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Stroke width outputs incorrectly

Explorer ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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Hey everyone,

 

I have an interesting issue with strokes when I outline them. I am rebuilding a company's logo, and I have white strokes to overlap the logo and scripted tag line. I have the stroke set exactly how I want it to look.

LogoProblem_LiveStroke.jpg

Here's the problem: once I expand the white strokes and pathfind them out, the spacing where the white stroke was appears smaller/thinner.

LogoProblem_StrokeCutout.jpg

I thought it might be my monitor playing tricks on me, so I printed it out. The cuout stroke appears thinner than the live stroke in the print out too! 

 

I also overlaid the live stroke logo with the cutout logo, and the spacing is exactly the same. I am really confused about what to do. Please help! 

 

Thanks for your help,

 

Fletcher

 

Technical info:

 

  • Running Adobe Illustrator CC 25.1
  • Windows 10 Dell Precision 3640
  • Wacom Cintiq 21UX display 1600x1200
TOPICS
Draw and design, Tools

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021
Fletch, You may like the following way better: 1) Just keep the white strokes (unexpanded), select all of them and Group them; 2) Group the black artwork if desired, it may be convenient but is optional; 3) Select everything and In the Transparency palette (flyout) click Make (Opacity) Mask with Clip unticked and Invert Mask ticked. Illy (job description Adobe Ilustrator) is always careful and as accurate as possible, and she is always eager to help, but she has an inclination to make the ...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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Fletch,

 

You may like the following way better:

 

1) Just keep the white strokes (unexpanded), select all of them and Group them;

2) Group the black artwork if desired, it may be convenient but is optional;

3) Select everything and In the Transparency palette (flyout) click Make (Opacity) Mask with Clip unticked and Invert Mask ticked.

 

Illy (job description Adobe Ilustrator) is always careful and as accurate as possible, and she is always eager to help, but she has an inclination to make the gaps tighter/narrower when you choose the Pathfinder way as opposed to the (Opacity) Mask way, subtly enough to go unnoticed except at rather small gap sizes.

 

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Explorer ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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Jacob,

 

Thank you, that worked very well! Originally, I had the black fill and white stroke on the same "D" object, which produced some funny results. But I copied the D and put a no fill and white stroke on it. Then I followed your instructions and it worked.

 

So, I have never used an opacity mask before. Which one would be considered Best Practice for logo designers? I am guessing that the pathfinder is more destructive, vs the Opacity mask can be reverted back to the stroke.

 

Thanks again,

 

Fletcher

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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Probably it's the result of antialiasing. It makes an object slightly larger. So the white stroke looks thicker. But when there's no stroke anymore, the black objects look fatter.

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Explorer ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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Monika,

Thanks for your response. I think that is true because I started getting poor stroke quality when I zoomed way out. But Jacob Bugge's response was the correct answer. I applied his idea and it fixed the problem.

 

Thanks for your help!

 

Fletcher

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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Since it's a logo that you might need to hand out to different suppliers and/or collaborators, an opacity mask might get in your way in the sense of compatiblity with different applications and/or devices.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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In that case: Flatten Transparency.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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And then get the same result as with the pathfinder minus front.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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I don't think so.

Screenshot 2021-02-13 at 00.16.32.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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After flattening transparency there will be a lot of invisible paths. Did you delete those?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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No, I did not touch it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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In a logo you will have to delete all those invisible objects.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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I this example there was only one invisible object, deleting it did not make a visible difference.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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I built an example yesterday (in the layers panel you see the opacity mask after flattening). If it were a logo, the plotter would shred the vinyl.

 

Bildschirmfoto 2021-02-13 um 13.26.59.png

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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That would mean that you want several versions of your logo, one for the plotter and another one for display in a pdf.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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The plotter just won't like the opacity mask very much. And if that means I will need multiple versions, then I will need multiple versions.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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Which is not uncommon, one rgb version for web, another for cmyk printing, another with a spot color and so on. The challenge is to design a logo that will be suited for all these circumstances.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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The way the artwork is ant-aliased depends on the stacking order.

When minus front is used on a black object, the black is above the background and looks darker.

Somehow the blue is treated as in front with an opacity mask and when flattened the blue rectangles are above the black rectangles (they have the same size), the result is lighter.

If you send the blue rectangles behind the black ones, the result is darker.

aa stacking order.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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Some additional remarks.

If these anti-aliasing problems are visible depends on the application and the algoritm used.

In Illustrator, the problem shows when the GPU accellerated preview is used and disappears with CPU preview. Exporting to PNG (I used Art Optimized anti-aliasing) does not show the problem.

When saved as PDF, Acrobat shows the problem but Apple Preview does not.

If you want to play, here is the link to a file:

https://shared-assets.adobe.com/link/c9431a25-0fa4-49c5-6ace-3f84b1fc0a01

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Explorer ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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Ton, 

 

Thank you so much, this has been a fascinating conversation. It's made me away that I need to consider all the mediums a logo might be implimented. I might make the stroke just a little bigger after all, seeing that the space is thin enough that printers and digital displays have trouble with it.

 

Thanks to you and Monika for taking this further than I thought possible.

 

Fletcher

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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Fletcher, good to hear you found it useful. 

This topic has come up multiple times and it is good to now have an overview of the pros and cons of the various approaches. I'll bookmark it for future reference.

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