For a logo I am currently making I try to recreate a tire, including tire tread. However, I can't seem to get the tread to "follow" the tire path.

How do I get my tire tread to follow the path of the tire?

See the example of what I am looking for (the tire tread won't be this complex).

Example logo with tyres

  • That example was just drawn that way...possibly with the help of a blend tool in a vector illustration tool.
    – DA01
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 6:13

2 Answers 2


I think you would get a good result using Illustrator's Extrude shape tool - this is found in file menu: Effect > 3D

enter image description here

  1. Make your type tread pattern the same length as the circumference of the tyre shape you require - you then drag the tread shape in to the Symbols panel. You need to do this because the Map Art function finds resource assets here.

  2. Make circle and extrude to a depth relative to a tyre shape (this can be tweaked later on with the Appearance dialogue box)

  3. Set your Rotation axis and Perspective

  4. You can then Map Art - this will bring open another dialogue box that allows you to select the facet on which you map your Symbol - your symbol will appear in a drop down menu - you will be able to manually rotate/stretch this in to position.

  5. Once you are happy with the shape you can un-group and release the objects and select the line art you require.

A similar project can be viewed here available on Youtube

If you want your tread to sit on a two way curved, more torus-like surface (as the real tyre surface is) you can replace the 3d extrusion by 3d revolution. However, this might make the mapping more tricky.

Hope this helps - there are a fair few tutorials on this matter available on the web, Happy Mapping!


Force your tread into its room by Envelope distort. See the following "before and after" screenshot pair:

tire tread

The envelope is the closed path into which the tread is wanted to fit. The envelope vanishes, but if it's copied at first elsewhere, it can be placed back, if needed.

Other possiblities:

  • Envelope distort with Mesh ( best manual control for details, most work)
  • Blend your tread shape along a path (no apparent perspective, more accurate when similar, maybe color shifted copies must be created)

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