Cutting a shape into text can create a catchy logo style and really drive home a concept.  Here’s an example where we cut an arrow out of “Advancing The Kingdom” (our missions commitments) to show forward movement in the logo.

The first version showed the arrow in just the circle, but one of our team members had the idea to extend the arrow into the letters, so I had to impose the arrow tail over the ‘K’ to make this work.

While in this example, it may just work to make the arrow black and make it the top photoshop layer to overlap the other letters, we also wanted the logo to sit on other backgrounds, meaning that the arrow shape couldn’t just be black , but actually had to be transparent and change the shape of the ‘K’ like this:


(Here are some other really great samples from 


Here’s a quick how to with step by step instructions and screen shots.  If you have any questions, comment below and I’ll be happy to clarify.


Create your text layer and have a separate layer for your shape.  We’re going to make the space in the ‘P’ and the space in the ‘A’ into the shape of the purple star:



Size and position your shape, then select the text layer and “rasterize” it. This will turn the font into a ‘shape’ layer.  (Side note, you can’t edit it as a font once it’s rasterized, so resizing it later will affect the resolution and you won’t be able to change a letter if there’s a typo.  Check your spelling and size it to the final size you need it before rasterizing).



You’ll see that your layer now shows the shape of the letters rather than being labeled a text layer:



Next, I and click the selection tool:

Then choose the layer where the star is in the layers panel, use the selection tool to highlight the star:

Then hide the star layer (click the eye icon next to that layer) and you’ll see the outline of the star only:

Choose the layer with the letters and click delete.  This will remove the selected shape (star) from the letters shape layer.


We’ll do the same on the A – turn on the star layer, then move it to where you’d like to place it on the “A”.


The star doesn’t block the full space in the top of the A, and we don’t want the star to have a flat bottom, so turn off the star layer and select the layer with the letters:


Use your paint bucket tool to fill in the hole of the ‘A’:


Now turn your star layer back on and you’ll see that there is no white space around the star in the ‘A’.



Select the star layer, then use the selection tool to highlight the star and the eye icon to turn the star layer off (same as we did with the ‘P’:

Select the letters layer, and press delete to remove that selected shape from the letters layer:


Now overlay on a background:


You can use this for water drops, arrows, multiple layer, shapes within the words, even overlaying one word into the letter of another word.

Have a question? Let me know in the comments below.  I’d love to see what you create with this technique!



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