Illustrator Character Panel | How To Use The Character Panel In Adobe Illustrator

Mike Pickett Design Co.

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How To Use The Character Panel In Adobe Illustrator


Even the best logo business card or poster design can be ruined with poor typography. Welcome back to Xander’s. My name’s Mike Pickett. I’m a logo and vector designer with nearly twenty years in the design industry, so this video is going to be all about the character panel inside of Adobe Illustrator. Now, this is your first time here, and you actually end up learning something from this. Don’t forget to hit that. Subscribe button down below before you take off to another video. You can hit the like button at the same time that would be a great help to my channel now whether you’re typing out your client’s name for their logo, creating a single line of text for a tagline or a poster or even doing full paragraph work on a business card, a brochure or anything like that. Your typography really needs to be on point, okay. That was a bad dad joke. I’m sorry, a key point here is that you need to know what the various options are inside of the character panel and know how to adjust them to make your type. Look, correct, So this video isn’t about covering things like letting and kerning and really the correct settings for it. This is about showing you where these settings are so that you can get in and start adjusting them in a future video, probably in the next few weeks. I’m gonna come back and I’m gonna focus more on proper kerning proper, letting also get into the paragraph panel so that we can focus more on alignment as well as things like ragged edge rivers. Not to mention a few other things that you really do want to know if you’re gonna start working with typography, all right, so let’s get an administrator. How to look at the character panel and I’ll show you everything that I know about it. Alright, designers here. We are inside of Adobe Illustrator, So I went ahead and just created some text on the artboard very simple, just three lines now to access our character panel. There’s a few different ways we can get to. This was actually quite a few ways. We can get to it if we click on the text first. You’ll notice that up here in the control bar. I have a little drop-down or I can click on the character word here, and that gives us our character panel if you’re not seeing this control bar when you’re selecting this and you’ll want to go up to window and make sure control is selected here. If not, you won’t see these controls the other place we can see. This is in the properties panel and right down here. You’ll see that we have this character option. I can also click on the A with the cursor line beside it, and that’s gonna give me a flyout here with the character panel in it or I can go command T on my keyboard. And once again that selects the same option, so a few different ways that you can get here, let’s select the block again and then we’re going to go through the various options that we have available to us in the character panel so first off with the typeface or the font that we’re going to select. You have two different options. If you click on this little arrow here or on the magnifying glass, you can see we can either search entire font name or search first word. Only that’s going to give us two different options when we’re actually looking for a font. So if you know the name of your font, you can just start typing, and it’s gonna narrow it down for you, so I’m gonna go with. Let’s say months or at medium. This is a font that I use quite a bit now. Once we’ve got our font selected, we can then go into the font style and select light medium semi bold, extra bold. Whatever we want for our actual weight of the font. Some fonts, you’re gonna find have options ranging from ultra light to extreme bold or extreme black. It just depends on the typeface that you’ve downloaded and what options you’ve actually set up our next little block is the font size, so from here we can go single-point up and down if I hold down shift on my keyboard, it’s gonna go up by 10 point increments. Same back down again, I can always use the drop down here and just select a different font size that I want for this type. So next we have our letting, and the letting is going to allow you to set the line height that you have in between and letting is going to be from this blue bar to this blue bar, so right now we’re set to 86.4 points. Now, if I click on this, you can set whatever you want and see that as I go down this block. The spacing on the lines will actually extend and become larger. If you go auto, it’s going to put it back to this 86.4 which is where it’s set right now. We also kerning so with kerning, we can set the spacing between individual characters. You see, right now. We have negative 9 between the S and the T negative 11 between the U and the S. This is where it comes into play. When you’re setting typeface for a logo, you’re really gonna want to make sure you got your kerning set and so in that case, you’re going to come in here and you’re gonna adjust each one of these to set the spacing in between character pairs, so for example, the spacing in between