Easy to do in InDesign, but not so much in Illustrator. It’ll probably be in CS6 (though I’ve been thinking that for quite a few versions now)
Anyhow, it actually is pretty easy to do in Illustrator, just not as straight forward. You need to use the power of the appearance panel (which you can read more about here, here and here) and you won’t technically be putting a gradient on a stroke so much as you’ll be making a fill behave as a stroke and giving that fill a gradient fill. Yeap.
In the previous posts, we covered the basic functions of the appearance panel. If you’ve just landed here, you might want to go back to the first in the series.
In this post, I’ll show a more complex example – how you how you can get editable Icy type or Ice covered type in Illustrator using only one type object.
Here is the other text in the sample file (You’ll want to get it here) along with it’s expanded appearance panel to show you what’s going on:
In the previous post, we covered what the basic function of the appearance panel is and went over how to add an additional fill to some text and add some effects that only apply to that added fill.
I mentioned that attributes could be added to 4 places – Here we’ll cover…
Adding a stroke, fill or effect to an entire layer
The appearance panel, or as it used to be known, the appearance palette. This is where it all goes down. The key to making versatile, live art that will allow you to shrug off your boss changing the name of the project from “Penguin Playset” to ” Arctic Adventure” This will allow you to create art that can rival the raster effects you get in Photoshop and at times do it better and more extensibly (Did I just make that word up? Nope!) So, instead of setting your text, copy/pasting it behind, adding your stroke, copying to the front, adding a glow, etc… and making a stack of objects to get one result, you can do this all from within one object. Multiple strokes, multiple fills, effects applied specifically to a single fill or stroke. Gradients on a stroke. Live text with a gradient. Yeap.
That’s live text. Grab the live .ai file. Use your own fonts if you don’t have these.
What are they, why are they, and how do you use them?
Simply put, they are layers that are visible on screen as you’re working with your file but won’t print. I use them mainly to create margins that I can snap to with smart guides (that’s a whole other post…) I also use them as a place to hold elements of my art that I’m working with bits and pieces of. Things to eyedropper and such…