TypeStyler X review

Originally a program for distorting type, the developers of this 20-year-old tool have dramatically expanded its feature set to produce a valuable application for designing packages, creating spinning graphics, and laying out single-page documents. It’s not Adobe InDesign, but its advanced creative features make it useful for heavy-duty type projects, such as logo designs.

TypeStyler lets you create great text effects. There are dozens of pre-built styles that can be applied, and tools allowing you to really get into the shape of your letterforms. So if you’ve chosen a swoop or twist, you can choose a different kind of shape distortion, or edit a shape with Bézier anchor points and handles.

Once you’ve settled on a look you like, you can break the letters apart to drag them around, or edit their individual paths. This is a great way to customise individual letters for a logo.

The program includes dozens of useful shapes, which are editable. You can fill shapes with blends or images – the Shape Designer allows you to create unusual shapes and still edit them after applying effects.

TypeStyler now includes an impressive collection of 3D shapes that you can wrap your artwork around, and you can create preview animations using the rather fiddly Visualizer. You can even adjust a shape’s opacity and choose a material such as plastic, metal or glass.

TypeStyler lets you save your creations as layered native Photoshop or Illustrator files to work on in those programs – or you can simply export your design as an image at any resolution, or as a print-ready PDF.

OUR VERDICT

Most impressive in TypeStyler X is the number of useful presets and visual previews. Its packaging mockup capability should place TypeStyler into the toolkit of most graphic designers, and its 3D rotation features will be welcome for anyone who wants to spruce up a presentation, DVD menu, or video project.

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