Introduction to Shapes and Text
We're gonna be talking about shapes and text. We've done a lot up until this point that has nothing to do with rasterized, or with vector layers I should say. We've done a lot with raster things. This is where we're gonna start to see a difference with thinking in terms of vectors instead of rasters, because we're working with shapes and text. And you might think to yourself well, I'm a photographer, why do I need to know text and why do I need to know shapes? Well, we aren't typographers, I get it. Of all the ographers, we are of the photo kind, but typography in and of itself is an art form, and it will set you apart from your peers in your business and anything you do with text. The thing about text and we need to really consider this is any time there's text in any one of our photos or art forms.. I had a paint teacher that told me this, that if you're gonna put text in there you better be darn sure that that text means something, because the viewer ultimately is gonna look at that...
first before they look at anything else. So if you've got bad text on a great photograph that great photograph is now just as good as the bad text that you've put on top of it. If you've got drop shadows and stroke paths, that just don't really match up with the rest of the image and just don't look kind of new age for the design that you might want to go for, it's not gonna set you apart from your peers. And I say if used correctly here, because if you don't use it correctly it will ruin your credibility instead of increase your credibility, all very simply and easily with text. So ways that photographers can use this are things like invitations, programs, business cards. I make my own business cards. My wife and I, when we got married, I made our invitations. It was a really cheap way for me to get a really nice typography set and we just spent some money on some expensive paper, and there we go. We had a beautiful looking invitation. If you are the type that works with clients and maybe you want to introduce that into your business you can add easily an extra $400 to $ on your wedding business by adding things like programs and invitations in with your services. And if things are set up in a way that you have a PSD document with that text on there, all you have to do is change a couple things, bing, bang, boom, and now you're out the door, just reprint it and it looks pretty good. Social media, social media's huge for us as photographers if we have a business and even if we don't have a business we just wanna share things with our friends. An image, by itself, can say a lot of things. An image, or a picture's worth a thousand words, right? But sometimes one word can get our point across even better. So sometimes by adding text with those images with our social media posts, we can make our things look a little bit more professional especially in the client-based work. Let's say you just get done doing a portrait shoot with a client, or a family shoot with a client, and you wanna showcase their work and maybe give a teaser out, putting there picture there with a little block of a shape and then some text in there that maybe says their name looks a little bit more professional than just a regular photograph of those individuals. It could also be a great way to present things, an album, so to speak. If you're making an album for them by incorporating text within there as well, again, you have to know how to work with that text so that it looks good. Blog post headers. If you're making blog posts, one great way to set your blog post apart from others is to make a good header that goes with that. So if you have a blog, if you have a website, incorporating text in there in a way that it looks good and matches the rest of your image, or I guess, yeah, the image of your business, your blog, making sure that your type set that you use is always consistent throughout the page, consistent throughout your blog post headers that you make with maybe an image in the background with text on the top. And watermarks, watermarks I'm a little iffy on. I tend to say if you want to use a watermark that's completely up to you. I want the artwork to speak for me, so I don't technically put a watermark on there. Because I know as well as you do that if somebody wants that gone bad enough, we've already talked about cropping, we've already talked about ways that you can get rid of things, almost anything in a photograph. So if someone really wants one of my photographs bad enough it's not gonna take them too much work to get rid of my watermark anyway. But I will show you how to make watermarks that are really nice and can be a little less intrusive than the watermarks that you might have currently. Business cards, really simple business cards. Simple, clean, and the reason why I put my picture on there is not because I love myself it's because if you ever give a business card to somebody, a lot of times they take it they go somewhere else with it, and then say, "Who's that guy?" Well they'll never forget me, you know? They got my face on their business card. I've also got my blog on there as well, as well as the places they can find me. Wedding invitations, wedding invitations by themself as far as the types that are concerned here does not look very fancy. But the other thing that we need to take into consideration here is not necessarily the type set and the color of the type that we use, but maybe the paper that we print it on. And everything gets tied together with the paper that we print it on. So while this might look plain and normal, if it was printed on a white sheet of paper, yeah, it's plain and it's normal, but when you get a really nice tan paper that just makes this almost look like a reflection on top of that paper, it looks really good. So we have to think about our paper sorts when we're thinking about these things too, specifically if we're gonna be doing things like program and invitations. Again, really quick invitation that once I fill in those blanks if I ever need to fill it in with somebody else's name like I did for my sister's wedding, boom, it's done. Blog posts, blog headers, splash screens for videos, anything you see me doing on YouTube, these are my YouTube splash screens that I use. They are also the headers that I use for my blogs and if you're on my email list you'll also see the exact same thing coming through the email which makes my emails, my blog posts, and my YouTube channels all combined look very unique and professional over the course of all three of them. Notice how it's just very clean type set on top of a shape, so we're talking about shapes and text here, that is shapes and text in combination. So a little bit more of these. Notice what I do here, with text. And this is a really good thing to think about. There's two different types of fonts, there's true type fonts and open type fonts. True type fonts are exactly what they are, it's a true type for what it is that you're working with. An open type font is like this font. This font and this font are the exact same thing but because it's got an open type set, it allows me to change that from