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I've seen all sorts of headlines and ads that use this style a solid color section of type has a solid uniform line of a different color running through the exact middle of each letter. I've done all sorts of google searches and I haven't even come close to finding the answer (probably because I have no clue what this technique is called).

Of course I could draw a path on each letterform using the pen tool, but I want to know if there is an easier, time efficient way to do this, perhaps using the appearance pannel.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. This has been driving me crazy for months!

See below for an example of what I'm talking about: "WARM INSIDE" from a Chili's tabletop ad.

Example from Chili's restaurant

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possible duplicate of How to convert text to single stroke in illustrator –  Scott Jan 9 '13 at 9:35
@Scott, similar, but not a duplicate in my opinion - the same approach could work for both, but won't give best results. The other question demands genuinely monoline lettering. –  e100 Jan 9 '13 at 19:27

5 Answers 5

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Using an inner stroke is unlikely to get the results you're after.

enter image description here

I'm not aware of any automatic way to style the text how you'd like it. I think the designer of the packaging in question probably did one of two things:

  1. Found a typeface with this feature (there are quite a few).
  2. Hand crafted the text and/or the effect.

I think the first option is more likely. So, that's probably what you should do. Although, if you don't have much text, creating the inner path could work well and may not be too much effort.

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Thanks for your answer. Yeah I've tried numerous things to try and find a way to do it with fonts that don't have that feature (such as Myriad Pro Bold) with pretty much the same result as you posted above: Inside stroke, offset path, inside glow, etc. Looks like for now it's custom drawn paths... –  Ian Jan 9 '13 at 8:11
You could get a lot closer in illustrator though for some fonts, by following a process similar to the one Supuhstar descibes in Powerpoint. –  e100 Jan 29 '13 at 9:10

enter image description here

1.Type text , right click on text and select Create Outlines.
2. Apply outside stroke.

enter image description here

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There's a much better way to start with thin type then stroke around it, which lets you keep the text as live, editable text: open the Appearance window, hit the Add stroke button, drag this new stroke down below Characters in the appearances window, then set the colour as normal and make the size twice the size you want (so 10pt for 5pts of stroke around the text). The only weakness of this is, all the text has to have the same stroke (that's not a problem in this case). –  user568458 Jun 17 '13 at 11:10

To do this well, you'll need to use an typeface designed for the purpose - look for "inline" fonts.

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Inline - so that's what they are called. It's been driving me crazy. Thanks for the help. –  Ian Jan 14 '13 at 19:44
no there are ways to do it, you could use typeface but there are other ways. –  Muhammad Umer Feb 2 '13 at 0:15

"Warm Inside" as described by OP

I was able to recreate this effect in Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, 2010, 2013, and 365. I didn't test mac 2011, but I expect it works there, too. Sadly, Photoshop and Illustrator do not have one of the features (miter outlines) that you need to do this. You can accomplish the effect with the following steps:

  1. Open Microsoft PowerPoint. Must be version 2007 or later
  2. Create a new PowerPoint file
  3. Create a text box
  4. Type any text in the text box using a light font, such as Segoe UI Light, Ubuntu Light, Source Sans Pro Light, etc.
  5. Assign that text the color of the inner stroke
  6. Pull up the Format Text Effects dialog (or sidebar in 2013) (There are many ways to do this. The easiest is usually right-clicking the text and selecting "Format Text Effects..."
  7. In the Text Outline section, select Solid line and select the color of the outer stroke
  8. In the Outline Style section, increase the Width value until you like the way it looks. Try to allow the outline to overtake the text
  9. CRUCIAL STEP: Ensure that Cap type is set to Flat and that Join Type is set to Miter
  10. Select the text box. Be sure to not select the text, but the box it is in.
  11. Open the Font dialog. There are many ways to do this, the easiest is by clicking the small icon on the lower-right of the "Font" section in of the Home ribbon.
  12. Increase the character spacing until you like the way it looks. Try to *achieve a gap between the letters
  13. Close the Font dialog and ensure the text box is still selected
  14. Duplicate the text box with Ctrl+D or Ctrl+C+V.
  15. Move the new text box so it fits perfectly over the old one. This is easiest when you have snaps enabled in Grid Settings.
  16. Open the Format Text Effects dialog (or sidebar) again
  17. In the Text Outline section, select No line

VIOLA! You've just orchestrated yourself some text with a uniform-thickness line in a letterform :3

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This is really just adding a border outside (the inner half is hidden), and only works when the font has uniform-thickness strokes in the first place. Although it does work reasonably well. –  e100 Jan 25 '13 at 10:57
Also, Illustrator does allow you to mitre outlines. –  e100 Jan 25 '13 at 11:00
I didn't see that when I tried to do this in Illustrator... a well. It works for me, so I figured I'd share :P –  Supuhstar Jan 26 '13 at 17:14

If you're looking to do this with an existing typeface, you would most likely have to use the Pen tool and do it manually which is what I have done here using Illustrator:

H with line inside

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Moderators: There really was no point in removing my second suggestion. It was relevant to the question and although it's outside of SE, doesn't mean it's not a valid resource. –  Chris Burton Feb 19 '13 at 16:26

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