Sunday, September 9, 2012

Design Principle: Alignment

When I was learning about this principle it mainly was applying to documents and flyers and how you shouldn't change between left- and right-alignment and center alignment without a purpose in mind. But the idea of alignment is very important in word art, too. Today, I'm going to talk about alignment in some different ways.

First, I like to make most of my word art left-aligned just because I find we write and read left to right but then I also indent the second line, like you can see in this word art (from my new release today!)

Credits: Steampunk Word Art Clusters

You can see in this one as well as other word art I do, I don't particularly like to make the words line up right under each other. Then of course, the ampersand is not really aligned with either but I do that for some visual interest and to add that contrast!

Included in alignment I think is letter spacing. Do you know how to change the space between letters? Here is an example of a word I have typed out and then decided I want the letters to be closer together. Hi-light your text, and then find the alpha toolbox. Then, you will see a drop down menu next to a symbol with AZ and an arrow underneath it where you can space the letters out further or move them closer together. Some fonts I have found place the letters really close together and I use this to give them some room. I don't however, recommend this for script fonts as the curves won't flow into each other when spaced out.

Here are the settings I used on this word. I used -25 to move them closer together. You can always type in a different value than the menu gives you an option for.

I especially use this trick when I make a text path on a shape. Here I have made a circle text path and want to write "Beautiful Baby" three times. Sometimes changing the font size doesn't fix the spacing issue or the text is just the size I want but too close together. This alpha tool is perfect for that.

I hi-lighted the words and then spaced them out, using my own value after playing around with the presets.

One other thing I wanted to show you was that text paths don't only have to be on the outside of shapes. You can move them to the inside using the Direct selection tool.

Click on the text and hold the button down as you drag the cursor inside the circle.

And there you go! You now have text inside the circle.

Play around with these alignment tools and I'll see you next week for the Proximity design principle!
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