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By Colleen Wheeler | Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Deke's Techniques: Placing type on a circular path in Illustrator

This week’s free Deke’s Techniques is the first recorded in Illustrator CS6, but aside from the new dark interface atmosphere, there’s nothing in this technique that can’t be done in earlier versions of Illustrator. Which is to say, placing type on the top and bottom of what appears to be the same circle still requires some finesse, even in this era of Illustrator CS6. In today’s tutorial, Deke will show you exactly how it works.

This technique is ultimately a matter of understanding how to stack two different circles, using the alignment setting and Smart Guides to your advantage, and then adjusting the scale and tracking of the text to finish the effect. The result is type placed on a circular path, with the center of each letter aligned, like you see in this fiercely aligned logo:

Photoshop logo with text places evenly around the entire circle.

For members of lynda.com, Deke’s got an exclusive follow-up movie called Making flared type on a circle that demonstrates how to convert your text to an art brush for those times when you need your letters to bend and flare with the curve of your circle, rather than aligning at the center of each letter. This technique is especially handy when you need to change a long word like tortellini to a word like milk that is much shorter and contains a very wide first letter.

See you back next week when Deke shares another free technique!

Learn more:

• The entire Deke’s Techniques series on lynda.com• All Illustrator courses on lynda.com • All Design courses on lynda.com • All courses by Deke McClelland on lynda.com

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