Thursday, August 12, 2010

[AI] Working with the text tool.

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In today's lesson you'll learn the basics (and more) about Illustrator's text tool.
Note that I've used Illustrator CS3 in this tutorials.

We'll focus on two things: text layout and text font.

Text Layout!
Type Tool (T)
There are two ways of creating text using the text tool: simply clicking on the artboard or by click&draging on the artboard to create a text-area.
The "simply clicking" method it's usually used if you're going to write only 1 text line (this is good for logos, name-signatures,titles,etc...)
The text-area method is good to use when you have to write multiple text lines that have to fit in a specific rectangular region.
Having this text-area makes very easy to change it's width&height which makes this method very useful in brochure designs,website templates,fliers,magazine's covers, etc...

Now some tips in editing the text layer:
  • To easily change the text size (or any other type of layer size) hold CTRL so that the layer's Bounding Box will appear (click&drag the small squares that appear in the corners to resize). Remember to also hold SHIFT if you want to maintain the proportions.
  • To make a text wider select the text with the Type Tool (T) , hold ALT and press RIGHT ARROW to make it wider, or LEFT ARROW to make it tighter. (this works great if you want to stretch a logo's tagline).
  • Same as above, if you have multiple text lines and want to increase the space between lines press ALT+DOWN ARROW , or , if you want to decrease the gap ALT+UP ARROW.
Area Type Tool.
This tool allows you to type text inside a shape layer. For example, I've drawn a circle, selected the Area Type Tool and begun to type inside the shape. Here is the result:

Type on a Path Tool.
Same as before, create a circle and click the path...

The last three tools are the same three tools as before, the only diffrence that this ones type vertical (up->down) instead of horizontal (left->right).
Text Font!
In this part we'll talk more about fonts used for logos.
Most fonts used for logos are divided into 2 big categories: Serifs and Sans-Serifs. Here's a picture that will make you understand what is each of these words referring to:
If you want to read more about this "serif" stuff please read this wikipedia article.
Here is a great list of fonts that are used for popular internet logos. is a great site that offers free fonts for download.
I'll continue this "working with the text tool" tutorial in the future, showing you how to easily stylize the font.

Stay Tuned! :)

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