Been lurking awhile but this is my first post.
I've always wondered what this effect is called and I'm almost certain there's an easier way to doing it than how I do it. I'm talking about the "empty" stroke around overlapping parts of icons.
In this case I would put a stroke that's the color of the background around the first character. I know this is bad practice for many reasons, but I haven't found a way to use the pathfinder to do this.
I'm looking for a way to do it that would effectively cut away the shapes smoothly in a X amount of pixels around a certain shape instead of covering it up so I can save the icon and use it over whatever colored background I want to.
I'm guessing I'm not the first person to ask this but I have no earthly clue how this effect is called so my research has returned nothing relevant.