otherwise be the leading were you're working with Horizontal Type. Yu are adjusting that now with the Kerning command, which is Option+Left Arrow or Alt+Left Arrow to bring the letters closer together or right arrow to move them further apart. Having created your path, you can of course come and choose your Direct Selection tool and then when you click on it, you will see the anchor points that you laid down, and you can pull those anchor points around.

You can also, if necessary, come and choose your Pen tool, and you can go and add in more anchor points if you want a bit more flexibility in shaping that path. Or if you find you have too many anchor points, you can just stay in your Pen tool, hover over that anchor point, and you'll see that it now changes to a minus. Click on the that and that will delete the anchor point. One further modification you can make is that if you were to choose the Convert Point tool, that will allow you to convert a corner point to a curve point and vice versa.

So here this is currently a curve point, but if I wanted it to be a corner point, I'll just click on it and that's going to make it a sharp point, like so. If I want it to go in the opposite direction, I would click and drag and pull away from it, and as I do so, I pull out these Bezier control handles. The further I pull, the more of a curve I introduce into that path. So those are the basics. Very simple to implement, but could be very time-consuming to get a really good quality result.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Designers: Type Essentials
Photoshop for Designers: Type Essentials

60 video lessons · 16396 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 1m 31s
    1. Welcome
      56s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
  2. 6m 12s
    1. The pros and cons of setting type in Photoshop
      1m 27s
    2. Exploring type anatomy and terminology
      1m 8s
    3. Setting type preferences
      3m 37s
  3. 34m 28s
    1. Interacting with type layers
      1m 53s
    2. Entering and selecting point type
      6m 27s
    3. Copying a type layer
      3m 6s
    4. Choosing fonts
      3m 15s
    5. Sizing type
      2m 20s
    6. Understanding pixel/point size and resolution
      1m 49s
    7. Entering and selecting paragraph type
      2m 42s
    8. Finding and replacing text
      2m 20s
    9. Spell-checking your type
      55s
    10. Converting point type to paragraph type and vice versa
      1m 23s
    11. Creating returns and non-breaking spaces in paragraph type
      1m 18s
    12. Entering glyphs and special characters
      4m 28s
    13. Applying anti-aliasing to type
      2m 32s
  4. 39m 35s
    1. Changing fonts across multiple layers
      38s
    2. Changing type color
      4m 5s
    3. Sampling color
      3m 19s
    4. Working with transparency
      1m 46s
    5. Applying a gradient
      4m 22s
    6. Setting leading
      3m 56s
    7. Tracking type
      3m 7s
    8. Kerning type
      3m 44s
    9. Using horizontal and vertical scale options
      1m 39s
    10. Using Baseline Shift
      2m 39s
    11. Casing and underlining options
      2m 36s
    12. Giving emphasis
      41s
    13. Using smart quotes
      1m 3s
    14. Working with OpenType fonts
      5m 9s
    15. Resetting the Character panel
      51s
  5. 28m 31s
    1. Aligning paragraphs left, right, and center
      2m 17s
    2. Setting justified paragraph alignment
      6m 1s
    3. Aligning type on an axis
      2m 51s
    4. Setting forced justified paragraph alignment
      3m 4s
    5. Evenly spacing type elements with unique lengths
      2m 29s
    6. Aligning type with guides and Smart Guides
      2m 20s
    7. Aligning type along a radial axis
      2m 32s
    8. Grouping layers
      1m 29s
    9. Adding space between paragraphs and paragraph indents
      2m 9s
    10. Creating a bulleted list
      1m 46s
    11. Setting the hanging punctuation option
      42s
    12. Resetting the Paragraph panel
      51s
  6. 9m 19s
    1. Using type mask tools
      3m 10s
    2. Creating masks from type layers
      2m 36s
    3. Masking with a clipping mask
      1m 41s
    4. Masking with Pattern Overlay
      1m 52s
  7. 37m 24s
    1. Setting type around a circle
      5m 55s
    2. Setting type along a pen path
      3m 42s
    3. Setting type around a shape
      4m 29s
    4. Create a work path from type
      5m 59s
    5. Rotating type with Free Transform
      1m 15s
    6. Working with vertical type
      1m 54s
    7. Working with stacked type
      1m 44s
    8. Transforming type using the Warp tool
      4m 9s
    9. Distorting type
      3m 50s
    10. Converting type to shape layers
      4m 27s
  8. 17s
    1. Final thoughts
      17s

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