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Learn How to Add a Warp Text Effect to Adobe InDesign Layout


Adobe InDesign is an amazing platform for print and editorial design, but incorporating elements and features from Illustrator can elevate your layout to an entire visually appealing level.


When working with typography effects, there are limitations in Adobe InDesign. For instance, you aren't able to warp text — or add any other distortion feature to type much like you would in Illustrator or even Photoshop.


In this tutorial, I will go over how to create a warp effect to text in Illustrator, save it to your CC Library or export it as a separate file to import into an Adobe InDesign project.


It's important to note that when adding distorted text from Illustrator to InDesign, the most efficient way is to save it as an image. So keeping a master file in Illustrator for the editable text — in case you ever want to go back to make changes — is a good idea.



Warping Text Effect in Illustrator

  1. Create a document in Ai similar in size to your Id layout. This will help you gauge how it may look before transferring over.

  2. Select the Type Tool and click on your Artboard and type the text you would like to warp.

  3. Format the typeface, size and colour in the Properties panel. In this case, I used Gotham Black, 100 pt and black.

  4. Click the frame once with the Selection Tool and go to Effect > Warp > Wave. There are four main settings to focus on: the wave type, the Bend as well as the Horizontal and Vertical distortion sliders.

  5. When you are satisfied with your selections, click OK.



There are a couple ways of saving this text to transfer over to InDesign. You can drag and drop into your CC Library, but make sure to hold Command while doing this process to ensure the warp effect preserves its formatting. Without doing this step, Illustrator will assume you are only trying to save the typeface you used.


The other way is exporting the file with transparent background as a PNG file. To achieve this, simply go to File > Export As and then select PNG. Just be sure to select Transparent background so when you transfer to InDesign you can lay it over another background.

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