the O and the M here is a little loose. This is about right between the S and the O. So you can command. It’s elected to that. You want to adjust and then you’re gonna knock them down, depending on the type of kerning that you’re going for, so I like to go ahead and set my kerning on my full word, lets. Do that real quick! I’m just gonna adjust this. One can go back out just a little more. Pull this one in some and once. I’m happy with what I have for my kerning. If I find that I want a little bit more breathing room between the characters, I want to keep everything. Even that’s when I’ll come in and actually set my tracking, so I can come in and give this a little bit more breathing room with a 10 or maybe even a 25 tracking on it. Then that way it’s gonna adjust everything evenly and keep my kerning where I said it. Next we have vertical scale and horizontal scale. I don’t recommend using these separately because otherwise you end up with issues where we’ve got stretched text, so for example, if I come in and set this up to 150 Well, now this just looks odd and you shouldn’t be stretching your text either vertically or horizontally, so for example, sometimes. I’ll want to change just one line of text, so I’ve got this line set up right now. That’s 72 points, but I want this one to be 25% of that, so I still have it at 72 document and change both of these two boxes down to 25 each. And then I have this as 25% of this. So in this case, I would have to go in, of course, and adjust my letting to make sure that it comes back up and joins in with this text next. We have our baseline shift now. I use this most of the time when I’m working with superscript, but there are other options for this or other uses for it. Essentially what you’re doing, though, is you can take to the tee and we can come down here and just adjust the baseline shift, so that’s gonna take it from. Just click off. It’s gonna take it from the baseline here and split it up and you’ll see that this blue line is now shifted up. That’s the difference which would be if we highlight that again that 11 points that I added next. We have a text rotate once again, another option. I have. I found a good use for, but just so you can see how it works if we highlight, say the top word here and I can select this and go up to say 90 now we’ve now shifted that text, so I mean, it could be useful. You could have this lid. It comes in and lays across the top of the word some here. I don’t know how legible that would be, but maybe in some poster design, a little bit of creative business card design as long as you’re not doing this with a client’s name or anything on his business card. It could be useful our last options down here at the bottom. Let me just back up here, so I was gonna go Ctrl Z or command Z to back up, but one thing that I should show you if I just command. Click on the icon next to the block, it’ll actually go ahead and reset it to where it was or back to the default value and that works for any one of these so. I’ve got the word just highlighted right now, and I want to take it back to the default typeface size. I can just command. Click on the side and that works for every single one of these moving down to our bottom options. Let me just change something here. Real quick! I’m gonna highlight everything. I’m gonna reset that, and I’m gonna go to type change case, and I’m going to go sentence case just to get it down so that we’ve got some lower case and upper case on here so again. I’ve got everything selected, and if I click on this bottom and it’s gonna go all caps, It’s gonna change everything in the block. They click on this one. It takes it back to small caps. This one is our superscript so again that can help with this baseline shift. If I want to use it to the one time that I’ll use superscript quite a bit is when I’m dealing with like a registered trademark. You just go option. R so I’ll take that, and then I’ll go superscript. And I’ll usually knock the size of this down as we’ll depend on what the client needs. So if you look now, it’s way down here. So in that case, I’m gonna use this baseline shift and push it right back up to where it belongs. Next we have subscript. So that’s going to take it down below, and if we reset this one, you can see that that knocks it down below the baseline. You’ll step underline and strikethrough those are pretty self-explanatory. So if I highlight some text and click underline, Of course, I’m gonna get the underline and then, Lastly, strikethrough gives me the strikethrough text. Alright, designer. So that’s the character panel, a lot of different options available to you in there now. This is your first time an illustrator, and you’re still kind of fresh with even just the type tool. You might want. Have a look at this video that I’ve linked right up here, so you may be more information on kind of the basics of the type tool. So that’s it for me on this one. I hope you learned something again. Don’t forget to subscribe. Hit that like button and I’ll see you in the next video and get out there and design something who’s looking forward to the next season of stranger things. There teaser was pretty awesome that they want with a couple weeks ago. [MUSIC].