Alright, I have a logo I am working on of a penguin. I am fairly decent with the pen tool, and have already created most of the face (eye left/right and beak) in separate layers in Illustrator CS5. All of the elements have a nice border thickness on them as well. I was going to draw the head (which surrounds the other layers of course), and I came to a problem.

My problem is the border around the head. I need the border around the top of the head, but when it comes to the chin, I really don't need it. Is there a way to accomplish this? Or is my best bet to just keep layering on a layer with no stroke to cover up the border?

  • free-hand was hundred times better...you could remove each part of the border you wanted...easily and quickly...as well as curve any border from the middle...another very great missing property in illustrator...
    – user4133
    Mar 27 '12 at 18:45

Yes, this was a new feature in CS5. A bit of an explanation and how-to from a Digital Art review:

"First among the new features is the ability to vary the weight or thickness of strokes from start to finish. To make use of this new feature, begin by creating a path—open or closed—and assigning a stroke color to that path. With the new Width tool selected, hovering over any place in the path’s stroke presents a small diamond that can be dragged outward to increase the width of the stroke at that point, or inward to decrease the thickness. The new thickness will taper down (or up) toward the ends of the path or the next corner anchor points, which will retain the path’s original thickness.

Each stroke may also have multiple width points, enabling subtle or dramatic oscillation of a single stroke. Thus it’s simple to create robust, variable weight strokes with a natural, not stuttering feel. You can even save stroke width alterations as profiles that can be applied from the Stroke panel to other paths. One complaint with the variable-width stroke ability is that isn’t applicable to all brush strokes. Plus, if you apply a brush stroke to a path, the variable-width disappears."

Also see this Youtube video tutorial to see how to do it.

  • +1 I have CS5 and I wasn't even aware of this, awesome, thanks! Do you know if this feature also exists in Photoshop too?
    – Hanna
    Feb 20 '11 at 21:25
  • 1
    nope, sorry not in photoshop, vector support is definitely still a tack-on there. (though there is a possibility the photoshop team is looking more into this... particularly for webdesign. blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2010/09/…)
    – Hemi
    Feb 21 '11 at 4:32
  • You can also use a custom Art Brush on a stroke to achieve the same effect. But, I think the using the width tool is a better way to go, with more direct control. Mar 28 '12 at 12:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.