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Chapter 5. Dancing Type > Creating the QUICKSTEP Logo

Creating the QUICKSTEP Logo

Our QUICKSTEP logo is fairly simple: just lines and text. How would you reproduce it? Lay it out in Adobe Illustrator or some other application and then import it? We created it in After Effects using three text layers and one masked solid—you can't get much simpler than that! Here are the steps:

Create a new comp named Logo Comp that uses the preset NTSC DV, dimensions 720×480, Frame Rate 29.97, and Duration 5;00 seconds.

At time 0;00, create a new comp-size solid layer named Outline that's any color you desire.

Use the Rectangular Mask tool in Add mode to draw a filled rectangle on the solid layer; make it a little less than a third the size of the Comp window. This will be the basis for the border that surrounds the QUICKSTEP logo.


Turn on the Title-Action Safe button at the bottom of the Comp window to help keep the border within the safe zones.

Masking the solid

With the Outline layer selected, apply Effect > Render > Stroke. Change the effect's Paint Style to On Transparent, and make sure the effect's Color is set to white.

Set the Brush Size to 3.0 to increase the size of the stroke, and turn on the All Masks option so that the masks you subsequently add to this layer also contain this effect.

Settings for the Stroke effect

Click the Horizontal Type tool, and then set the Font Family to Arial Black, the Text Size to 60, and the paragraph to Center Text.

Setting the Horizontal Type tool properties

Type QUICKSTEP in uppercase letters, and then place the layer so that the word ends near the upper-right corner of the white border.

You'll apply a mask to this word in the next step, but we set the text properties and inserted the type beforehand because it's much easier to adjust the mask to the text than to adjust the text to the mask.

Positioning the text

Use the Rectangular Mask or Pen tool to add two lines to the border: One should span the height of the rectangle, and the other should lie perpendicular to the middle of the other line and reach the right side of the rectangle (or just use the illustration as your guide).

Adding two more masks to the solid

Add the subtitle DANCE STUDIO using font Arial Black, Text Size 30, and text Tracking 415. Position the text layer under the word QUICKSTEP in the Composition window.



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