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.
- View Offline
- 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. Here I have type on an arc, and then, below it, type on an arch.
You can see that, with type on an arch, the example beneath, that keeps the edges of the type vertical, whereas they are going to be curved according to the percentage of the arc in the upper example. 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.
This is akin to the difference between rainbow, as a type on a path effect, that being corresponding with the top, and skew. We'll see this when we put type around a path. Let's move now to this empty space on the art board. I'm 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 OPT 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, and anticipating what is 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 CMD + SHIFT + C. And you'll see that that immediately puts it centered at the top of the circle.
CMD + A to select all of that, and then I am going to change the type face to Chaparral Pro Bold, and increase the type size, CMD + SHIFT or CTRL + SHIFT and the > key. I have my type preferences set up to just go a half point at a time when I do that. I'm moving in very small increments. That preference is right there.
I want to go up to about that size. 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. 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've 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 OPT or ALT key and then just drag from that tic. That tic represents the center aligned type. I'm going to drag from there and into the center of the circle. 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. I need to come and just spin that around somewhat. What I have here is my beginning story and ending story markers. This is what makes type on a path potentially so confusing. I need to, in this case, open that up so that I can see all of my type. 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. 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. Which, in my case, uppercase, and 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 CMD + SHIFT + < to make it smaller, and then I am also going to change its weight to regular.
Now, the problem here, you're always going to have to go through this step, is that the type is aligned relative to the baseline, and that works for the type at the top of the circle, but not for the type at the bottom of the circle. 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 CMD or CTRL + T, and that's going to bring up my Character panel, and then I am 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 + OPT, or SHIFT + ALT and the up arrow, and that's going in too big increments, 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.
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 OPT or ALT key, as I drag 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 sublayers, 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