I want to fill a shape with multiple lines of text. Similar to the example, so the text remains legible and the shape is clearly identifiable. But I need some sort of separation which the example doesn't have because the text runs all together. I've been using Illustrator to work on this, what other programs are available to use to create this type of typography?

enter image description here

  • 3
    Hey Karri, can you clarify what you mean by "I need some sort of separation which the example doesn't have because the text runs all together" ? Separation where?
    – Vicki
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 22:58
  • @Vicki I have 3 verses of 2 lines each that I need to put into a shape but I think by using a recycle symbol I can give the verses some sort of visual separation...but I still don't know how to completely fill the area with text so the shape is reconizable. All the tutorials I've watched and read are for putting either single or only a few words of text into a shape, or use a layer mask over text which would cut some of it off, neither of which have proven to work for this....I appreciate your help! Thank you
    – KBos
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 5:35
  • Thanks for the clarification, Karri. Have you seen the answer to this question? graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/6221/… It's old, but it seems similar to what you are asking (except instead of the number 1, you'd use your three-piece recycling shape). If this answers your question we can close this one as a duplicate. If not, let us know!
    – Vicki
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 5:44
  • I did see that and also went to the linked question that was similar...my problem is that without the outline of the 1 it wouldn't really be clear that's what it was. I'm having an issue getting the text to completely fill out the shape like it is in the checkmark...
    – KBos
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 7:07

1 Answer 1



The example you posted works well because of a couple of things:

  • A fairly simple shape
  • Small text / short words.

Issues you may run into:

Your text will need to be force-justified to go all the way to the edges and give the illusion of the complete shape you are looking for. When you force-justify text, you're likely to create a lot of rivers (gaps) in your copy. You can try hyphenating your text to mitigate some of the rivers, but that could make your text less legible.


Let's look at doing this with a recycling icon, like you mentioned in the comments.
outlined recycling logo

If you have text you want to use typed out somewhere, copy it into your clipboard, grab the Type Tool, and click on the outline of your shape where you want your text to begin.

text menu click to add text

You'll notice that a recycling icon isn't quite as simple a shape as it appears. Text isn't going to fill those little corners on the arrowheads nicely, unless your words are very small. The illusion of the complete shape breaks down.
shapes filled

You can try force-justifying your text, as well as hyphenating (but again, this is likely to create legibility issues). Both of those options can be found in the Paragraph menu.

paragraph menu


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