How could I make something like this? I know how to place text inside a shape but not this. Could it be vector and scalable?

enter image description here enter image description here


  • 2
    Possible duplicate: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/13683/… It's not at all easily done in Photoshop. It is somewhat possible in Illustrator, but no Adobe app has a real "auto-fit" one shape to another feature.
    – Scott
    Aug 25, 2014 at 17:46
  • The interesting thing about first picture is that you see no number if you have Portanotopia, but 21 if you have deutaranopia, offcourse those of us who see 74 see normal colors
    – joojaa
    Aug 26, 2014 at 17:30
  • Please choose your correct answer for your question if any of these were helpful! Aug 29, 2014 at 13:48
  • @Nomadme Sorry for the delay. May 23, 2015 at 23:17

4 Answers 4


Not possible to generate something like this in photoshop or illustrator using native tools. Depending on your requirements and skills you could check out creating the shape and circles in a different application or programming language and exporting that as an svg or similar in to Illustrator/Photoshop and colouring it or fine tuning it from there.

I put together a proof of concept script on CodePen here: http://codepen.io/marblegravy/pen/cfAHi

Which I did based on a discussion here: https://mathematica.stackexchange.com/questions/40334/generating-visually-pleasing-circle-packs

(My javascript example doesn't create svg, just bitmap, but you could scale the values in the code right up to huge proportions and dump the rendered page out to photoshop. If you used mathematica or something else and could get it to create an svg it would definitely be scalable)

  • 1
    Actually raphael does SVG if possible. So in many browsers thats svg. Anyway Mathematica does postscripts internally so if you have that then its enough. Ill edit your codepen so it easy to download the svg
    – joojaa
    Aug 26, 2014 at 15:37
  • 1
    You could add fileSaver.js to the page then users xould save it as svg
    – joojaa
    Aug 26, 2014 at 16:53

Okay I'm not totally sure, but this might help:

  1. Take a circular brush
  2. Under Brush Tip Shape Options, check Scattering and Color Dynamics and adjust the settings that suit your design best. (i would also recommend turning on Opacity jitter under Transfer)
  3. Scatter in a random fashion
  4. Then, using the text tool, type in the number you want on the inside with any font, and take it's selection (Alt+click)
  5. Once selection is taken, you can delete the text layer, and use the selection to mask the scattered brush stroke to generate a similar result.

Similar process can be repeated for the outer circle; this time masking being done by a circular selection. Hope it helps! :)

  • Thanks for the answer, But one thing remains: with masking there would be some half-shapes (which were drawn by brush tool), whereas I need every little circle be completely inside the mask. How could it be possible? May 23, 2015 at 23:00

There is a illustrator plugin called Colliderscribe by AstuteGraphics. This will help to do just what you are looking for in Illustrator.


This is actually doable in Illustrator (through advance scripting). Luckily, this dude has done just what we required here.


Make sure you download the scripts, and then restart Illustrator.

  1. Create Path for outer shape (in this case a circle).
  2. Then File > Script > Circle Fill
  3. Set the Size Variation, Spacing, Color of the Circles that will fill up your 'outer shape'.
  4. This will result in circles filling up your 'outer shape'
  5. Now the catch is, this script only works for circles at first. To change the shape to something else you have to use Find&Replace command from the script.

You might also need a few extra steps for color variation of each circle. But that's not much of a problem.

  • Could you get the script file and post it directly in your answer. If that link goes down, this answer will no longer be useful otherwise.
    – Ryan
    Apr 19, 2017 at 14:24

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