Envelope distortion in Illustrator

Distortion effects can take the perfect lines of your vector illustration and give them a more organic or hand-sculpted appearance, says Sam Hampton-Smith.

Add variety to your artwork with chunky, delicate or flowing organic shapes. Push and pull artwork into a pre-defined shape, or force text into a wave. Illustrator has advanced mesh-based envelope distortion functions that are often overlooked, but are hugely powerful tools.

Once you understand how the distortion works, a whole new range of visual effects becomes available to you. Illustrator offers you the flexibility of three different approaches to distortion nirvana: warp, mesh and object. We're going to briefly look at all three in this tutorial.

The really clever part of this functionality is that all the distortion is entirely non-destructive. So you can always get back to your original artwork, giving you freedom to experiment without risking your hard work.

Click here to download the support files (793KB)

Click here to download the tutorial for free