Creating text on a path:

1: For this quick lesson we will trace an image with a shape layer, convert it to a path and then use this path to hold text so we create a silhouette of text that surrounds our traced figure- text on a path.

Step 1: start by importing a figure that we want to trace and place it on it’s own layer, sizing it appropriately.

Step 2: Select your pen tool and trace the figure with a shape layer, lowering the opacity after the first anchor point is placed so the fill color becomes transparent and you can see through the figure as you trace it until your figure is complete.

Step 3: Now turn off your photographic image until only the shape layer remains. Go to your paths panel and you will see that you have a single path labeled Shape 1 Vector Mask. Make sure this layer is selected so it is highlighted in blue and the vector shape on your screen has it’s thin black line surrounding it showing the location of the path surrounding the shape.

Step 4: Now select your T type tool and when you hover it over any point on the edge of the path of your figure, you will notice that the tool icon changes slightly- when you are over the edge and the cursor is in this state- click down and the type tool will select that point of the path edge to allow you to start entering text. Start typing at this point until your first line of text appears.

Step 5: AS you start to insert text upon the path line that surrounds your figure, open your character control panel and start to explore the controls and see how they affect the way the text flows along your path line. You will discover that the font size, tracking controls, baseline shift and vertical and horizontal scaling all have to be used in conjunction to create a line of text that will smoothly flow along your figure’s silhouette.

Step 6: Continue to add text until you totally surround the figure. Keep selecting parts of the text path with the text tool to adjust, using the various controls in the Character Control Panel, to make the text best fit along the curves of your path as you lay it in.

Your Assignment:

1: Start by finding a figure or image to trace and create a shape silhouette and surround it with text just like the example we have just produced. You will be creating three examples- this is the first text wrap example on your page.

2: Return to your page, go to your shape tools in the toolbar and create a simple geometric shape, such as a circle or star, and draw it on your page- fill it in with a simple gradient- follow the same procedure we just used and make it your logo by text wrapping the title or word you choose around it to create a logo where your text surrounds the shape of your logo design- see the following example- use the character control panel and baseline shift control to lower the text below the baseline so it drops inside the path line inside the logo figure you have created. Then use the layer styles controls give the text color, dimension and exaggerate it’s form to create a simple logo form.

3: Your last item to add- return to the path tool and use the pen to create a simple line curved path. With this path selected in the paths panel- return to the text tool and, clicking on this path line, enter a name for your product or client that you will have follow this curved path line. Again, use the character control panel to adjust the font size, tracking, vertical and horizontal scaling until you achieve the look you want. Once you have the shape of the lettering along the path line, use your layer styles again to give your text color and form so that it is emphasized- attracting attention to itself and making itself the dominant item in your design pulling the eye to it.