So I have a curving path in Illustrator and I've put some text on it using the "Type on Path" tool. I want to make the font size of that text gradually increase towards the middle and then gradually decrease again towards the end.

Any ideas on how to do this?

  • Welcome to GD.SE!!! Manually changing the size of characters is probably what is needed. If you can link to an example, there may be other options. But Type on a Path has some restrictions.
    – Scott
    Feb 27, 2013 at 23:16
  • Good question i think it should be possible in corel draw. But i don't see why not in Illustrator or photoshop. However, it is common to find the most basic features missing somehow.
    – user8795
    Feb 28, 2013 at 1:35

3 Answers 3


Sounds like a job for the almighty Envelope Distort. Bonus - you don't have to expand the text, so you can still edit the text as a live "Type on a path" object.

The easy option is to use one of the options from Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Warp menu.

If you want more precise control (here's an example where we really mangle the text)...

1: Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Mesh, choose a number of rows/columns that suits the shape

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2: Adjust the points to taste with the direct selection (A) tool - make sure the top left 'Envelope' button is set to 'Edit envelope' on the left.

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3: To edit the text while keeping the effect, change the top button to Edit Contents (the star on the right)

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There is one method I have tried.

  1. Type a line of text
  2. Create outlines
  3. Distort it in the way you like
  4. Expand it and make art brush
  5. Apply brush on the curve

enter image description here


I'd go with Effect > Warp > Bulge It's not as almighty Envelope Distort but you can control the values quite nice.

Dont mind the german labels

enter image description here

  • 1
    Nice quick method if it's a reasonably straight path. You can also get a 'best of both' using Object > Envelope distort > Make with warp, then choosing Bulge: it gives you a bulge effect like this with the same controls, and also then lets modify every point to get it to follow a text path better. ("Wulst" is a brilliant sounding word btw) Feb 28, 2013 at 16:34

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