How to Curve Text in Adobe Illustrator

A helpful trick in Adobe Illustrator is text curving. Introducing shapes into your typography can enhance the visual impact of your text.

There are really many circumstances and settings in which you’ll wish to produce curved text. It’s a creative and enjoyable method to produce unique text and font styles.

My name is Aly, I am a graphic designer and daily Adobe Illustrator user. In this article, I will be showing you how to curve text in Adobe Illustrator using a few different methods. 

Method 1: Curving Text Using Type on a Path

Follow the steps below to curve text by using type on a path.  

Step 1: Have a new blank document open in Illustrator. Using the Curvature Tool, create a curved line where you will place the text. You can find the curvature tool on the toolbar. 

Step 2: Now that the curvature tool is active, click on the artboard in a few different spots to get a curved line. I made 3 different spots to create a half-circle. Once you have done that click the escape key to complete the line. 

Please be aware that if we curve text along it, this object won’t be visible anymore! When doing this task, Illustrator turns your curve into an invisible wireframe that the text follows. 

Therefore, if the path that you’re curving your text along is essential to your design, make sure to duplicate it and then paste it there before moving on.

Step 3: Choose the Type On A Path Tool. This can be found in the menu below the default Type Tool (keyboard shortcut T). Simply hold down the mouse button while clicking the Type Tool symbol if you’re having problems getting to that menu.

The Type On A Path Tool’s power is that it enables you to curve text in Illustrator with only one path click. After clicking on your curved line, a placeholder will appear with some text.

Step 4: Now that you can see the placeholder text on your path, go ahead and double-click the placeholder text and delete it and type your own text, change the font, adjust the font size, etc. 

Step 5: Grab the Selection Tool to adjust the location and direction of your curved text (keyboard shortcut V)

Click on the text even if it is not currently chosen. The start and finish of your curved text are marked with a pair of thin, vertical blue lines.

Method 2: Using the Warp Tool to Curve Text

By going into effects, the warp tool can also help you to achieve curved text. 

Step 1: Select the Type tool from the toolbar and add text

Step 2: Click on your text to select it, go to the overhead menu, choose Effect > Warp and you will see a variety of effects in that section. 

The one that will curve your text like the method above would be the Arc effect. 

Step 3: A settings window will pop up, here you can change the bend and distortion settings to create more curves in your text if you’d like. Once you figure out the settings you want, click OK and your text will be curved!

Pro Tips

  • I suggest selecting the Arch option from the Warp effects if you want the ideal arch text effect. To prevent text distortion, leave the Distortion (horizontal and vertical) settings alone.
  • The curved text is directly editable on the path. To change the wording, font, or colors, simply click on the text. Double-click on the text to make the necessary changes if your curved text was created using Warp.

Final Thoughts

Curving text is a quick, straightforward, and incredibly efficient approach to drawing readers’ eyes to your writing. And thankfully, Illustrator offers a variety of options for curving text. 

Any questions about curving text in Adobe Illustrator? Leave a comment and let me know.

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