Adobe Illustrator Tutorial – Fill & Stroke

Learning about Fills and Strokes in Adobe Illustrator Creative Suite 3 is a basic yet very important aspect. Come to think of it, this is probably one of the first things I learned as a young Graphic Designer about ten years ago now.

More than likely, you will be using these two usually in tandem throughout every Graphic Design layout you create.


Almost every element you create there is a fill and there is a stroke. The only time when you would not have a fill and a stroke would be if you were to import a flattened image or photo into Illustrator. In that case adding a stroke and fill would be optional.

A stroke is the outline of an element. This tutorial will also show you how to place a gradient on a stroke which is only possible after outlining the stroke into a shape.

What is a FILL?

A fill is basically the color that is “filling” an element. If you are creating a background for a Graphic Design layout, the fill can consist of a number of things including, solid colors, gradients, and even patterns.

What is a STROKE?

Stroke is a creative word in the Graphic Design field. A Stroke is basically the outline of an element. You could also call it a “Border.” Stroke is not limited to only shapes, but can also be used on line segments. If you draw a straight line in Adobe Illustrator you can apply a stroke to it just as if you were to do it on the border of an image. Learn How To Add A Basic Stroke

Graphic Designer Tips Stroke Video Tutorial Adobe Illustrator

A This is your fill color.
B Switches the fill & stroke color.
C Stroke color.
D Default black stroke white fill option.
A keyboard shortcut to toggle between the fill & stoke is the letter (x)

4 thoughts on “Adobe Illustrator Tutorial – Fill & Stroke

  1. Hey is there a way i can have a custom fill? Im talking about CS6 btw, but for example if I have text and want to fill it with a graphic or something, how can I do that?

    Im just getting started with Adobe stuff, so thanks

    1. Nick, you can fill any bit of VECTOR text with any color or graphic. If you wanted to fill the text with a graphic you could either do what’s called a clipping mask or you can embed the image to your canvas and then drag it into your swatches and it will now act as a fill.

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