First, let me say that I have little to no idea what I'm doing, nor how I am going to do it.
Having said that, I am hoping to put together a shirt with the team name of an old school, and I've seen several team shirts with text oriented in the specific manner I am looking for. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, this images shows text in the form I am wanting to create:
Note that all of them have significant curvature, but that the letters aren't radially-oriented. In other words, each letter is pretty much straight up and down, and the word is drawn in such a way that the letters "droop" and follow a curve, rather than being angled to rest on the curvature. What I mean is there is no radial orientation, like this:
If you notice, the red lines converge at a single point below the line of letters, and each is radially-oriented from that point.
This is not what I am trying to achieve.
My question is this: What is the name of this technique that curves words without altering their vertical orientation?
Also, since I am trying to do this on a budget, are there any free graphics programs that will allow me to take my own font, bend it along a curve in the same format as the top photo, and create the graphic image I am looking for?
For what it's worth, I haven't really considered fonts yet, and I have no knowledge of how the logo-design process works, so if the experts in the field who populate this board are willing to jump in with advice and guidance, it would be great.