I've started playing around in illustrator and came to a full stop when I tried to find a way to create a side curve to a text blend (cause I don't know the limitations of the blend tool)

Here's what I'm trying to create (these are a billion layers individually colored (poorly) and resized and frankly just nuts AND makes illustrator crash.

enter image description here

And this is just simple text blend

enter image description here

Can I ask, what is this text effect even called? Seen it on 70's and 80's logos/cartoons but did not know how to google more information about this. I went with the blend tool to start cause I like its gradient effect but that of course only goes in a straight line or if you change the spine curves only to one direction.

Does anyone know of a way to do this? Does it have to be done manually as in drawn or is there some other simpler way to do it?

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    I believe that this 'look' was inspired by early broadcast effects. Look at Dr Who in the 70's (and many Sci Fi movies) you will see that they had a simple range of filters for the titles including a vortex effect. I can remember some of these appearing in early Avid releases for desktop video. Like drop shadow they were over used because you only had a few to choose from. I circumvented those with Macromedia Director in 1997, porting Mac based text animations to Betacam SP tape for broadcast including a sting for MTV - it gave us many more options although would take all night to render. Aug 16, 2019 at 10:10

1 Answer 1


Each blend has a spine.

  • Use the Direct Selection Tool to select the bottom point of the spine and convert it to a smooth point clicking the Convert Selected Point to Smooth icon at the top options bar
  • Move up the top handler holding Shift to do it at 90º
  • Increase the blend steps

enter image description here

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    You absolutely fantastic being!!!! This is so simple I could cry ... how did I not think of playing with the spine - Thank you so much for explaining this to me!!!!! Aug 11, 2019 at 22:05
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    Glad to help you.
    – user120647
    Aug 11, 2019 at 22:14
  • Not related to the actual question, but what did you use to create the animated example?
    – Copes
    Aug 13, 2019 at 11:08
  • @Copes This is Illustrator
    – curious
    Aug 13, 2019 at 11:28
  • @Copes ...Kap...
    – user120647
    Aug 13, 2019 at 11:31

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