Merging Letters - Logo Lesson

Simplicity is essential when creating an effective logo. When merging letters the shape of each letter must be strong, clean, and distinctive so each letter can be recognized and the overall logo shape remains simple. For this example I recommend a wide sans serif font.

Create a new PhotoShop file - width 200, height 100. I select the font "Arial Black" size 120 and type in a capital U and R on a single layer. Here is the file so far.

In this example let's use the path palette to combine these letters.

I access the Layer Menu > Type > Create Work Path. Look closely at the letters "U" and "R", there is now a thin purple outline which indicates a Work Path has been created around their shapes.

Next I add a new layer. The work path will display on this layer and I can now turn off the original text layer.

I use the path component selection tool to drag the "R" over to the "U" so the left leg of the "R" fits inside the "U".

It's a pretty good match, however the left leg of the "R" is sticking down below the "U". I access the pen tool and move the anchor points so it is within the curved area.

Next I fill the path with color. This can be tricky if you do not have much experience using paths. Using the fill command or the paint bucket will fill the entire screen with color not your path.

To fill a path I first need to select the entire path. Since this work path started out as a "U" and a "R" when I use the path selection tool I may only have one of the letters selected. Hold down the shift key and select the other letter until you see anchor points surrounding both letters.

Now it's time to switch to the path palette. If you don't see a path window access Windows > Show Paths.

The path of the letters "UR" is displayed and there are several icons at the bottom of the path window. I access the fill path icon and the foreground color is automatically inserted into the "UR" path.

Next I access the layer window and make a copy of the "UR" layer. My document now looks like this.

I access the upper UR layer and add a stroke of 2, outside, in a lighter color (FFCC66). It may be difficult to see the lighter stroke over a white background so I zoom in for a closer look.

Next I access the lower layer and add a stroke of 6, outside, in a darker color (663300). Here is how my document looks now.

Don't be alarmed if you see lines which are elements of the path, when you Save for the Web they will disappear. Here is finished logo File > Save for Web > Optimize as a Web GIF.

To view this file as a Photoshop document access the CD > CIS 58.53B Advanced Class > PSD > logo > logo-letter-merge.psd