How to Make a Silhouette in Adobe Illustrator

In graphic design, silhouettes are used in advertising like in poster design. They are particularly useful as symbols in logo design as well. In this article, learn how to easily edit PDF files in Adobe Illustrator. how-to-make-a-silhouette-in-adobe-illustrator-featured-header

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How to Make a Silhouette in Adobe Illustrator

A silhouette is a single colored image of a person, an object, or a scene with edges that match the outline of the subject, and it is applied in signs, graphic designs, shadow theatre, photography, cinema, and many other fields. Below are simple steps that you can follow if you need to make a silhouette in your Adobe Illustrator.

  • Step 1: Use Image Trace

    Open the image you want to make a silhouette in Illustrator. Click Image Trace, choose Low Fidelity Photo, and click OK in the dialogue box to allow the image tracing process.

  • Step 2: Delete the Unnecessary Parts

    Expand the image. Then, go to Object > Ungroup the parts of the selected image, and delete the unnecessary parts using the Direct Selection tool while pressing backspace or delete.

  • Step 3: Color the Image with Black

    After you remove the unwanted parts, change the color of the image. Select the image and go to Fill Color at the top of the menu and select black.


What does ‘to silhouette’ mean in graphic design?

‘To silhouette’ is a term used for the process of separating or masking a specific part of an image like the background so that it is not visible. 

Are silhouettes important?

Silhouettes are important for logo design as they portray simplicity and the emotional and visual mood of a company or an organization.

What are silhouettes called?

Silhouettes are also called contour, outline, and profile.

How to turn a PNG into a silhouette?

Click the image, select Object > Release Compound Path, click and delete some small parts you don’t want, select all the desired image parts, and click Object > Make Compound Path.

How to change the silhouette color in Illustrator?

Open your silhouette artwork in Illustrator, select all the desired artwork using the Selection Tool, and select the Recolor Artwork icon at the top middle of your screen or select Edit > Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork.