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3 Easy Methods How to Curve Text in Illustrator

How can you curve text in Illustrator? You might have noticed some cool logos with text curving around or partially in a circular way. Although such logos look cool and sophisticated, achieving this look is not as complicated as it may seem.

If you are wondering how you can create such designs, then this is the article for you. As I started creating logos and designs, this was a challenge for me too, until I researched and practiced long enough to come up with 3 easy ways you can use to create similar design styles.

In this article, I will show you 3 ways How to Curve Text in Illustrator. The article will also cover different curve text options such as circular text effects, arch text, bulge text effects, and wavy text formats.

With the knowledge and tricks you will learn in this article, you will be able to create fancy logos and different types of typography designs for your general merchandise and t-shirt designs.

This article is not about converting your text to outlines.

How to Curve Text in Illustrator

  1. Method 1: Type on Path Tool
  2. Method 2: Warp and Bulge Text in Illustrator
  3. Method 3: Curve text using Envelope Distort

Method 1: Type on Path Tool

The first and easiest method to curve text around a circle in Illustrator is using the type on Path tool. First, you need to create the circle shape you want to curve text around. After that, click and hold the text tool to bring up type options.

Choose the type on the path tool option. Click anywhere along the circular shape and start typing.

around a circle in Illustrator
  1. Go to File>New, and set the artboard size to 1000 by 1000 pixels. Click the ellipse or circle tool. If you cannot see it, click and hold on to the rectangle tool to bring up some options.
  2. Once you select the ellipse tool, click and drag it while holding down the shift, control, and Alt keys so that it comes out proportionally.
  3. Remove the fill so that you only have the outline.
  4. Select the type on the path tool, and type the text you want to curve around the circle. Set the font, and then cut.
  5. Select the circle then go to the type tool and choose the type on path tool. Click on the circle then Paste your text.
  6. You can then adjust the text to the desired size. To have text on the upper and lower sides of the circle, select and copy the first curved text and press control F to paste it on top of the other one.
  7. Rotate the second one to the bottom. Go to Type, Type on Path options to flip the text to the correct side.
  8. Set the aligned path to the descender.

Curve text along a wavy line

If you want to curve your text along a wavy line, the process is the same, only replace the circle with a line.

curve Text
  1. Go to pen and draw a curved line
  2. Type your text and set font and size.
  3. Cut the text
  4. Go to type on path tool and paste on the line

Method 2: Warp and Bulge to curve Text in Illustrator

You can also curve text in Illustrator using the bulge or Warp option in Illustrator. This is the second easiest way you can use to achieve results.

First, create the text you want to curve. With the text selected, choose Warp under the Effect option on the top menu.

Warp and Bulge Text in Illustrator
  1. Type text and set the font
  2. Go to Effect > Warp
  3. A pop-up menu will appear.
Warp Options

From the style section choose a style that you want to use. Try out the different options for the bulge, Arch, and many more. Here are some examples

Below is the basic bulge option. You can play around with the bend, horizontal, and vertical settings to see the best output. Toggle on the preview to see different options before you finally accept the design.

Bulge text effect

How to arc text in illustrator

In the below option, we used the Arch style. Similarly, toggle preview and adjust settings to see how it comes out. After you like it choose ok to accept changes.

Arch text design

Method 3: Curve text using Envelope Distort

Finally, you can use the Envelope Distort method to curve your text in Illustrator. Although it is more detailed and flexible in terms of edits, it is slightly more complicated than the 2 methods discussed earlier.

Here is how to do it. Create text using the type tool. With the text selected, go to Object> Envelope Distort > Make with Mesh.

Make with Mesh

The pop-up menu that comes up allows you to set the grid to edit your text. Set the number of rows and columns you want for the mesh. The more you add, the more complex your mesh is.

curve text using envelope distort

After you are okay with the mesh, click ok and then choose the direct selection tool. Click on a point in the mesh and move it around. You will notice your text will start curving. Make sure to use the direct selection tool.

direct selection tool

How to Curve Text in Illustrator: A Quick Recap

  1. Method 1: Type on Path Tool – Easiest Method
  2. Method 2: Warp and Bulge Text in Illustrator – Easier to edit later
  3. Method 3: Curve text using Envelope Distort – Complex method

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can you convert your text to an outline in Adobe Illustrator?

    If you want to convert your text to outlines or curves in Illustrator, select your text and hit shift + control + o in PC or shift + command + o for a MAC.

  2. Can you curve text in Illustrator without distorting it?

    Yes, to curve text in Adobe Illustrator without distortion, I recommend using the Arch or type-on-path options.