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How to Create an Outline Effect in Adobe Illustrator

Updated on March 13, 2011

A simple effect, that has astonishing results.

  1. Open a new document in Illustrator.
  2. Make a closed path or type some text. If you use text, make sure you expand it, by selecting it and going Object -> Expand.
  3. Copy and paste what you just made, and make one white (the one that will be on top), and one black (the one on the bottom).
  4. Select the black one, go Effect -> Path -> Offset Path. Click on the "Preview" check box, and figure out how thick you want the outline to be. Click OK.
  5. Make sure the white one is on top by right clicking on the object and going Arrange -> Send to Front. And make sure the black one is on the bottom by going, right click -> Arrang -> Send to Back. 
  6. Then, make sure your "Align" window is open by going Window -> Align. Select both object and click the "Vertical Align Center" and "Horizontal Align Center" buttons.
  7. Sit back and enjoy your awesome design. 

How easy is illustrator?

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    • profile image

      icon package 5 years ago

      I confirm. All above told thetruth.


    • profile image

      Andrew 5 years ago

      nice one, appreciated

    • profile image

      Soni 5 years ago

      thanks for this help, really useful

    • profile image

      Steph 6 years ago

      Thanks for the help! It saved me lots of time and I learnt something new! Amazing1 ;)

    • profile image

      Joy 6 years ago

      This tutorial is the best! Easy to follow and my vectors turned out awesome! Thanks for sharing it!

    • waynet profile image

      Wayne Tully 6 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      That looks amazing and quite professional too, looks like proper comic book font style, now all I need to buy is Adobe Illustrator!

    • profile image

      Wendy 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing!!

    • profile image

      Jen 7 years ago

      I just want to say, I'm an Illustrator newbie, and I spent TWO hours looking for this explanation. So simple to do. Thank you so much for sharing!!

    • profile image

      tatt 7 years ago

      thank you for the great tip! :)

    • profile image

      Tonina 7 years ago

      Is it possible to set up a preset or actions (ALA Photoshop) to make this automatic?

    • jamestedmondson profile image

      jamestedmondson 7 years ago from San Francisco

    • profile image

      Marc McClain 7 years ago

      What font is that?

    • profile image

      simon fobi 7 years ago

      thanks a lot. this really helps

    • jamestedmondson profile image

      jamestedmondson 8 years ago from San Francisco

      Pretty much doing the same thing, again.

    • profile image

      michelle 8 years ago

      how do I add another outline around the solid black??