Typography Mini Lessons: Photoshop and Illustrator

Today we will complete a series of mini lessons to become more familiar with text in either Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. You will choose either Photoshop or Illustrator, and complete ALL the tutorials for that particular software program. Make sure you are completing the correct tutorials for the look & feel you wish to achieve!

Examples of typography in Illustrator:

coffee_facts college_vote1 amsterdam_crop

Examples of typography in Photoshop:

static1.squarespace.com photographer_hand_lettered guide_to_espresso1

Typography in Adobe Illustrator

Converting text into outlines:

deconstructivism_letters

  1. Create a new file in Illustrator
  2. Select the text tool text_tool from the tools palette on the left side of the screen, and click and drag to create a text box.
  3. Type in your desired text.
  4. To change the typeface or size, open the characters palette. Window -> Type -> Character.
    character_palette
  5. To change the color, double-click on the colors palette at the bottom of the toolbar on the left side of the screen, and select the color of your choice. color_palette
  6. Select the black arrow black_arrow from the tools palette, then click on your text box.
    selected_text
  7. Type -> Create Outlines
    type_create_outlines
    Now your text should be converted to vector paths:
    outlines_screen_shot
  8. Object -> Ungroup
    object_ungroup
    This will break apart the letters and allow you to scale and distort individual letterforms.
  9. Now you can use the black arrow black_arrow to select one letter at a time and scale and rotate it. You can also use the white arrow white_arrow to select and move individual points and distort the shape of the letters:
    distorted_letterforms
  10. Save your file as a PDF. File -> save as -> PDF
Type on a path tool:

text_on_path

  1. Create a new file in Illustrator
  2. Create a shape that you would like to use as a text path. Click and hold on the rectangle tool on the toolbar on the left side of the screen until all the shapes pop up. Select your desired shape.
    pre_built_shapes
    Then click and drag anywhere on the page to create a shape.
    drawn_circle
  3. Click and hold on the text tool in the toolbar on the left side of the screen.
    More options will pop up. Select the type on a path tool.
    type_on_a_path_tool
  4. Click on the outline of the shape you have drawn and begin typing your text.
    You can change the size of the text in the characters palette. (Window -> Type -> Characters).
    If it look like the type is not showing up, it might be too large to fit in the area.
    Try shrinking the point size of the typeface.
    type_on_a_circle
  5. You can also draw your own custom path with the pen tool pen_tool
    wavy_path
    and click on the path with the “type on a path” tool
    typography_wavy
  6. When you are finished, save your file as a PDF. File -> save as -> PDF

 

Tracing over hand drawn text with the pen tool:

grateful_dead_lettering

 

  1. Sketch fancy lettering by hand. Photograph the lettering and transfer it onto your computer.
  2. Create a new file in Adobe Illustrator. Open Illustrator, (File -> New Document) and place the photo of your lettering in that file. (File -> place)
    DO NOT try to open your downloaded image in Illustrator! This will cause strange things to happen.
  3. Create a new layer by clicking on the “new layer” button at the bottom of the layers palette on the right side of the screen. new_layer_button
  4. Trace over your first shape. (You may need to decrease the opacity of this layer so you can see what you are tracing. You can do this by clicking on the transparency icon transparency_icon on the right side of the screen and decreasing the opacity so it is below 100. transparency_window)
  5. Bring the opacity back 100% and adjust the color if necessary.
  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have traced over all the letters in your word.
  7. Save your Illustrator file, and then save a version as a .pdf

If you are working in Illustrator, by the end of today’s class, you will create a new blog post with the following:

  • a PDF in which you traced over each letter in the design with the pen tool
  • a PDF in which you typed a word in Illustrator, converted the text to outlines, broke apart the letters, and arranged them creatively (bonus points if you adjusted individual points on the letter to create a unique letter form)
  • a PDF in which you a drew new path with the pen tool, selected the “type on a path tool,” and typed a word or phrase along the path you just created
  • a paragraph describing which, if any, of these techniques you plan to use in your final infographic design

Typography in Adobe Photoshop: Hand-drawn lettering

In this tutorial, you will learn how to add hand lettered details to a photograph, like the example below:
photo_w_text

To complete this tutorial, you will need an abstract or low contrast photo and an image of black and white hand lettering:
abstract_ice hand_letttering_scan

How to add hand lettering to a photograph:

  1. Open the image of hand lettering in Photoshop.
  2. Click on the magic wand tool on the toolbar on the left side of the screen. magic_wandIt may be hidden below the quick selection tool, so you may need to click and hold on the quick selection tool until the magic wand tool appears below it, then select the magic wand tool. magic_wand_quick_selection
  3. At the top of the screen, set the tolerance to 50.
    This may need to be adjusted, but this is a good starting point. magic_wand_tolerance
  4. Click on any black area of the text image to select that part of the text.
    To select the rest of the text, Select -> Similar.
    select_similar
  5. Now we will remove the white background. Select -> Inverse.
    select_inverse
  6. Edit -> Cut or Control + x.
    Your image should now look like black text on a transparent checkerboard background:
    no_bg
  7. Now we will make the text white. Image -> Adjustments -> Invert:
    image_adjustments_invert
    Your image should look like white text on a transparent checkerboard background:
    white_text
  8. Time to add the white text to the photograph. Open the photograph in Photoshop.
    Then click and drag the white text into the photograph file, and move it until you are happy with the placement:
    photo_w_text
  9. When you are done, save the file as both a psd and jpg.
    Back up the Photoshop file to either your Google Drive or USB.
  10. Create a new blog post with the following: the photograph you started with, the image of hand lettering you started with, and your final image with the lettering over the text.

If you are working in Photoshop, by the end of today’s class, you will create a new blog post with the following:

  • the original background photo you started with, as well as a photo of your hand-lettered text
  • the final image with text over a background photo
  • a paragraph describing which, if any, of these techniques you plan to use in your final infographic design

 

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