In this article, we’ll cover two key skills: creating shaped frame designs, and then converting them to text and picture frames in Affinity Publisher.
Making shapes for framing content
Let’s start by building a few interesting shapes that can be used as non-standard frames. There are three ways to design a shaped frame:
1. Shape Tools
A shape created using the Shape Tools can easily form the basis for a frame. Pick a Shape Tool and drag it onto the page to create a shape.
For a tiny tweak, the orange nodes on the shape allow you to adjust the roundness of the corners.
If you’re looking for something a bit more advanced, a shape that has been converted to curves (made possible by right-clicking on your chosen shape and selecting Convert to Curves) can be converted into a frame as well. You can adjust a converted shape’s individual nodes at any time.
2. Boolean Operations
Compound shapes can be used as frames too!
With two (or more) overlapping shapes selected, choose one of the Boolean options from the Toolbar or the Layer menu’s Geometry sub-menu to create a compound shape.
3. Pen Tool
Using the Pen Tool, you can draw truly unique polygons and irregular closed shapes which can then be converted to frames. With the Pen Tool selected, drag onto the page and draw in any direction to create a curve. Any closed curve can be used as a custom shape.
Converting Shapes to Frames
To convert your chosen shape into a text or picture frame, simply right-click on it and select Convert to Picture Frame or Convert to Text Frame.
Adding photos and flowing text
To add a photo to a frame simply select your frame and click Replace Image to navigate to the images saved on your computer. You can then choose whether you want to embed the image or use linked images.
If you choose to, you can also flow text into and out of a custom shaped text frame by linking the shaped text frame in the same way you would a standard text frame. Below is a text frame made using the Circle Tool.
When it comes to designing unique frames, the options are endless, so don’t be afraid to get creative and have some fun! Here are some examples for inspiration.