Regular readers will remember that one of my superpowers is an ongoing attempt to follow my longstanding dream to become a world renowned graphic designer. Along the way I’ve realized that most successful graphic designers have talent and experience, and are not mildly color blind, but if success is often defined as 99-percent perspiration and 1-percent inspiration, then I’m inspired and a little sweaty.
That said, I remain a dabbler in the graphic arts, and one of the tools I use to impress everyone on our condo board is the highly acclaimed and much beloved Art Text app for the Mac. Think graphic designs made from text and shapes with every sort of design option you can think of, including strokes, colors, glows, gradients, lights, depth, fills, and a few dozen bending and warping transformations thrown into the mix.
Here’s a visual sample of what you can create within minutes using basic shapes, fonts, and text.
Here’s a screenshot of the tools you’d use in Art Text to create a button or logo. Everything is point and click, drag and drop, with plenty of preferences and settings for each component in the graphic.
It’s not quite self explanatory– you need to know your way around standard Mac graphic tools and elements– but it’s pretty close. Start with the Template Gallery to choose designs that are ready made for customization.
Art Text can be free form but comes with nearly 400 customizable templates of titles, icons, logos, and buttons. The built-in vector editor lets you draw custom shapes. You’ll also get over 400 customizable shaders and photo textures which can be applied to a shape with a click or two.
Text itself, by letter, word, or phrase, can be bent and warped with dozens of transformations, and all the elements are treated as Photoshop-like layers for precise control over element placement. The built-in shape library has over 600 different icon shapes. The whole package becomes a tool which creates high quality shapes and designs in minutes, rather than hours.
If you need a logo in a hurry, Art Text delivers. There’s an extra cost Extras Pack with 100 additional OpenType fonts (if you’re into design, you already know you can never have too many fonts). And, every creation is easily exported to JPG, PDF, or high resolution TIFF so the design can be dropped into almost any Mac app that supports graphics; Microsoft Office, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, or for sweetening in Photoshop or Illustrator.
I love using this app, but it can suck up a lot of time with the infinite number of design options you can employ on a simple text-based logo. It’s that much fun to use, and works somewhat simpler than Logoist, which I also use.