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

  • possible duplicate of How to convert text to single stroke in illustrator
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 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
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 19:27

6 Answers 6


enter image description here

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

enter image description here

  • 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). Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 11:10

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

  • Inline - so that's what they are called. It's been driving me crazy. Thanks for the help.
    – Ian
    Commented Jan 14, 2013 at 19:44
  • no there are ways to do it, you could use typeface but there are other ways.
    – user8795
    Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 0:15
  • The problem with an inline font is that it still require you to vectorize the text (create outline) in order to be able to colorize the inline and the edges! It's an easy extra step though.
    – go-junta
    Commented Jun 14, 2015 at 14:52

"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

  • 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
    Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 10:57
  • Also, Illustrator does allow you to mitre outlines.
    – e100
    Commented Jan 25, 2013 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
    – Ky -
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 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 http://chrisburton.me/i/h.svg


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.

  • 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
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 8:11
  • 1
    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
    Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 9:10

This can be done easily in Illustrator.

OPTION 1 (top JPG as example, and top image on the second JPG):

1) You need to duplicate the text you want to apply the effect on. Type your text and then use the "transform" command in the menu "object", then select "move". In the window of "move", put zeros everywhere to duplicate this text in the same same position. Press "Copy"

2) Select the text on the front. Add a big stroke of a different color with round corner and the edges aligned to center (see on pictures).

3) Select that text and do a "create outline" (in the menu type/create outline)

4) Select again this top text. Then go in the menu "object" and select "expand", check all the boxes. This will separate the border from the inside of the text.

5) Erase the outside border from the graphic, for each letter and keep the inside part only. You can use the white arrow for from the selection tool and simply click a corner of your letter, and press delete twice. Or you can ungrounp this and simply select the entire part, and delete it.

6) Fill that inside part with the tone you want, a light bright yellow to imitate your example. And fill the text still untouched in the background with a darker yellow with more magenta in it.

7) If you want to smooth a bit the effect, you can add a small border on the inside part; on my example I used a yellow that is between the 2 yellow for the color recipe. It gives some smoothing effect and blends a bit the 2 colors together. My border is 3pts thick.

But you could probably use the blend tool as well, it's just tricky something on curvy letters.

You can change the values to fit you preferences and the font you'll use for this. At this point you can play with the strokes to change the thickness of the inline. This is just an example.

OPTION 2 (see second JPG, example on bottom):

1) Simply choose a very thin font, and duplicate a copy behind it.

2) Fill the duplicated set with a thick stroke from the outside, and adjust.

This option may look better with think fonts or script style.

How to create an outline perfectly aligned inside the text in Adobe Illustrator


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