Photoshop is known for it awesome photo manipulation features. But what about text? It is definitely not a layout program but it has a text engine that is as intuitive to use as it is powerful. This is a small project I undertook to design Lamb of God’s logo.
What you’ll need…
- Photoshop (pretty much any version upwards of 7.0)
- Basic Photoshop skills
- Papyrus font (get it here)
- 30 minutes
A quick glance at the very basics of typesetting. The Character panel (Window>Character) contains a plethora of buttons — some straightforward, others less so. Those that will be used have been annotated below.
Kerning: Controls the space between two adjacent characters.
Baseline-Shift: Shifts text above or below the baseline — that imaginary line on which a line of text rests.
Leading: Controls space between lines.
Tracking: Controls space between individual characters in lines or paragraphs of text.
Here we go…
Create a new file (File>New). I pegged my dimensions at 1000px by 1000px.
Choose the Text tool from the Tools panel and type ‘lamb of god’ with each word in a different line. Change the font to Papyrus and choose an appropriate font size and font color. If the panels are missing, summon them through the Window menu.
As you can see, there is a lot of space between characters. Adjust the tracking. Select the text and hold the Alt key while tapping the left or right arrow (left decreases, right increases). Of course, you can always choose to enter the values manually or drag the handles that appear when you mouse over the buttons. Should you go with keyboard shortcuts however — and that is what this pseudo-tutorial would recommend — bear in mind that left Alt gives finer control than right Alt. This nifty feature applies for baseline shift, leading and kerning too. Sweet!
Raise the letters “a” and “b” from the baseline a wee bit. Select each letter and hold Shift+Alt while tapping the up arrow.
Select the second line. Reduce the font to the appropriate size. With the text still selected, hold Alt and press the up arrow. This will raise the second line closer to the first — reduce the leading in other words. Increase the left indent. You can simply add spaces if that’s more your speed but kerning gives greater control. Kerning can be achieved by holding Alt and tapping the left or right arrow (left decreases, right increases) with the cursor placed between the two characters to be kerned. In this case however, it will be before “o”.
Decrease the font size of the third line a little. Increase the indent. As pointed out earlier, you can simply add spaces or adjust the kerning. Decrease the leading to bring it closer to the first two lines. Small refinements will be necessary. For instance, the letters “o” and “d” were kerned to make them touch each other and raised a little bit from the baseline.
And that’s pretty much it. At least, that’s the most we can do with text alone.
We can add the additional lines by copying and pasting similar portions from the text itself. This will require rasterization, copying, pasting and transform effects which cannot be covered here.
And maybe add some fancy layer styles. I have added a reddish inner glow and overlaid the text with a pattern.