website sketch


Distorted Horror Text in Illustrator

    ●   Use the Free Distort Effect to Create Dynamic Text in Illustrator.

Learn About:

Text & Font Free DistortStroke & Fill

   •   This tutorial is part of the Movie Poster, Comic Book Cover and Don't Buy the Lie Projects.

Other People's Work:

These are examples created by students following this Tutorial.


Step #1: Open Your Project in Illustrator ~

Open YOUR CURRENT PROJECT in Illustrator


… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be
applied to YOUR PROJECT)…

… make a New Layer, and lock your other layers.

IF you don't have a anything, then open a new document the size of your project …


Step #2: Type Tool ~

Get the Type Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (t) …

… and type some text you can USE IN YOUR PROJECT from your graphic organizer sketch.

Step #3: Download a Scary Font ~

Go to: and search for a scary font that fits your project theme:

Step #4: Download the Font ~

When you find a font that matches your project, Right-Click and save the file to your desktop, or somewhere you can find it …

Step #5: Open Font Book ~

Go to your Destop, where , open the font you downloaded, and double-click on the .tff file(s) …

… when Font Book opens, click Install Font.

Step #6: Format the Text ~

Select your text and choose the font you installed, change the size and color, etc …

Step #7: Create Outlines ~

Get the Selection Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (v) …

… go to: Type > Create Outlines



… or hit the keyboard shortcut:

shift key+ +



… but however you do it, be sure to ALWAYS create outlines of your text.


Step #8: Distort Text ~

With the text selected, go to: Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort

… and distort the text like this:

Step #9: Stroke ~

Add a contrasting stroke to your text by changing the stroke color to something opposite it's surroundings …

… and also adjust the stroke:


Raise and lower the Stroke Weight ~

Change the Brush ~


Take A Risk!

Step #10: Effects ~

Select everything by hitting Cmd (⌘) +A and go to: Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow.

Step #11: Save your Work ~

Save your work as an adobe illustrator document somewhere you can find it …

save as


Only if you are working in Photoshop
and want to use your star shape there, open Photoshop and go to: File > Place

file place

Find the file you created in Illustrator and use it in your Photoshop document!

Last Step: Save your Project and Attach ~

Attach your work!

  •   ALWAYS save your projects like this:


  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.


  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.

Other Resources: