Warping Text using Envelope Distort (Mesh) Command in Illustrator CS5


Envelope Distort command can be used to warp text using its features such as Warp, Mesh and Top Object. We learnt how to use the Warp feature of the Envelope Distort in Warping Text using Envelope Distort (Warp) Command in Illustrator CS5. In this tutorial, we will explore how to use the mesh feature of the tool.

To reiterate what I mentioned in the earlier tutorial, the envelope distort command does not convert the text to outlines leaving it editable even after applying warp. With mesh feature, you can create a custom mesh and warp the text the way you want. Let us see how.

1. Open an existing document with the text, or create a new document and add text into a text box using the Type tool (T).

2. With the textbox selected, go to Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Mesh… This will launch the ‘Envelope Mesh’ dialog box as shown below:


NOTE: Switch on the preview to make the mesh visible while in the dialog box.

We will keep the default number of rows and columns and proceed. Click OK.

3. Now choose the Direct Selection (V) (white arrow tool) from the toolbox and click on the anchor points and drag them in the directions you would like the text to be warped. This way you will create you own new font. For example, see below:


You can build your mesh different with equal or unequal number of rows or columns and then use the direct selection tool to warp the text as you like.

Filed Under: Adobe Illustrator


About the Author: Minal is a freelance web and graphics designer. She specializes in designing Logos, Stationery, Graphics and Icons as well as website templates using graphical tools like Photoshop, Illustrator and Expression Web. Twitter @saffronstroke

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