Whether you want to write curved text, create an emblem, or make text for a logo, learning how to type text in a circular shape has a long list of uses in Photoshop. Although it’s not immediately obvious, it’s relatively easy to do whether you’re writing on a circular path or a shape.
To type text in a circle in Photoshop, select the Ellipse Tool then click and drag out on your canvas to create a circle. Next, press T for the Type Tool and click on the path of the ellipse to lock the text to the shape. Now your text will follow the shape of the circle.
Although writing on a path or shape is pretty straightforward, there are pros and cons to each that you will learn throughout this tutorial. Later on, I’ll also explain how you can use this new skill to create a custom emblem with circle text for logos, banners, or whatever else you see fit!
Let’s get started.
How To Type Text In A Circle In Photoshop
There are two methods for typing text in a circle, the first with a shape layer, and the second with a path. In a nutshell, a shape layer will leave a colored circle on your canvas, while a path will be completely invisible. The one you choose will depend on the type of result you want for the text.
Before getting into these two methods, create a new document, preferably the same height and width. I set my document to 1000×1000 pixels. This isn’t totally necessary but helps to keep things proportional.
Next, you’ll add two guides to the canvas to help you see the center of it better. To do this, go up to View > New Guide.
In the flyout menu, enter 50% and check ‘Vertical.’ Then, click ‘OK’ to confirm the changes.
The first guide will be placed in the middle of the canvas.
After that, go to the View menu again and click ‘New guide.’ Then, type 50% again and check ‘horizontal’ instead. Click ‘Ok’ again to confirm the changes.
The second guide will be added.
Notice that the two guides meet each other at a point (the center of that canvas). That point will coincide with the circle origin. That will make it easier for you to align your text and other elements around the center of the circle later without relying too much on the move tool.
Now let’s create an ellipse to base the text on.
Method 1: Drawing A Circle Shape
This method allows you to see the ellipse in which your text is typed, even if the shape is not selected. This method can come in handy when aligning circular text with other objects or when you want to make an emblem. Luckily when you finish your project, you can still decide whether to keep the shape or delete it.
To begin, go to the toolbar and grab the ellipse tool found within the shape tools.
Now go to the upper settings bar, set the fill to transparent (represented by the white box with a red strikethrough), and the stroke to black. This will give you an outlined circle with a transparent center.
I would suggest choosing a stroke value between 2 and 4 for now but you can change these values later if you like. For my circle, I set the stroke thickness to 3 pixels.
With your settings in order, place the cursor where the two guides meet.
Then drag with the mouse while holding ‘shift’ to draw a perfect circle. When you feel the size is ok, you can let go of the mouse.
Alternatively, double click in the center of the canvas and enter values for the circle’s height and width in the panel that will pop up.
Be sure to enter the same value for both dimensions and check the ‘From center’ checkbox. Click OK when you’re done.
Since my canvas is 1000 x 100 pixels, I set 400 pixels to both height and width. This way, I will have plenty of room for adding text and other elements to my circle later. With this starting point, you will have a visible outline that your text will follow along.
Method 2: Drawing A Circle Path
This method is convenient when you only need the circular text and nothing else around it. This method gives the appearance of text that’s curved by itself, without following a visible shape layer.
Similar to before, start by grabbing the ellipse tool in your toolbar.
Then, go to the upper settings menu and change the kind to Path.
Now, place the cursor where the two guides meet, then drag with the mouse while holding ‘shift’ to draw a perfect circle. This time you will create the shape of a circle, without any colors.
With the ellipse drawn, it’s time to type along the circular path. To do that, go to the toolbar and choose Horizontal Type Tool (T).
Then, go to the Options bar and click on the Center text alignment option.
Next, hover over the circle. When you see a dotted, wavy line crossing the cursor, you can start typing. This indicates that your text will follow the shape of the path. Whether you created an ellipse path or a shape layer, this process is exactly the same.
Now type freely along the circle path and watch how the text takes shape.
Once everything is aligned, you can remove the guides to have a better view of the text in the circle. To remove the guides, press Control+ ; (Windows) or Command + ; (Mac).
How To Edit Text On A Circular Path
After you have typed in a circle, you might want to change some of its attributes, such as its spacing, colors, tracking, and so on. You can edit most of your text’s attributes in the Character panel which can be accessed by going to Window > Character.
You can also use the upper settings bar while the Type Tool is active to alter your text’s settings, but the possibilities there are more limited. So let’s explore some of the options available in the Character panel instead. Just make sure the text layer is selected to ensure that the adjustments will be applied.
1. Font Type And Font Size
For my text, I chose a sans serif font, because it’s easily readable. You can change the font type in its drop-down menu.
By default, the baseline value is set to zero, which means the text will sit directly on the path. When you increase the baseline value, there will be more space between the circle and the text.
If you need to change the color of your text, go to the color swatch, on the right side of the panel.
Tracking is simply the space among all letters of a text. I set the tracking of my text to 5 so the letters won’t look so close together. You can choose a value for the tracking in its drop-down menu. To adjust the spacing of individual characters, opt to adjust the Kerning value instead.
How to Align And Position Circular Text
After creating your circular text, aligning it is the next important step. There are a few different ways to do this, but I will show you one of my favorite easy methods.
Aligning Circular Text
Before changing the alignment of a circular text, you need to select it by highlighting the text.
Then, go up to the Options bar and click one of the text alignment options available.
Positioning Circular Text
Rather than aligning to the right, center, or left, this method will give you a lot more control over how your text is positioned on the path.
First, make sure the text layer is selected. If not, click on it to select it.
