Adobe Illustrator 10 has a collection of new Warping tools. These tools do not directly work with text. At first, this looks like a serious ommission. But hark! There is a little technique that will serve us well.
Firstly, let’s assume you have created some text in your Illustrator document.
Create a rectangle that bounds the text exactly. This rectangle will not be visible: its used for the Envelope tool…
Select both the new rectangle and the text frame underneath. Go to Object>Envelope Distort>Make with Top Object.
This will take the underlying text and ‘distort’ it into the shape of a rectangle. The text probably hasn’t changed that much. But the beauty of Illustrator 10 is that we can now Warp the envelope shape.
Voila! we can now warp text!
To edit the text, you can select this object and go to Object>Envelope Distort>Edit Contents. Here you can edit the text rather than the envelope shape itself.
In this simple example, we are changing the shape of the envelope that the text is being stretched into.
Now, this alone is interesting and worthwhile. But there is another “thing” we can do…
By simply adding a Warp Envelope to our text object by going to Object>Envelope Distort>Make with Warp
We can change the shape the text is ‘enveloped’ into. These warp styles closely reflect the style in Photoshop 6.0. However, what is different is that there is an underlying shape that we can manipulate the effect the shape the text is warped into.
Apart from using the ‘white arrow’ (direct select tool) to change the envelope, or we can use the Warping tools to change the shape.