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How to *bend* type?
Newbie question for the graphics crowd

 10:41 pm on Dec 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

I am no artist but as I am part of a volunteer organization I have been asked to *try* to produce a new logo for a kids programme called Kids And The Sea.

As part of the logo, I would like to be able to bend some type (in a half oval) saying:

Swimming Rowing Sailing Scuba Diving ... but don't have a clue how one does this. I have very limited graphics programmes on my imac. Am I dreaming? Do you need special programmes for this sort of thing?


Black Knight

 11:11 pm on Dec 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

Most of the halfway decent graphics applications will do all kinds of text effects for you. A quick trip to you local newsagent or grocery store that stocks PC magazines should find you a range to choose from as freebies on the cover disks.

More interestingly, you can also do some pretty cool effects (for IE users only so far) with the MS extensions to CSS (Filters). Of course, that stuff only reaches the IE users at the moment, so the graphics option is the more widely supported by far. Just don't forget to also use the ALT attribute on the IMG tags.

Ammon Johns


 11:15 pm on Dec 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

Just for the record, I'd love to know how this is done in Photoshop.


 11:50 pm on Dec 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

Photoshop 6.0 has seriously upgraded their type handling. When the Type tool is chosen, then at the top of the page there is an icon -- a capital T over a two-headed arrow with a curved shaft. That's the place to curve type, plus a few more tricks.

Before 6.0, I think you needed to rasterize the type and then manipulate the raster image (curves were hard to do!) I used to use a clunky old Adobe program called TypeAlign and then import the image into PhotoShop.


 12:14 am on Dec 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hmmm. Well I'm on 5.5 and you lost me. :) I'm no graphics monkey.

I best get one of those magazines. Seem to remeber Xara ? was good at this stuff.


 12:21 am on Dec 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

I just got a new Wacom mouse (the mouse and pen set which came with Correl and Photoshop LE. Any chance this can be done in either of these programmes?


 12:47 am on Dec 19, 2001 (gmt 0)


In 5.5, first rasterize your type layer. In 5.5 I think it's:
Layer > Type > Rasterize

Then apply:
Filters > Distort. Especially experiment with "Polar Coordinates" to get various curves.

PS -- Yes, Xara bends type pretty smoothly, as I recall. Don't have it installed currently.


 12:52 am on Dec 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

The corel might, usually the more useful things are pulled out of the 'light' versions.
Freehand or Illustrator of course are the usual tools for this, but if you have fireworks it will do it, or flash. Generally what you're looking for is "text on a path" - which takes the vector outlines from the font, and interprets them in relation to a vector (curve).


 12:54 am on Dec 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

Mmm. Don't seem to have the option of

Layer > Type > Rasterize

But it's late...


 1:13 am on Dec 19, 2001 (gmt 0)


I can't remember the exact spot for this command. But somewhere there's a standard option that turns a type layer into a rasterized layer of pixels. Until it's rasterized, the layer is only contains the mathematical curves defined by the font. That is, you can change the spelling, the font, etc., but you can't run filters or edit functions.

Rasterizing comes in very handy because then you can stretch and distort the type, or copy the layer and blur one copy for a shadow, or fill the letters with a gradient -- all kinds of things.


 5:34 am on Dec 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

Liane, with PSP you can do text on a curve using the vector features pretty easily. That's a project I've been meaning to take up, too. So much can be done with it.

Some of the nicest, simplest graphics tips for all the popular programs are at the WebReference site, including text on a path. Check out ]Wendy Peck [webreference.com]. Her stuff is all practical and useful.


 6:19 pm on Dec 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately Liane, your graphics software collection and mine don't seem to have much overlap... :( Last time I did curved-to-a-path type effects was with an ancient copy of FreeHand,years ago...


 12:47 am on Dec 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks guys and Marcia especially. I'll see what I can do with what I've got and the site you mentioned. If I can manage to get it done, I'll let you know how it works out.


 10:57 pm on Jan 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

It's not particularly useful for the web, but the ubiquitous MicrosoftOffice has something called WordArt that has lots of built-in templates for curving and distorting text, plus adding other effects. It's pretty slick for print documents that need a little punching up, thought I wouldn't use it for heavy-duty logo desing.


 7:40 am on Jan 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you get a look that you like in WordArt, you can always do a screen capture and past it into your image editor for cropping and tweaking, etc. Sometimes that's the quickest workflow I can find.

Also, I often capture images from PDF's that way as well. I have one client who never saved original art and in many cases they can only hand off protected PDF's.

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