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I want to create this type of effect on text in illustrator but where there are 2 objects next to one another they create a thicker line or distort like in the W.

I first wrote out the text and expanded it and then used crop on the pathfinder tool to get the coloured effect. But adding a stroke to the outside causes the added thickness at object joints. Is there a way to change the thickness of one stroke of an object rather than the stroke around the entire edge?

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I would consider restarting using clipping paths to get this effect. Other than fixing the stroke gaps, you will also fix the fact that your diagonal lines are not straight.

  1. Start with your type outlined.

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  1. Draw a rectangle that you can duplicate. I suggest drawing it without strokes so that when you duplicate it you can make sure each rectangle is directly bumped against the next. You should have smart guides turned on, this will make objects automatically lock into place. If not, go to view > smart guides or cmd+U.

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  1. Duplicate your rectangles to create the pattern. Grab all of the rectangles and GROUP your pattern.

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  1. Add a stroke to your rectangles. Because they were all touching, the strokes will overlap exactly.

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  1. Shear the pattern by going to object > transform > shear. I did vertical at -20°. Arrange the pattern so it is below the text. Make sure the pattern covers over all of the type.

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  1. Copy your pattern so it is saved to paste later. Ungroup your type if it is grouped. Select ONE letter and the pattern, and create a clipping mask by going to object > clipping mask > make. Paste your pattern using cmd + F (paste in front) and select the next letter and repeat the process.

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  1. Grab all of the letters and apply the stroke you want. Because you want the letters to have the same stroke as the pattern, that is all you have to do. If you wanted the stroke to be different, you would have to double click to edit in isolation mode. If you need to edit the object, you need to double click it to edit in isolation mode. You may need to do this a few times to get to the piece you want to edit.

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  • This clipping mask is the best method to achieve the original image, if you have not already split up your letter shapes into individual objects. However, you won't be able to distort/scatter or apply some other effect to the individual color blocks, because there aren't any. – q23.us Mar 16 '17 at 15:29
  • Ah thanks! I hadn't considered trying it this way. It seems much simpler too rather than doing them all by each individual line. All of the lines were straight to begin with but I think some of them were distorted when I clipped them. Thanks again! – Pentax25 Mar 16 '17 at 18:27
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The main shapes that make up the letters have uniform stroke width.

If you look at the bottom left of the W you can see that the letters are made up of shapes with small gaps in between. The effect of thicker strokes is caused by the fact that most of the gaps are slightly thinner than double the stroke width so the strokes crash into each other and look like a single, thicker stroke.

There are a couple of different ways to achieve this. You could use Minus Front in Pathfinder to cut thin slivers out of the letters to create the gaps or use the Divide function to create the shapes and then shrink each one using Offset Path. I would suggest that the first option has been used here because the gaps are not totally consistent.

The counters on the B and the A are a different story. They have been separated from the main letter shape (Object > Compound Path > Release) and then coloured the same colour as the background, rather than being a hole in the outer shape.

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