So here's the graphic I'm working on (don't hate me, I didn't come up with this one). I'm in Illy 15.1.0.

If only I didn't have that stroke

You can probably see what I'm trying to get to next:
I want the offset rule to follow the wrap effect.

I know I could draw a path independent of the base ribbon shape. Trouble is, my team is going to be doing a lot of these. I'm trying to help them find the most efficient way to build them so they can be scaled and stretched and whatnot. Please tell me there's a method I'm missing.

Here's what I have now.

The building blocks so far

The main rectangle with the stroke and shadow is created with effects.

Rounded corners + offset path for the stroke

Bottom line: Is there some way to carry these effects "around" the wrap that doesn't require a separately drawn offset stroke? I know the shaded part of the ribbon that goes behind will be a separate shape but I'd like the designers to just keep the stroke as an effect somehow.

Incidently, this is where the team landed. You can see why I felt the need to find a solution for them ;)

Not acceptable

1 Answer 1


Can't be done as one object with effects.

Or at least I can't find a method which does not involve a separate path. It's easy enough with an additional path, but effects don't offer enough flexibility with the offset path.

The primary issue with the effects is that you always get a closed path. There's simply no way around that for any effect which alters a stroke. You can try covering a portion of the stroke with a fill, and in many cases that works. However, with the stacking of multiple objects, even using a fill to cover things doesn't work. In addition, if you want the transparent gap between the object and stroke, you can't use a fill to "fake" a missing portion of a stroke. It would never be transparent.

Thinking about this further. Rather than a Graphic Style, why not a Symbol?

If you draw the 3 objects.... (corners aren't all smooth, I did it quickly)


Then drag the composite to the Symbol Panel to create a Symbol, ensuring the Enable Guides for 9-Slice Scaling option is checked.


You can then alter the length (or height) of the banner and retain the corners and placement of the end caps easily.

(Using Free Transform Tool to adjust length of banner symbol.)

You may need a library of symbols for various colors. And you may want to also create Graphic Styles to add things like the drop shadow in your original image. But this may work better than attempting to maintain a proper library of banners in pieces. Simply "use Symbol B and apply Graphic Style C" would make passing files off easier. At the vary least you could place and size the symbol, break the link to the symbol, then apply a Graphic Style for Color and effects. This would ensure the construction of the banner is identical in all uses.

  • So am I correct in seeing this as four shapes? 1) front of ribbon, 2) front of stroke, 3) back of ribbon, 4) back of stroke. Dec 21, 2012 at 19:21
  • 1
    Yes. The outline can be done with a single path, but it needs to be a path, not an effect. It could be 3 shapes... 1) Ribbon front 2) Ribbon back 2) Outline stroke. It just depends on how you want that front ribbon shape to be constructed.
    – Scott
    Dec 21, 2012 at 19:22
  • Brilliant! You taught me something new about my favorite app. I built a much more complicated piece of art while playing around and tried this out and it still works beautifully. I'll add my final art into the question for reference. Dec 21, 2012 at 21:29
  • Great! Just be aware the 9-Slice scaling requires AICS5 or better.
    – Scott
    Dec 21, 2012 at 21:34

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