Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a circular logo with type on a path, part of Logo Design: Techniques (2016).
- [Instructor] Putting type around a circle can convey an official seal or stamp. For this reason, it's often used to confer legitimacy and status on a brand. We see it with coffee houses, car companies, and rock bands. A broad range. If we just want type on an arc, we can use warp effects, but if we want the type to be read at the top and the bottom of the circle, we need to use type on a path. Let's look at the warp effects first. So, here I have type on an arc, and then below it, type on an arch.
And you can see that with type on an arch, the example beneath, that keeps the edges of the type vertical, whereas they're going to be curved according to the percentage of the arc in the upper example. So if we move down here, I have two pieces of type to which we can apply the same effects. Select it, come to Effect, Warp, Arc, and let's go with less than that, let's just go with 30 percent, and now, let's compare that to Warp, Arch.
The same amount. So let's move now to this empty space on the artboard, and I am going to start out with my ellipse, draw myself a circle. I want the circle from the center point, and a perfect circle, so I'm holding down Option or Alt and the Shift key, as I do so. I will then come and choose my Type on a Path tool. Now, as soon as I click on that path, the fill is going to disappear. Anticipating what's going to happen here, I'm going to click at the six o'clock position, and then put in my text.
I'm now going to center that text. I can use that icon right there, or I can use the keyboard shortcut, Command-Shift-C. And you'll see that that immediately puts it centered at the top of the circle. Command-A to select all of that, and then I'm going to change the typeface to Chaparral Pro Bold, and increase the type size, Command-Shift, or Control-Shift, and the more than key. Now, I have my type preferences set up to just go a half point at a time when I do that, so I'm moving in very small increments.
That preference is right there. I want to go up to about that size. Now, before I put type along the bottom of the circle, let's just look at the Type on a Path options. Rainbow, and typically, this is the one that I would use, but we also have the option to skew. And in this case, not such a good result, but you can clearly see the distinction there. We also have these other options, which, frankly, I've never found a use for, but never say never.
Maybe one day. I'll put that back to rainbow. Now, what I want to do is essentially have a copy of this circle, and I can get this in one move. If I hold down my Option or Alt key, and then just drag from that tick, that tick represents the center aligned type. I'm going to drag from there, and into the center of the circle, and things can go a little bit crazy when you do this, and they have gone a little bit crazy for me. If you're lucky, it will end up in just the right position.
In my case, it has not, so I am going to need to move that around. So I need to come and just spin that around somewhat, and what I have here is my beginning story and ending story markers. And this is what make Type on a Path potentially so confusing. I need to open that up, so I can see all of my type. Now, because this type is centered, there is going to be a mark at its center point. That's the one that I want to get, and I want to drag that around to the bottom of that circle, like so.
Now, I'm going to select it, and type in whatever is the type that I want to appear on the bottom of the circle. My type is too big to fit within the bounds, I'm not going to worry too much about that, because I'm going to make the type smaller. I will select it, and Command-Shift-Less Than, to make it smaller, and then I'm also going to change its weight to Regular. Now the problem here, and you are always going to have to go through this step, is that the type is aligned relative to the baseline.
That works for the type at the top of the circle, but not for the type at the bottom of the circle. So I need to come to my Type on a Path options, and say, align to ascender. Turn on my preview, and you can see, that's what we're going to get. In addition to this, I need to shove the type up just a little more, so I'm going to press Command or Control-T, that's going to bring up my Character panel, and then I'm going to show the options on my character panel, because the option that I want is this one here, my baseline shift.
I need to shift it up slightly. I can use a keyboard shortcut for this also, which is Shift-Option or Shift-Alt and the up arrow, and that's going in too big an increment, so I'm just going to nudge that down a fraction, and I want to end up with about a six point positive baseline shift. Now I can go ahead and adjust this more, adjust the relative sizes of the type, but essentially, that is the point that I want to get across, that for type to be read at the top and bottom of a circle, you essentially need two circles.
So the takeaway here is that if you want type reading both ways on a circle, you need two circles. I created the second circle at the bottom by holding down the Option or Alt key, as I dragged from the type on the top circle. If we look at the layers panel, I'll click on the triangle to disclose the contents of Layer one, we see that here are two sub-layers. And if I hide the top one, we see just the bottom, and vice versa.
- Generating logo ideas
- Choosing the right typeface
- Designing with simple shapes
- Adding shine, texture, beveled edges, and transparency
- Designing with negative space
- Choosing logo colors
- Preparing final files