Shapes 4: Creating a Logo from Text with Shapes in Corel Painter
Many logotypes are created with vector-based tools like CorelDRAW
and Adobe Illustrator.
Painter's Shapes tools can also be used for this type of image creation. This installment will work through a simple logo project to demonstrate how the Shapes tools can be put to use.
The initial logo text is created using the Text
tool. I simply typed out the characters in the combination of upper and lower case as my starting point.
Converting Text to Shapes
With the Text layer
selected in the Layer palette list,
I applied the Convert Text to Shapes
command (Layers palette > Layers palette flyout menu) to the Text layer.
This replaces the Text layer
with a group of Shapes
corresponding to the former text outlines.
Individual Character Selection
I wanted to kern
—adjust the spacing of—the type elements to close them up. This is accomplished via the Shapes Selection
tool (Tool palette). An element is selected by positioning the cursor over the desired type element and clicking on it. The Arrow keys
can then used to adjust the spacing between adjacent characters. This is more precise than dragging the element by hand. The Shapes Selection
tool can also be used to click-and-drag a selection rectangle
to select multiple characters. This is handy for repositioning multiple Shapes
Selective Anchor Point Selection
I now wanted to alter the geometry of selected type elements. The font I chose, Rockwell Bold, is a slab serif
typeface. Both the first and last type elements in PixlART
—have serifs at their bases. For the logo, I wanted extend and join their bases to nest the internal type elements between them. Holding down the Shift key
in order to create a multiple selection, I used the Shapes Selection
tool to drag out a selection rectangle
to choose only the anchor points
making up the slab serifs of the two characters. Again using the Arrow keys,
I repositioned the slab serif elements to make the P
type elements taller.
Repositioning for Combining Shapes
My next step was to merge the P
type elements into a single Shape
. Using the Shape Selection
tool, I selected only the two points comprising the left edge of the T's
slab serif base. Using the Arrow keys,
I repositioned these two anchor points
to the far left—nearly adjacent to the base of the P's
slab serif base. Tip: While the Shape Selection tool is active, holding down the Shift key in conjunction with the Arrow keys moves the selected Shapes elements 10 screen pixels at a time.
With the both the P
slab serif bases in close proximity, it was now time to perform a bit of Shapes
surgery. In order to join two Shapes
together, it is necessary to temporarily convert them from closed shapes
to open shapes.
The initial step removes control points.
In order to do so, we must first split
two line segments
with the Scissors
tool (Tool palette or Shapes Tools Property Bar). I first selected the T's line segment
to be split by clicking on it with the Shape Selection
tool. With the Scissors
tool, I clicked in the center of the line segment.
The result appears to be a new control point; it is actually two overlapping control points. I switched to the Remove Point
tool (Tool palette or Shapes Tools Property Bar) and clicked on the newly created visible anchor point.
one half of the former single line segment.
Clicking on the remaining control point
deletes the other half.
We now have two open shapes,
one pair at the top of the slab serifs and the other pair at the bottom. Using the Shapes Selection
tool, I selected the adjacent pair comprising the tops of the P
slab serifs. I the applied the Join Endpoints
command (Shapes menu) to the points. A new line segment
is created between the points. I then performed the same operation on the bottom pair of slab serif elements. The two open shapes
now make up a single closed shape.
Clicking inside the newly joined P
elements, I realized that the inside portion of the P
—referred to as a counter
with a negative space
nested within it is called a Compound Shape.
type element is an example. This character is actually made up of two Shapes:
the outer P
form and the internal counter.
When a Compound Shape
is converted to an Open Shape,
the compound relationship between the two Shapes
is voided. The former nested Shape
is still present but it is no longer acting as a negative space
within the surrounding Shape
. Rather than re-establish the former P counter
relationship with the P type element,
I decided to further customize the logo by using square counters
in both the P
Creating a Compound Shape
When multiple Shapes
are grouped together—as our example is—Painter internally keeps track of all of the individual anchor points
in such a way that you cannot create a Compound Shape
when the Shapes
to be compounded are inside
of a Group.
The target Shapes
elements—the P type element
and a newly created square counter Shape
—must be temporarily dragged outside
of the layer grouping. This is easily accomplished in the Layer list
by selecting and dragging the elements outside of the Group
folder. Having done this, I could now select both Shapes
with the Shapes Selection
tool and apply the Make Compound Shape
command (Shapes menu). If the Make Compound Shape
command is dimmed out, it indicates that either one or both of the two Shapes
to be compounded are stilled grouped.
I deleted the round dot
capping the i type element
and replaced it with a square element to mirror the square counters in the P
type elements. I then used smaller centered squares within the larger square counters in order to visually accentuate the notion of a pixel. By saving the finished file in Painter's RIF format,
I can preserve the vector-based Shapes
data. Like all vector art, I can resize the logo to any resolution and maintain the crisp edge only vectors can provide. For example, I can up-size it to an appropriate resolution for print, then convert it into a pixel-based
layer using the Convert to Layer
command (Shapes menu) and proceed to use Painter's arsenal of paint and effects tool on it. Painter also allows export of Shapes
to Adobe Illustrator
via the Export as Adobe Illustrator File
command (File menu > Export).
While not a vector-centric application, the availability of Shapes
in Painter enables a wide variety of design possibilities.
Viva la Painter!