Faux Bold equivalent in Illustrator


I have a font that I am using for a logo but I need to bold it up a little and then apply a black stroke around the outside of the bold text.

I would normal achieve this in PS by using the faux bold command on the font then, I am free to colour the font with the colour I need. Then, with the example I am working with, I would apply a black stroke to the outside.

This would give a nice coloured text that is quite bold & thick but also a nice black border stroke.

My question is, How do I do this in Illustrator CS or 10? I can’t find an equivalent to faux bold in illustrator.

Any suggestions?

Though I’m not massively familiar with the inner workings of illustrator, here’s a trick I sometimes use DRAW which should work fine in illustrator:

Create one copy of your text, apply the stroke to create the bold appearance.

Duplicate text, apply heavier stroke to create outline color.

You do have to deal with two copies of the text now, but it should give the desired effect.


Easiest way to create a faux bold font in Illustrator is:

  1. Create a new TEXT layer with the text you want. I suggest starting with a large point like 72 and resize it down when done…
  2. Select the Selection tool (V)
  3. From menu choose Type >> Create Outlines or use Cntl-Shift-O. This will turn the text into vector outlines (may want to make a backup copy of the layer in case you want to change fonts, etc down the road).
  4. From the top menu go to EFFECT >> PATH >> OFFSET PATH…
  5. Enter the following values:

OFFSET: 1px (or 2px)
JOINS: Miter
Click on “Preview” check box to see it before hitting OK.

There you go…bold text. Now you can use the Free Transform tool (E) to resize it evenly or go to Object >> Transform >> Scale… and resize it there (make sure you have Scale Strokes and Effects box checked.

This is my favorite way of doing it, but another method you can use it to give the stroke color the same as the fill and then increase the stroke value till it gets the boldness you want. Need to use the Scale option above when resizing though or your stroke and/or effects may get out of proprotion.

Hope this helps.