Text as Design pg 2: Production Graphics with Wendy Peck at webreference.com | WebReference

Text as Design pg 2: Production Graphics with Wendy Peck at webreference.com

Text as Design 2: Outline for Impact—PhotoShop/PSPro


Outlines provide one of the fastest ways to add life and style to text. Even a simple 1px line around your characters will make them stand out from other graphics and add a crisp look. Experiment with wider outlines, which can give your text an interesting two-toned effect.

A couple of simple steps will create this look in any graphic program. Here we have PhotoShop and PaintShop Pro with Fireworks and CorelDraw methods on the next page. You will probably want to glance at all methods, since different styles are used for each one.


Notice how the outlined text seems to have more contrast, yet the black outline does not alter the tonal quality



Selection still active and has been outlined with a 1px black outline.

Notice how the outlined text pops right out from the background even though the text and background colors are quite close.

Method 1
There are two routes to outlining text in PhotoShop. The fastest is to create your text using the Type Mask Tool. Select Edit>Fill or use the Paint Bucket Tool to fill with the foreground color. To stroke, change the foreground color to your stroke color and select Edit>Stroke from the Main Menu. Choose the width and position for your stroke in the Stroke window. Click OK to complete. Quick Tip: Set your foreground and background to the fill color and outline color. You can toggle between the two to fill and stroke.

This method does not allow for any text editing though, as the text is presented as a simple selection.

Method 2
If you are not sure of exact size, color or font, use the Type Tool to create your text. Once you are satisfied with the text, choose Layer>Type>Render Layer from the Main Menu. Use the Magic Wand to select the type. Choose Select>Similar from the Main Menu to ensure you have the entire text area selected. Set your foreground color to your stroke color. Choose Edit>Stroke from the Main Menu and choose the width and position for your stroke in the Stroke window. Choose OK to complete.



Two samples created in PaintShop Pro. These are identical samples except that the top sample has been separated into individual characters.

Vector Properties Window

PaintShop Pro
Here we have two samples on a black background. The first has been separated into individual characters. All characters have a white fill, but varied color, 2px outline. The second sample has a yellow fill with a 2px white outline.

Create your text: Choose the Text Tool and click on the canvas. Enter your text. Choose the size and color in the Text Entry window. Choose Vector in the Create As section.

Choose the Vector Selection Tool from the Toolbox. Right click on your text and choose Convert Text to Curves. Select As Single Shape if all characters will have the same fill and stroke. Choose As Character Shape to edit individual characters.

Double click on your text to open the Vector Properties window (shown at left). Choose Stroked and Filled from the Style drop down for the effects shown here. Click on Color in the Fill section to set fill. Set outline width and color in the Line Style section. Click OK to finish.

Repeat for each character, or select multiple characters (hold your SHIFT key down while selecting) if you chose to create individual characters.


Next page

Text as Design Tutorial Index

Text as Design Start
Outline:PShop/PS Pro
Outline: CorelDraw/Fireworks
Mix: PShop/PS Pro
Mix: CorelDraw/Fireworks
Seeing Through
Mix: Flash
Flash Outlines/Graduated Fills
Text Resources

Front page23456789

URL: http://www.webreference.com/graphics/
Created: Feb. 15, 2000
Revised: Feb. 15, 2000