Envelope Distort Text in Illustrator

    ●   Create a Trapezoid Shape and use that shape to Envelope some Text.

Learn About:

Text LeadingEnvelope DistortDownloading Fonts Effects

•   This tutorial is part of the Monster Mesh Project.

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.


Step #1: Open Your Project ~

Open your project in Illustrator …

movie poster drawing example




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

new layer




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

Step #2: Polygon Tool ~

Select the Polygon Tool which is behind the Rectangle Tool …

… click somewhere on the artboard …

… leave the Radius and change the sides to 3 …

Polygon tool

… which creates a triangle.


Step #3: Add Anchor Points ~

Go to: Object > Path > Add Anchor Points.

add anchor points

Step #4: Delete the Top Point ~

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

… select the top point of the triangle with the Direct Selection Tool

… and delete it.

Step #5: Free Transform the Shape ~

Then get the Free Transform Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (E) …

Get the Free Transform Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (E) …

… and make the shape fit the space.

Step #6: Find a Font that Matches your Project ~

Go to http://www.dafont.com/ and search for a font that fits your project theme -

  •   For instance, if you want a text or font that looks Old, search for that at dafont.com.


  •   If you want something that looks like Money, search for that. Get it?

Step #7: 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 …

download font

Step #8: Open Font Book ~

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

ttf file

… when Font Book opens, click Install Font.

font book install

Step #9: Type your Text ~

Draw a box approximately the same size as your shape and type your text.

Step #10: Font Character ~

Highlight the text …

… click on Character in the Menu Bar …

… and find the Font you installed.

Step #11: Create 2 or 3 Lines ~

Hit Enter between the main words to make a paragraph break.

Step #12: Create 2 or 3 Lines ~

Go back to the Character panel, find the "Set the Leading" button …

… and shrink the distance between the lines.

Step #13: Font Size ~

Change the size of the text

… make the bottom word biggest.

Step #14: Center and Color ~

Under Paragraph, hit Align Center and center your text …

… and lastly change the Color.

Step #15: 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 #16: Bring to Front ~

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

selection tool

… click on the trapezoid shape …

… then Right-Click and go to: Arrange > Bring to Front.

Step #17: Make with Top Object ~

Then select both objects by Shift-Clicking each one …

… then go to: Object > Envelop Distort > Make with Top Object.

Step #18: Drop Shadow ~

Lastly add Drop Shadow by going to: Effects > Stylize > Drop Shadow.


Last Step: Save and Attach ~


Go to: File > Save as … and save the file as YOUR NAME! so we know whose it is.


  •   ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:


  •   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.

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