I'm trying to emulate this type of stroke:

chart examples

So far, I've only been able to pen over the stroke and try to Minus it off (though I'm a rookie and still don't understand the whole pathfinder tool completely), but it's tedious and I'm not that great at it.


  • Layer one circle over another, give them different colours and just delete a node from the top circle
    – SaturnsEye
    May 15, 2014 at 16:27
  • Hi! Sorta a rookie here, when you say node...what exactly do you mean? Create a path of the shape I want to cut off?
    – cintron
    May 15, 2014 at 16:29
  • An anchor point. use the white cursor to select just the one anchor point and not the whole shape. I would created a step by step but I don't have the time right now.
    – SaturnsEye
    May 15, 2014 at 16:29

5 Answers 5


Related, if not duplicate: Different color strokes in Illustrator (the gummi worms)

Easiest way for me is just with a gradient on the stroke... set the middle stops to be in the same location.

enter image description here

Benefits of this method is you simply change the gradient to move the sections. There's no need to reconfigure a brush or cut out new shapes if you need different sized segments.

enter image description here

It's also easy to use multiple colors....

enter image description here

  • that's nice, not easy to cut after that, but the idea is very simple and interesting.
    – Ilan
    May 15, 2014 at 18:40
  • Why would you need to cut it? The whole point of this method is that there's no need to expand and deal with multiple object. It's all one thing, easily contained and altered.
    – Scott
    May 15, 2014 at 18:42
  • 1
    let's say one wants separate segments... shutterstock.com/pic-156346322/…
    – Ilan
    May 15, 2014 at 18:48
  • That was not the question @Ilan :) If one needs to separate the segments there are at least 5 other methods I'd use :) Some of which are answers here.
    – Scott
    May 15, 2014 at 18:52
  • +1, seems the fastest and simplest solution for what the OP wants to accomplish.
    – Brian S
    May 15, 2014 at 19:06

If you require lots of segments, it might be easiest for you to use Illustrator's graph tool. This is essentially just a hollowed out pie chart, so you can place an elipse over a chart to create your graphic.

Illustrator pie chart

Circle over pie chart in Illustrator

  • 1
    This is the most elegant solution. it allows you the ability to go back and adjust the size with the least amount of work. if you need to you could ungroup your chart (which you would lose the ability to go back and edit the proportions) and then use the Shape Builder tool or Pathfinder panel to create compound shapes. May 15, 2014 at 18:36
  • 1
    Whenever in photoshop i miss illustrator dearly..I wish photoshop had awesome vector tools of illustrator
    – user8795
    May 16, 2014 at 3:40
  • @MuhammadUmer Would this not introduce further software bloat? If a piece of software incorporates too much of what a sibling software performs, it begs the question of why they both need to exist. PhotoShop has been accused of software bloat for a while now. Convenience is wonderful but needs to be considered carefully. Sep 12, 2017 at 15:16
  • yes photoshop has tons of features (video, 3d, etc) but for software that is industry standard for graphic design it's sad that it doesn't proper vector support.
    – user8795
    Sep 12, 2017 at 23:08

A pretty simple way to do this is to place the segments as straight bars then create an Art Brush from that:

Art Brush example

The ratios will remain the same. So, to create a 25px stroke for our circle with a 25% / 75% split, I used a 25px x 25px and 25px x 75px rectangles for the art brush.

Here's how to create an Art Brush, borrowed from Adobe's website:

Create a brush

  1. For scatter and art brushes, select the artwork you want to use. For pattern brushes, you can select the artwork for the side tile, but it isn’t necessary. For detailed guidelines to create pattern brushes, see Guidelines for constructing pattern tiles. To know more about pattern brush options, see Pattern brush options.
  2. Click the New Brush button New Brush Button icon in the Brushes panel. Alternatively, drag the selected artwork to the Brushes panel.
  3. Select the type of brush you want to create, and click OK.
  4. In the Brush Options dialog box, enter a name for the brush, set brush options, and click OK.
  • +1 this is a great option if you want to get creative in any way. Just make sure it's accurate and that any embellishments don't get in the way of the information (creating the rectangles with the graph tool's 'Stacked bar' then ungrouping is a good idea) May 20, 2014 at 9:24

One (of many) ways to do this:

  • Draw the circle
  • Object | Path | Outline Stroke
  • Drag a pair of guides from the rulers which bisect the circle
  • Draw a rectangle which is larger than the circle, set it to the colour you want for the larger area
  • Draw a rectangle starting at the center of the circle and reaching out past it.
  • Set it to the second colour
  • Drag the nodes which are not at the center around until they describe the area you want
  • Group the two coloured shapes and send them to the back
  • Shift click on the circle
  • Object | Clipping Mask | Make (or hit command 7)
  • Don't exactly get it! Sorry, I'm new to this: could you give a more detailed explanation?
    – cintron
    May 15, 2014 at 17:33

Designed by Travis Kochel, FF Chartwell is a fantastic typeface for creating simple graphs. Using OpenType features, simple strings of numbers are automatically transformed into charts. The visualized data remains editable, allowing for hassle-free updates and styling. And yes it also does donut-style charts.

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

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