I've just recently gotten into Adobe Illustrator and am having trouble maintaining consistency when tracing various shapes that portray a stroke-like effect.

As an example I would like to point out this gray outline located around the purple filling:

enter image description here

As you can see, the width of the gray outline is clearly not consistent. How would I go about maintaining consistency when tracing similar images?

An idea that I had was to copy the bigger shape, and then simply size it down using the same center-point. Whilst this works sometimes, it doesn't on some more complex shapes.

2 Answers 2


Sizing it up, as you put it, or scaling won't accomplish what you are looking for.

If I understand you correctly, you want a grey outline around the purple shape that mirrors the outer path of the purple shape exactly. In oder to do that, select the outer path of the the purple shape and then offset it by clicking on Object -> Path -> Offset Path. Unfortunately, I'm not in front of a computer right now, I will add a more detailed explanation including some explanatory screenshots later. In the meantime, take a look here to get some more insight into what I'm talking about: Illustrator: Offset Path

  • Yep, this ended up working perfectly. It seems that this is what I was looking for. Thank you! :)
    – Nick
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 19:15
  • @Nick (This feels a little self-promotional of me :D) But would you mind marking the question as answered?
    – JoSch
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 21:47
  • Sorry, never used this website before! :) I think I marked it properly now.
    – Nick
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 15:47

Try, (menu) - OBJECT- PATH - OFFSET PATH, on any selected shape.

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