Exponential/logarithmic scaling in Illustrator?

Given a flat object in Illustrator, how can I scale it along the X or Y axis so that it stretches in an exponential fashion? That means that the center barely is stretched, but the outer extents stretch much more? I know there are some warp effects, but those seem to affect both axes.

• Interesting challenge! I got something that works using envelope distort with a mesh (a little bit like this, but ignore the stuff about blends, horizontal only e.g. a 1x6 grid, and scaling the grid lines outwards), and then scaling everything except the inner segment, then everything except the inner two, etc, so the grid lines are placed exponentially. But I can't get the maths quite right. How much wider should the final area be? E.g. if you start with a square, what would you want the final aspect ratio to be? Apr 20, 2014 at 23:03
• Ideally you should be able to set the distance stretched and the degree of exponential stretching. Apr 20, 2014 at 23:07
• Did you look at scripting? How complex is the document? Can you share the document? Apr 22, 2014 at 14:21
• May be solution in that. See http://www.adobe.com/devnet/illustrator/scripting.html for docs. Jul 25, 2014 at 10:14
• I know of no internal method which would work as you describe. Even 9-point slice scaling does the opposite of what you are seeking. Aug 18, 2014 at 20:57

Scaling the object using guides:

I made this template which contains the exponential/logarithmic lines.

Create a new letter size Document in Illustrator and Place the template.

Because in this case I'm going to use the exponential lines, we are going to lock it and hide the logarithmic lines.

Import your flat object into Illustrator.

Select your object and go to Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Mesh.

Depending on the orientation of the scaling, insert 13 and 1 respectively.

Now, that you applied the Envelope Distort to the object, Align each row/column of anchors with the template.

Result:

• The template link is broken, unfortunately Jul 1, 2017 at 15:43

You may have some luck playing around with the transform effect tool inside the appearance panel.