Deke’s Techniques 394: Adding Strokes and Fills to Type in Illustrator

394 Assigning multiple strokes to gradient type in Illustrator

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques movie, Deke reveals how to apply strokes and fills to text in Adobe Illustrator, skirting around AI’s limited control over individual character attributes.

The trick is to apply your strokes and fills to the entire text object, which then allows you to use the Appearance panel to apply a variety of strokes, and even a gradient fill, effectively. In this video, Deke will show you how to get there and, of course, how to avoid falling into the ineffective trap of trying to apply attributes to individual characters. Just look at all that Appearance panel goodness going on here:

Use the Appearance panel in Illustarator to apply strokes and fills to a type object.

If you’re a member of, you can catch this week’s exclusive movie, in which Deke shows you how he filled in those gaps behind the letters and applied a stroke to the whole shebang.

Fill in the gaps behind letters in Illustrator

If you’re not a member of, you can get a free 10-day trial by signing up at This will allow you to check out the entire library of Deke’s Techniques, with some bonus time to peruse Deke’s other courses as well as the vast array of additional instruction to be found in the library.

What Illustrator + Type gems might you find in the Deke’s Techniques archive? Here’s one example from the collection on Hand-drawing custom-made letters, which is currently unlocked for all in the library:

See you next week!

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