Creating Text Illustrations with the Envelope Distort Illustrator Tool

Do you love experimenting with type? Illustrating with type in Adobe Illustrator is easy when you use the Envelope Distort Illustrator function. In five simple steps, learn how to make your own typographic illustrations! Follow along with our step-by-step tutorial written by our branding Greenville NC expert, or check out our YouTube video for a live tutorial! Let’s dive into how you can master the Envelope Distort Illustrator function to take your design skills to the next level.



Step One

Before using the Envelope Distort Illustrator tool, you must find the shape you want to illustrate. Our creative services Greenville NC team recommends searching for images with a shape you can stretch the words into, as a sharp rectangular shape is going to just look like a regular block of text. For this tutorial, our branding Greenville NC professional will demonstrate how to use the Envelope Distort Illustrator function with an image of a balloon. Open your reference image into Illustrator and set it as a template.

Step Two

Next, type your text around the size you want and outline it. Ungroup the outlines and re-group only the letters of each word together.

Step Three

Arrange your words over the image to generally where you want them. Under the “Object” drop-down menu, select the “Envelope Distort” tab and choose “Make with Mesh.” Within this Envelope Distort Illustrator menu, a pop-up menu should be visible where you will set the rows and columns both to “3.”

Step Four

Now each word has its own 3x3 mesh grid of anchor points. If you need to adjust your letters, our branding Greenville NC expert recommends using the anchor points that are found within each letter. The less distorted the shapes of the letters are, the better the outcome of your Envelope Distort Illustrator design will look. This doesn’t mean you can’t warp the letters into shape, just be strategic with moving the anchor points so that your letter is still legible.

Step Five

Once you’re happy with the look of your text, expand all of the text. Fill in the rest of the image with supporting shapes. For our shape, our creative services Greenville NC specialist is adding the tie at the bottom of the balloon and a tied string hanging off of it. The branding Greenville NC team at Red Shark Digital encourages you to experiment with different colors and shapes for unique effects when using the Envelope Distort Illustrator function!

Red Shark Digital | Branding Greenville NC Tutorials

That’s all there is to illustrating with type using the Envelope Distort Illustrator tool! Our creative services Greenville NC agency, Red Shark Digital, is dedicated to continuing our learning within platforms such as Adobe and Figma to bring you educational resources. For more design tutorials from our branding Greenville NC team, visit our News page and subscribe to our Red Shark Digital YouTube channel. Stay tuned for future editions!