Next, make sure your text is aligned to centered in the upper setting bar, mentioned in the previous section. We’re going to centralize the text to change its position later.
Now grab the path selection tool in the toolbar (A).
Then hover over the text until you see an icon that looks like two arrows pointing in different directions.
Click the icon and drag it anywhere you want to adjust the position of your text. I dragged my text slightly to the left in this case for the sake of example.
How To Type On The Bottom Of The Circle
In some cases, you may want to type on the bottom of a circle, especially when you’re designing a logo or a stamp. So I will show you how to type on the bottom of a circle in a few simple steps.
First, make a copy of your text, by clicking the text layer and then pressing Control + J (Windows) or Command + J (Mac).
Then, click the little eye icon next to the original text layer to hide it for now.
Select the layer copy.
Now, go to the toolbar and grab the path selection tool (A).
Then, place your cursor in the middle of the text. After that, hover over the circle until you see that the cursor changes to what seems to be an icon with two arrows pointing in different directions.
Then click and drag the text inside the circle to change which side of the path it’s on.
Now hover over the text inside the circle until you see that double-arrow-icon again. With this icon visible, click and drag your text to reposition it at the bottom of the circles path.
Now, let’s make the original layer visible again by clicking on the eyeball icon to reveal it.
As you can see, the top text is outside the circle, while the bottom text is inside of the path. As I’d rather have both texts outside the circle and aligned together, I will make a quick adjustment.
First, I’ll select the text layer that I want to reposition; in this case, the Text Copy layer.
Then I’ll press ‘T’ to enable the text tool and double-click the bottom text to highlight it.
Then, open the Character panel or go to Window > Character if you don’t see it.
In the character panel, find the baseline setting. Then, hover over the baseline menu icon until you see that your cursor turns into a hand icon with two arrows pointing in different directions. With this icon visible, click and drag the slider to the left until the text goes outside the circle.
For my text, -26 worked well. Now looking at the final result, I am left with two pieces of circular text, without a visible circle since I was working with a path rather than a shape.
How To Create A Circle Logo In Photoshop
In the previous sections, you learned how to type, position, and edit circular text. Now let’s go through how to use these techniques to create a basic logo template. This is the logo template you will create:
Step 1 – Setting Up Your Canvas
Open a 1000×1000 pixel document, or any other square document of your choosing.
With the document created, let’s add a horizontal and a vertical guide to the canvas.
To do this, go to View > New Guide.
Next, check ‘horizontal’ for the guide orientation and 50% for the position. Then, do this again but check ‘vertical’ for the orientation and 50% for the position, instead. This will place two guides to help locate the center of your canvas.
Step 2 – Drawing The Ellipse Shape
Now it’s time to draw the ellipses we need. First, go to the toolbar and grab the ellipse tool.
Then, double-click the point where the two guides meet and enter 715 pixels for both width and height. Check the ‘From Center’ checkbox and click ‘OK’.
In the properties panel, set the stroke to transparent and the fill to black. Alternatively, you can find these settings in the upper settings bar while the Shape Tool is active.
Next, let’s draw the second ellipse. To do this, create a new layer in the layers panel. Then, go to the toolbar again and grab the ellipse tool. Double click the center of the canvas again and enter 500 pixels for both width and height.
Then, go to the properties panel and change the fill to grey (#d5d4d4). The stroke should be transparent. represented by the white box with the red line through it.
Notice how both circles are aligned to the center and you didn’t even have to use the Move Tool!
Step 3 – Typing And Editing Text
Now let’s type some text along the ellipses we created. To do this, create a new layer for it in the layers panel. Then, go to the toolbar and grab the ‘Horizontal Type Tool.’ (T)
Then, go to the upper settings menu and click on the ‘Center text’ icon.
Now position the cursor on top of the grey circle. When you see a dotted, wavy line crossing the cursor, click once to create a type layer along the shape’s path.
With your text added, open the character panel by going up to Window > Character.
In the character panel, set the baseline to 34, the font size to 55, and the tracking to 5. Thus, there will be enough space between the text and the baseline. Additionally, the characters won’t be too close together. Finally, change the text color to white (#ffffff).
Now, duplicate the text layer by pressing Control + J (Windows) or Command + J (Mac).
Next, grab the path selection tool (A), then position your cursor in the middle of the text until you see a double-arrow icon.
Then, drag the text downwards towards the grey circle.
Now, hover over the upside-down text until you see the double arrow icon again. Then, drag the text to the bottom of the circle.
Lastly, go to the Character panel and set the baseline to -68.
Step 4 – Finalizing Your Template
Let’s add two more circles to the template. They will look like rings inside the circle. To do this, grab the ellipse tool once again.
Then, double-click the center of the canvas, and in the dialog box that will pop up, enter 520 pixels for both width and height.
In the properties panel, set the fill to transparent and the stroke to white. The stroke width should be 7 pixels.
Then, grab the ellipse tool and double-click the center of the canvas again. This time, enter 688 pixels for both width and height.
As with the previous ellipse, set the fill to transparent and the stroke to white in the properties panel. The stroke width should also be set to 7 pixels.
The template is now created.
With additional text and shape layers, you can put your name or your brand name on the center of the logo.
You can also change its color combination by changing the color of any shape layer in the Layers Panel.
Or you can get really fancy with a vector shape in the middle of it all!
Learning how to type text in a circle has a lot of valuable uses, especially for logo and emblem design in Photoshop. With the tips you learned here, you can now confidently write text in a circular shape, along with repositioning it to fit the look you’re going for!