a bold look to a thin look to a light look, and I'll show you that font. And when you're thinking about purchasing fonts, 'cause fonts are very valuable, think about those things like those open type fonts that allow you to switch between them because when we're working with text we wanna work with text in a way that we're not trying to go beyond I would say two different type sets. So keep it within two. Sometimes we get these elaborate ideas to go with like 15 different type sets on a poster and it's just as bad as if you were to over-saturate all the colors in your image, it really is. So with this being an open type font, this matches this, and they work so well together. Sometimes I'll throw things off a little bit. I've got that open type font that I typically use, but then I threw a different type set in there just to throw it off just a little bit so it's not always exactly the same for all of my headers that I use. Again, working with different types of type set here. Same type set, open type font, and then I made one of those just really big to exaggerate the point that there's gonna be three tips that you're gonna see in this. Another thing that we can do that for, social media posts. This is a video, and inside that video, what I've done in Photoshop is I've added bands on the top and the bottom to make this look like a meme, and it spread like wildfire because there's a cat on it, but this was my photo on how to use the pen tool, which can be unnerving to use, but it's very helpful as we've discussed, and you can see how even parts of this are blending into the video on there as well. Again, it's a professional look. But if I didn't know how to work with shapes or text, that would have been next to impossible for me to do. And also, working with editing with video which we're gonna talk about here also. Here's another one, blog posts. Blog posts that are talking about trips that you might be going on. Again, another one with text on top of images. Watermarks, watermarks can be a great way to showcase your business, I'd say more so use them loosely, but again, a good looking watermark. We have the signature watermark, and that's great, I think those are cool, but I can't read it. If I can't read your signature then it means nothing to me. So sometimes finding a font that looks like a signature can be better than you just using your signature as a watermark. And then obviously putting the point legibly underneath also helps as well. You can see how very cleanly it shows up at the bottom there if I were to use this. Typically I don't tend to use watermarks, but that's an example of what a good, clean, and nice watermark could look like on your images. So let's go and hop into Photoshop. There's actually a lot to talk about when we talk about shapes and texts, especially if we want to use it well. So before we begin talking about shapes and texts, I wanna talk about raster versus vector again. I know we've talked about this before, but we've come a long way at this point, haven't we? So let's talk about vectors and rasterized images one more time before we get into how type and how shapes work because they are all vector-based, they are not raster-based like you're used to. So if we look at the vector shape on the left, that shape, if we zoom in on it, you can see looks like a red circle, with almost a target in the middle. This one is the exact same thing over here on this side but it's a rasterized version of the exact same thing on the left-hand side. So if I were to go ahead and press command or control T on this vector-based shape, we're going to be using this hot key a lot when we work with shapes and text, so make sure you write that down. Command or control T, it's gonna be free transform. And if I press shift and alt while I have the corner handle selected, it's gonna make this larger from the middle. There's my vector shape, if I press enter, it's gonna commit that. I'll come over to the raster shape, I'll go control T, shift and alt, make it larger from the center, and there's the same thing, it's the same exact shape. When we look at this now, I can actually tell you what's happening now. Before I was just showing you the difference between vectors and rasters but now we can dig a little bit deeper into this. This rasterized shape is an exact copy of the small version of the shape that we created that was vector-based. So if we look at this vector-based shape, this vector-based shape, especially when we go over to the shape tool that we have here, we get all the stuff up here for what's happening within this shape. What's happening within this shape, and what I see here, is that there is no fill, this shape is empty, it's completely empty. But what's happening around that shape is we have a stroke path of five pixels that is red. If we change this stroke path here to eight pixels, notice how it gets deeper and more red. We can edit this shape at any time whenever we want, because it's a shape. It's vector-based, it's not raster-based, it's based on calculations, it's based on lines, and it's based on all kinds of things that are anything other than pixels. Now it's still filled in with red in that stroke path, and if we were to zoom into it, it would appear as if we do have pixels here, if we were to zoom in far enough, zoom in over here. Zoom in on this one over here and see if it gives us the same result. For some reason it's not showing my pixel grid, there it is. Command or control H will show me my picture grid, so if I zoom out, zoom into this one, it still does appear as if it's made out of pixels. But it's made out of lines that are filling in that pixel data information, it's a vector shape. The flip side of that, on this side we have the raster-based image, and the raster-based image is not made out of lines and shapes it's made out of pixels. So as we increase the size of that object it doesn't do the same calculations that are happening over there with the vector-based shape. Its not calculating anything at all. If anything what it's calculating is okay, you're telling me to get bigger, so I'm gonna interpolate things, I'm gonna throw as many pixels in there as I possibly can to try and get this as big as you want me to make it. So a raster-based image, essentially, cannot necessarily be printed on a billboard, if it's made from small, but a vector-based image could. Therefore, vector-based images, they're best for if you're making a custom logo or something. It's best to make that logo as a shape, so that once you've created that logo from your squares and your shapes, or if you're doing that in Illustrator, which is another program in and of itself that we can spend a lot of time on, but if you're making that logo in Photoshop you can turn that into a custom shape and always have that shape accessible. So you can make it as large as you want or as small as you want. It could be as small as this little thing right here or we could blow it up as large as this entire room, or we could even go beyond that and blow it up as large as this entire Creative Live Studio, and we would lose no data whatsoever. But we can't do that with a raster-based image.