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How can I create rounded corners In Adobe Illustrator in a specific way?


Question

Say i'm rounding the corners of a word that i've typeset in Illustrator (as if i were creating a logo). That word is 'Kresge' and i've set it in 'Avenir Heavy', a sturdy sans-serif typeface. You'll notice that 'Kresge' contains letterforms that are naturally round like the 's' or the lowercase 'e'.

When i navigate to Illustrator's menu and select: Effects > Stylize > Rounded Corners, it brings up a dialog prompt asking me to specify the radius of the rounded corners and I do. In this case, i want the radius to be almost undetectable at 0.004 inches.

When i hit 'Okay', it does indeed round the edges of the letterforms. But the letters that are already rounded to some extent become jagged and loose their precise geometry. This is because the algorithm is trying to round a shape that already has round proportions. Makes sense.

What i'd like is for the style to focus only on the pointed "hard" edges of the 'e' or the 's', but not the entire letter. Is there a way to get Illustrator to do this? A way that might allow me to now have to go back in and smooth over the jagged edges of each letter after i've applied the style?

Example of what i'm experiencing (before & after corner rounding):

Before I apply corner rounding

After I apply corner rounding

Thanks very much for your help!

2015/05/07
1
2
5/7/2015 2:24:00 AM

You're going to have to Outline the text and then use the Direct Select tool on the parts you want rounded. I'm also not sure how far back this feature exists but in Adobe Illustrator CC there's a Corner Radius function. Using the Direct Selection along with Corner Radius on specific points you can achieve the result you're after as so:

"E" in Avenir with rounded corners

If you're using an older version with no Corners function you'll have to do it manually. Scott's third link in the original question's comments has some information on doing it that way.

2015/05/07
6
5/7/2015 2:38:00 AM