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Warp type / distort text in Adobe Illustrator tutorial, How To Bend Text Beginner's Guide

By Andrew Buckle, Video Tutorial Creator / Designer

Updated : 2021

Warp type in Adobe Illustrator

  1. Select type (or create some type via type tool) in Adobe Illustrator

  2. object menu

  3. envelope distort category

  4. make with warp command

  5. set style to warp Illustrator type such as arc, wave, fish etc

  6. set horizontal warp or vertical warp

  7. set bend value for type warp

  8. set distortion (for additional optional warping)

  9. OK

You can then just keep with the envelope or expand the envelope via the expand command in the object menu. The warp type is still live so the envelope can still be modified by just using tools such as the direct selection tool where the envelope points can be selected and then dragged to further warp the type and this can be used to create ever more complex designs using live type.



You can also edit the content of the envelope via the envelope distort menu and the 'edit contents' command.

Warp with the top object

Firstly, you need to expand the type as usual. Expand via the object menu. Once you have done this, create a new path on top of the existing one. You can create a new path such as rectangle or circle or select an existing on and copy and paste and then place that over the top of the type you want to warp.


Go to the object menu and make with top object. You can now select the warp bounding object with the direct selection tool found in the tools bar. You can drag the points around and distort the type in all kinds of ways.



Warp tools in tools bar

You can use the warp tools found in the tools bar below the width tool. There is the warp tool as well as the twirl tool and pucker etc. You can apply very localised distortions and warping to the object but if you want to apply a true warp / distortion to the type then I would suggest double clicking the tools icon and then changing the height and width of the warp etc to 800 pt or more and then apply it. Before you can apply it, again you will need to expand the type via the object menu expand command. The result is perhaps a little more coarse and unpredicatable than the mesh tools.



Some alternative options to warp type in Adobe Illustrator

You can also warp type with

1. Make mesh command

2. Make with mesh object

3. Twirl tool etc if expanded type

4. Blend tool is another option by using the type and selected object

5. Third party plugins

6. Effect menu and warp command

7. Free distort effect