1 2 3 Previous Next 81 Replies Latest reply on May 23, 2012 6:54 AM by Mathias17

    Typography effect

    cdeonis Level 1

      Version: CS5

      Machine and OS: Mac Pro / OS X 10.7.2


      I see this trend a lot but can't figure out how to do it. Screenshot attached because I don't quite know how to describe it effectively. Essentially, it seems like a thin stroke line that traces the center of each letter. I tried recreating this by creating outlines of a black font, adding a red stroke and adjusting its thickness until you could only see a bit of the black and the effect was similar but it was not clean by any means.


      Any help? Screen Shot 2012-04-09 at 9.17.38 AM.png

        • 1. Re: Typography effect
          Monika Gause Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Even if the striped drop shadow was added in Illustrator, the outlined font may have been created that way.


          But if I wanted to make this stuff in Illustrator, I'd add a second fill to the text object and use the effect "Offset path" on it.

          • 2. Re: Typography effect
            Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional



            To get a constant width of both the outer dark part and the inner pale part, each lettershape must have a constant width.


            You can create such lettershapes as simple stroked and filled paths, adjusting the Stroke weight (and position).

            • 3. Re: Typography effect
              cdeonis Level 1

              Sorry, I guess I'm not being clear. I'm attaching a few more examples so you can see. It's the line that is drawn in the center of each letter that traces teh shape of the letter...wondering if this is done by hand or if there is a simple way to do it in illustrator. examples.jpg

              • 4. Re: Typography effect
                Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional



                All (three now) images are based upon lettershaped paths. For a start, you can:


                A) Create the centre line (stroke/nofill), Apearance palette/panel flyout>Add New Stroke, then drag the new stroke beneath the original one and increase the Stroke weight to get the outer shape and change the colour;


                this corresponds to the way the centre line ends in the third image and the C in the second image;


                B) Create the centre line (stroke/nofill), Object>Path>Outline Stroke, then Object>Offset Path to get the outer shape and change the colour;


                this corresponds to the way the centre line ends in the first and second images except for the C.


                After that, you may Object>Expand Appearance and do other things to get the different colours.

                • 5. Re: Typography effect
                  cdeonis Level 1

                  I'm sorry to be a bit thick, but I tried all the steps and am just not following what you wrote. I see this trend everywhere lately and for some reason, can't even figure out what it's called to google it. When you say create the center line...that is precisely what I can't figure out how to do. If i simply type a word and apply a stroke with no fill, hte stroke runs along hte outside of the letter shapes. If I try to center the stroke, it's uneven.

                  • 6. Re: Typography effect
                    Bob the Sign Guy Level 2

                    It's can be pretty difficult and time consuming to create an accurate center line effect inside lettering. First, lettering with a fairly monotone stroke must be used rather than lettering with higher contrast (varying degrees of thick and thin) in the stems. Then you have to break apart the original letter forms into various path segments and use object blend tricks to create the centerline. Honestly, this is something I can do much faster/easier in CorelDRAW due to the way its blend tool works and other tools like "reverse path direction" that help properly orient the resulting path blends.


                    Depending on the project, it will be a lot faster (and maybe even cheaper in terms of labor savings) to simply purchase a typeface that has a built in center line already.

                    • 8. Re: Typography effect
                      cdeonis Level 1

                      thank you! that's great to know although I know a lot of people are doign this manually and would love to know how. I think I'll just write the original designer. thanks again!

                      • 9. Re: Typography effect
                        cdeonis Level 1

                        and now I know it's called inline type!

                        • 10. Re: Typography effect
                          [scott] Level 6

                          Truth is... most are lazy. I'm certain Intro isn't the only font with an inline. I can name at least one other (Pipeline from letterheadfonts.com). The path of least resistance is generally the answer. I'd hazard a guess that it's almost always a font used and the inlines are rarely manually created.

                          • 11. Re: Typography effect
                            photodrawken Level 5

                            You can get something very close using CorelDraw:

                            centerline trace 02.png

                            Convert the text to curves, convert the curves to a bitmap, use the Bitmap Trace (Centerline).  The centerline trace is above the bitmapped text and can have its stroke width and colour easily changed.


                            You need to carefully select the typeface, and still you can see the limitations in the curved parts of the lines and with diagonal lines....



                            • 12. Re: Typography effect
                              Monika Gause Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              The tracing method would work in Illustrator as well.

                              • 13. Re: Typography effect
                                John Stanowski Level 2

                                Monika's first suggestion makes the most sense to me because you can keep your text as live text.


                                1. Create your text.

                                2. Using the Appearance Panel, add a new Fill and make it (for example) black.

                                3. Add a second new Fill (again from the Appearance Panel). Make that fill white.

                                4. Select the White Fill in the Appearance Panel and click on the fx button at the bottom. Add the Path/Offset Path effect.

                                5. Adjust the numbers until the White Fill shrinks down to where you need it.


                                Like others here have said, if the font doesn't have a constant width, then the white line won't be either. 

                                • 14. Re: Typography effect
                                  photodrawken Level 5



                                  How does the tracing method work in AI?  I don't see an option for "Centerline" trace.