Image source – Pixabay
Text as a design element is very important in attracting attention to the message you want to share. Attractive lettering in your posters, social media posts or banners can be crucial in determining whether people read through your work. Using design tools available on software like illustrator helps make your text attractive and bold and also gives your posters an artistic touch. Curve letters especially add to the creativity of your work by making the text wrap around pictures or giving it a 3D effect. Creating these advanced typography might sound hard, but it can be surprisingly easy! Here’s a step-by-step breakdown on how to give your letters that curve touch. There are three methods to apply the curve feature. Let’s start with the first one:
Method 1: Applying ‘Curve’ by using the menu options
Step 1: Open illustrator
Open Illustrator, click on the ‘File’ tab and select your project. You can also find the file on your desktop, and right-click. This will open a drop-down menu. In this menu, hover over the ‘Open With…’ option and click on ‘Illustrator’. Your project will immediately open on the Illustrator canvas.
Step 2: Select the text
Once you have your file opened, create a text box by clicking on the ‘text’ box tool in the tool menu. You can also create a text box by simply clicking ‘T’ on your keyboard. Once you have created a text box, type in the text you want to curve. You can type in headings, or subheadings, or any text that you want to call attention to. You can also change the font, color and font size before you start to apply the curve features.
Step 3: Find the ‘Effects’ Tab
In the topmost panel of your illustrator window or screen, you find an ‘Effect’ tab. Click on the effect tab to open a drop-down menu. The drop-down menu has a list of different effects that you can use on your text or images to make them more interesting. Experiment with the different tools available to find one that fits your needs.
Step 4: Applying the Curve or Wrap feature
To give your text a curve effect, find the ‘Wrap’ option from the Effects drop-down menu. When you hover over the ‘Wrap’ option, you will see another menu on the side. This menu contains different curve effects that you can apply on the text based on the effect you are trying to create.
Step 5: Using ‘Arc’ feature
To create a basic curve text, click on the ‘Arc’ feature from the ‘Wrap’ side menu. A new ‘Wrap Options’ box will appear. This box has the ‘bend’ and ‘distortion’ percentages which you can change to adjust the curve of your text. Before you experiment with the percentages, tick the ‘Preview’ option at the left corner of the box so you can see the changes as you make them. Now it’s time to experiment with the style settings to find the right curve for you!
Step 6: Applying your curve settings
Once you have decided the ‘bend’ and ‘distortion’ percentages, click on the ‘OK’ button at the bottom of the box to apply the settings. If you are not happy with it, you can always go back and make the changes again.
Method 2: Applying curve by using the ‘Type on a Path’ tool
Step 1: Open illustrator
Open Illustrator on your computer or laptop. Click on the ‘File’ option at the top of your screen and select the file you want to work on. You can also find the file on your laptop. Hover over the file and right-click. Select ‘Open with…’ from the drop-down menu and then select ‘Illustrator’. Both of these methods will open your file on the Illustrator canvas, and your project is ready to be edited. You can also create a new file by clicking on the ‘File’ tab at the top and selecting ‘New’ from the drop-down menu.
Step 2: Draw the shape or the curve to align your text with
Once you have your Illustrator project opened, draw a circle (or the shape) you want to align your text with. You can draw by using the drawing tools or shape tools on the left-hand bar on the Illustrator window. You can click on the ellipse tool on the toolbar to draw, or you can press ‘L’ on your keyboard to select the tool. Once you have selected the tool, drag and drop on to the Illustrator canvas to create a circle. You can adjust the circle according to your needs by making it broader to get a wider curve of text or narrower to get a more compressed curve of text.
Step 3: Adding text
Click on the text tool and hold. This will open another menu with more options for texts. The following options will show up: ‘Type tool’, ‘Type on a Path Tool’ and ‘Vertical Type Tool’. The ‘Type Tool’ opens up a regular text box. On the other hand, the ‘Vertical Type Tool’ opens a text box that lets you type vertically. To curve words, we will be using the ‘Type on a Path Tool’.
Step 4: Using the Type on a Path Tool
Click on the ‘Type on a Path Tool’ from the Text Tool menu. This will pull up a cursor that has a curved-dotted line going through this. Place this cursor on a circle and click. Now start typing. As you type, the letters will start to hug the circle or shape you’ve created. This way you can experiment by typing in text along different shapes or curves to create artistic and unique typography.
Step 5: Editing the text
If you want to edit the text after you have typed, you can click on the ‘Direct Selection Tool’ from the menu. This tool looks like a big cursor arrow. You can select the text with this and make changes to the font, font size and color according to your needs. You can make these changes in the ‘Properties’ panel.
Method 3: Using the ‘Mesh’ feature
Step 1: Opening illustrator and your project
Open Illustrator, click on the ‘File Tab’, click ‘Open’ and select your project file. You can also find the file on your laptop, right-click, select ‘Open With…’ in the drop-down menu, and select ‘Illustrator’. Once you have your project open, you are ready to create.
Step 2: Select the text
Select the text you want to add the curve effect to. If you don’t already have text, click on the ‘Text’ icon on the tool menu. It looks like a capital ‘T’. Then draw a text box and type in the text. You can also format the font size, font style, and color by selecting the text and making the changes. Once you’re happy with the text, you can move on to the next step.
Step 3: Finding the ‘Make with Mesh’ option
Once you have selected the text you want to add the curve effect to, click on the ‘Object tab’ at the top of the screen. This should open a drop-down menu. From the drop-down menu hover over the ‘Envelope Distort’ option. This will open another menu on the side. From this menu, select the ‘Make with Mesh’ option.
Step 4: Applying the ‘Make with Mesh’ effect
After you click on the ‘Make with Mesh’ option in the side menu, a few default options box pops up. You can keep the default options as it is, which is usually 4×4 rows and columns. If you want to experiment, go ahead and mess around with the settings. These settings will help you decide how many rows and columns you want to enable and manipulate. When you are happy with your settings, click ‘OK’.
Step 5: Manipulating the Mesh Effect
After you click ‘OK’ you will see a mesh over your text. Illustrator will now allow you to manipulate the text however you want by dragging the mesh in any direction. You can do this by pressing ‘A’ on your keyboard, or by clicking on the Direct Selection Tool in the Tool menu. This is especially convenient when you want to manipulate the text in various directions and create 3D effects.
The ‘Wrap’, ‘Type on Path’ and ‘Mesh’ features give you great leeway to experiment with different settings. It can be fun and satisfying to find a particular design that fits your needs. Take your time to check out all the features and explore the myriad of settings that Illustrator offers. A great way to find out about hidden techniques is to watch or read tutorial posts. This will help you stay up to date with the new features Illustrator brings out. The curve typography feature makes any poster or design exciting and unique. Typography is especially important to make a message attractive and clear. Illustrator has great features to let you design your ideas that way you want, and helps you exercise your creativity. It’s time to Illustrate some really cool texts!