I have a logo a client likes a lot. It uses gaussian blur ( few gaussian blur layers on top of each other) to create a glowing effect around the type. Then white type is placed on top to give it the effect of it being punched out.

But if I wanted the logo to be all white on a colored background, I'm not sure how to punch out the type to be clear. I did it in photoshop, but I would like the have vector files available.

Does anyone know how to do this in illustrator?

Also, when I try and use the Pathfinder - subtract tool, the blurred vector turns back into a solid color. (The Gold/orange color)

enter image description here

  • Hi Randi, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your question. If you want to know more about the site, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
    – Vincent
    Jul 16, 2015 at 10:30

2 Answers 2


It's difficult to answer definitively without seeing how art is constructed. However, a Clipping Mask should work well.

I'll assume you're starting with something like this:

enter image description here

An object with multiple strokes and blurs applied. I am guessing here :) I used live type, but it doesn't have to be type. Basically a general set up similar to this. The black ellipse is to show contrast and the page. Clearly the type is white with strokes and blurs applied.

Copy the type and use Edit > Paste In Front so it stays in the exact same position as the original. Then use Type > Create Outlines. This should remove all those extra strokes and effects once it's outlined. If not, remove them. You just want standard paths and fills, no extras and no strokes.

Now with that copied, outlined type in place, draw a rectangle that covers all the blurring in the original. You want to make certain all parts of the blurred strokes are enclosed within this rectangle.

Select the Rectangle and use Object > Arrange > Send Backwards. This should move the rectangle in the stacking order to just behind the copied, outlined, type.

Select the rectangle and the outlined type and choose Object > Compound Path > Make from the menu. You should have something like this:

enter image description here

I filled it with blue and added a gradient behind it so you can more clearly see the separation and the transparency of the type. However, your resulting object may be white (to match the color of the type) or the same color as the rectangle you drew. It really doesn't matter what color this resulting shape is.

Now, with the compound shape you just made selected, hold the Shift key and select the blurred object/type as well.

Then choose Object > Clipping Mask > Make from the menu.

You should end up with something similar to this:

enter image description here

All the blurs in tact but the type/object transparent.


This could depend on how you have your document setup but here is how I did it.

Type or text out

Add the blur effect, Effect - Stylize - Outer Glow

write out the type

Select the type and go to Object - Expand Appearance

Select the type again and right click -> ungroup

Select both the blur and type, Under the transparency options click on Make Mask

final result

  • This is great, I need to use a few different layers on top of each other, but so far so good! THANK YOU SO MUCH! THANK YOU! Jul 16, 2015 at 16:42

Your Answer

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

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