I am converting a color logo to white-on-transparent. I added a temporary red background, so I can see my work.

The black outline shown below is a separate layer behind the white "Auto Group" text. The black layer is identical to the white text but also has a black stroke to make it visible behind the white text.

I need the black outline to be transparent. When it overlaps the circle, diagonal line, and "a" in "Lang", the black area should be a transparent knockout.

I have tried various combinations of pathfinder options, knockout group, and compound paths, with poor results. I have Googled extensively but have not found a solution. Suggestions?



2 Answers 2


I've recreated an example logo:

enter image description here

  1. Keep GaryLang, white Group and black stroked Group shapes in separate layers. Let's call GaryLang as L1, black stroke Group as L2 and white Group as L3.

  2. Select L1 layer and Object > Compound Path > Make

  3. Select L2 layer and Expand it. Then use Pathfinder Unite.

  4. Make L2 layer too a Compound Path.

  5. Make sure L2 layer is above L1.

  6. Select both L1 and L2 and use Pathfinder Minus Front.

You should get desired result.

enter image description here

Another way of doing this using Shape Builder tool. Once you've performed Step 3 (Compound Path not necessary for this case), select both L1 and L2 and use Shape Builder tool. There's an option to remove all unwanted shapes (Alt+Click). The black stroke will become transparent because actually it would be deleted along with L1 unnecessary parts.

Both methods might look confusing at start, so I'd suggest trying on simplest shapes to test it. Especially method 1. It worked for me, but you might need to twist a few steps a bit depending on your sub-text.


"I have tried various combinations of pathfinder options, knockout group, and compound paths, with poor results."

Tried as in you used them as they were intended and there's something not working despite expectations? Or tried as in these are tools you are unfamiliar with, but you assume they should get you the results you want?

I ask because it sounds to me this is the kind of thing that Knockout Group was designed to do--how far were you able to get with it when you tried? What went wrong?

By grouping everything except the background, changing the opacity setting of that group to "check" the knockout group option, then changing the opacity setting of the black border to 0% you should get exactly what you're looking for.

Note: In my reproduction, the black border is a stroke applied to the text, however even if yours isn't, the principle of reducing the attribute to 0% still applies.

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