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How to Warp Text in Affinity Designer

In this tutorial we will learn how to curve text in Affinity Designer so it can be warped around a circle or placed on a path. For this purpose, we will use Affinity Designer’s Artistic Text Tool.


The process is pretty similar to the one used in Adobe Illustrator but it seems to be a bit more consistent in the way it behaves. There are 3 main ways achieve this; placing text around a circle,  place text on a wavy or curved path,  and there is a warp workaround we will discuss. 


We will be using The Sweetland Typeface Duo font from Font Bundles.


First example, place text around a circle

Step 1: Create the circle

Select the Ellipse Tool (M) and create a Circle. Click in a spot and drag diagonally while holding the Shift key.

Ellipse Tool Affinity Designer

Create a circle in Affinity Designer

Center it by clicking on the Horizontal and Vertical Align Centre in the Alignment Panel (Top menu).

Center shape in Affinity Designer


Step 2: Add the text to the path

In general, you need to make sure that the path is selected before clicking on it with the Artistic Text Tool in order for the text to warp around it.

Artistic Text Tool Affinity Designer

As you hover your cursor over the edge of the path you will see the cursor icon change to a letter T with a wave under it.

Text on Path Affinity Designer

Click on the path roughly where you want to place your text and type what you want.

Type Text Affinity Designer


Step 3: Adjust your text

Depending on where you clicked, the text may be on the inside or the outside of the path. To change this, just click on the Reverse Text Path button on the Top menu.

Reverse Text Path Affinity Designer

Choose the Font you want to use and the size of your text.

Choose Font and Size Affinity Designer

To adjust the position of the text. You will see two handles, one green and one orange. The green one represents the starting point of the text and the orange one represents its end point.


To center the text to the top part of the circle (for example), drag the green handle until it snaps on the left side quadrant (blue dot) and do the same with the orange handle but place it on the right quadrant. Now, change the text alignment to the Center and your text should be centered on top of the circle.

Text Alignment Handles Affinity Designer


Center Text Affinity Designer

If you want to add another line of text, place the cursor at the end and hit Enter. This will add more text inside the circle.

Add line of text Affinity Designer

As before, type what you want, move the green and red levers to center the text.

Adjust text placement Affinity Designer


Adjust text placement Affinity Designer

To add more space between letters, select the text by clicking three times on top of it and press the Right Arrow key as many times as you need while holding the Option/Alt key to Loosen the spacing and create the separation. If you want to decrease the separation, just hold the Option/Alt key and click on the Left Arrow key instead.

Loosen text spacing Affinity Designer


Loosening text spacing Affinity Designer

If you want to move the text from the inside of the circle to the outside or vice versa. Select it and adjust the Baseline in the Top menu.

Modify Baseline Affinity Designer

To decrease or increase the space between individual letters, place the cursor between them and use the same method as before.

Fixing letter spacing Affinity Designer


Step 4: Convert text to curves

Once you are happy with your text, select it and head to Layer > Convert to curves or click on the Convert to Curves button on the Top menu.

Convert text to curves Affinity Designer


Convert text to curves Affinity Designer


Second example, place text on a wavy or curved path

Step 1: Create the path

Use the Pen Tool (P) to create a wavy or curved path (or any other shape).

Create wavy path Affinity Designer


Step 2: Add and adjust your text

As before, make sure that the path is selected and with the Artistic Text Tool click on the path roughly where you want and type your text. Choose the Font and give it the size that works better.

Add text to path Affinity Designer

Arrange the green and orange handles and center your text.

Center text in path Affinity Designer

You can modify the path using the Node Tool (A) and clicking on the one you want and adjust it.

Modify nodes Affinity Designer


Modify nodes Affinity Designer

If you want, you can convert your text to curves like in Step 4 of the first example.


Third example, Warp text workaround

There’s no Warp tool in Affinity Designer, but there is a workaround that can be used to achieve similar results. This workaround may not work with every font (it works better with Sans Serif, chunkier fonts and not so great with Serif, Rounded and Script fonts) so you should keep that in mind when you choose the font to work with.


Step 1: Type your text

Select your Font and type your text.

Type text Affinity Designer


Step 2: Create the shape for the warp

Use the Pen Tool (P) to create a line of the same length of the text. With the Move Tool (V), drag it down while holding the Shift key.

Draw line Affinity Designer


Move line Affinity Designer

Then, use the Node tool (A) to create a central node. Pull it up holding the Shift key.

Add node Affinity Designer

Make the node Smooth clicking on the Control Panel (Top menu).

Smooth node Affinity Designer

Hold Command/Control + Shift while dragging one of the handles so you pull both sides uniformly and in a straight line and create a curve.

Pull handles to modify nodes Affinity Designer

Make the Curve a bit larger than the text.

Enlarge shape Affinity Designer


Step 3: Transform your text

Once you are happy with every aspect of your text, convert it to curves (Top menu). And Ungroup it (Top menu).

Convert to curves Affinity Designer


Ungroup Affinity Designer

With the Move Tool (V), select and drag down the bottom of your letters until they touch the curved path beneath.

Pull Letter down Affinity Designer


Modify letters Affinity Designer

If some letters need additional tweaking, use the Node Tool (A) to drag the individual nodes down. Hold the Shift key while doing this to follow the same angle. Adjust the handles if needed to make the shape of the letters more harmonic.

Modify nodes Affinity Designer


Modify nodes Affinity Designer


Modify nodes Affinity Designer


Warp text to curveAffinity Designer

Select all the letters and click Add in the Geometry Panel (Top menu) to join them together.

Add shapes in Geometry Panel Affinity Designer

If you liked this tutorial, you can check out the rest of our Affinity Designer Font Tutorials such as How to Type Text on a Path, or maybe How to Type Text Within Shapes.

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