ArcGIS Pro

How to add an inner band of color to polygons in ArcGIS Pro

Adding a ribbon of color (or tinted band or inner stroke) to the inside of your map polygons is a nice visual effect and effective way to provide focus to an area of interest or denote neighboring political zones. It is a signature look of National Geographic political maps, which make elegant use of it.

You might be tempted to use the polygon’s stroke layer, with a negative offset, to achieve it—but that can result in some rendering gaps in complex geometries, or jaggies (depending on your cap/join setting). Instead use the fill layer and give it a delicious “donut” effect. This eliminates the gaps and fills in all the nooks and crannies. Chef’s kiss!

Here’s a comparison:

inner ribbons via an offset stroke (not recommended) vs a fill with a donut effect (recommended).

Here is a one-minute example of how to do this in ArcGIS Pro…

Here’s a closer look at the result.

example of an inner ribbon effect for polygons.

Have fun! And have a look at the three articles below for additional methods for breathing some interest into your polygon perimeters…

Love, John

About the author

I have far too much fun looking for ways to understand and present data visually, hopefully driving product strategy and engaging users. I work in the ArcGIS Living Atlas team at Esri, pushing and pulling data in all sorts of absurd ways and then sharing the process. I also design user experiences for maps and apps. When I'm not doing those things, I'm chasing around toddlers and wrangling chickens, and generally getting into other ad-hoc adventures. Life is good. You might also like these Styles for ArcGIS Pro:

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