Useful Tips

Vladimir Neznamov


It may seem that creating gradients is very simple: I chose one color, I chose a second color - Illustrator will do the rest for you. In general, this is true, but the capabilities of the program are much wider and with their help you can solve non-standard tasks.

This series of tutorials will help you learn everything about gradients and their creation processes in Adobe Illustrator:
- how to choose the right colors,
- how to choose the right tools to create a specific gradient,
- how to combine several gradients with each other,
- how to apply a gradient to the stroke of an object
- and many other topics.

Text gradient using mask overlay

This method has two variations. In one, the mask covers an object filled with a simple linear gradient, in the second - an object with a gradient mesh, it is created by Mesh Toll. In both cases, the order is:

  1. Typed text is placed on top of an object with a gradient.
  2. Both text and object stand out.
  3. A clipping mask is created (select from the menu Object> Clipping Mask> Make or click Ctrl + 7).

The disadvantage of the first method is unnecessary operations if the object on which the clipping mask is applied is smaller than this mask. The mask will have to be canceled, the size of the background object must be corrected, and only then re-applied.

Text gradient with optional fill

In the second method, the Appearance palette is useful. It is enabled using the menu. Window> Appearance or by pressing Shift + F6.

  1. Select the text object to be filled with a gradient.
  2. At the bottom of the Appearance palette, click Add New Fill.
  3. The Fill item with a black square appears in the palette. Select this line.
  4. We call the panel of work with gradients (Ctrl + F9) and set the desired gradient.

Both methods are suitable both for text entered from a point and for text in an area.

Gradient tool

Like in Photoshop, the good old one is responsible for the gradient Gradient tool. I suspect that you have already drawn a small square and are in a hurry to choose a gradient tool to draw them along the rectangle and set the gradient as it does in Photoshop. Do not hurry. The gradient in Illustrator is a little different. First, the gradient must be "set", and then set up. Choose tool Gradient tool and click once on the object.

Once you clicked, the object is filled with a gradient. On the working area, its strip is shown, where by default the value is white at one end and the value is black at the other end. Between them is a small dotted line that denotes the central part between the color transition. All three values ​​on the gradient strip can be moved by changing the degree of sharpness of the gradient.

The right tail of the gradient strip allows you to rotate and change the length of the strip. The left tail, like the rest of the surface, allows you to move the gradient in space.

How to change gradient color in Illustrator?

When I opened Illustrator for the first time and tried to give the object a gradient, I couldn’t do it myself. The answer had to be searched on the Internet, and in the yard was 2005. Today with gradients in illustrator, everything is much simpler.

Double-click on the anchor with the color on the gradient strip. In the drop-down menu, select any color.

There are 2 tabs in the drop-down panel: Color and Swatches. In the tab Color we interfere with the color based on the color model in which we are currently working. In the tab Swatches choose a color from the saved palettes.

If on the panel Color before you is just a black and white strip, this is because the color model works in the panel Grayscale. To change it to another, click on the upper right icon of the panel, and from the menu select another color model, CMYK, RGB or Hsb

How to add colors to the gradient?

How to make the gradient harder? It's simple. Choose tool Gradient tool. Give the object a gradient and move the cursor to the gradient bar. When the cursor turns into a pointer with a plus sign (+) click. This will add an extra color to the strip of the gradient. Next, you can set the anchor your color in the manner described above.

Gradient Gradient Panel

It is strange if Illustrator did not have a special panel for working with a gradient. There is such a panel and to open it go to Windows> Gradient. In the upper part of this panel there is a gradient preview in the form of an icon and a drop-down menu of varieties of gradients. There are only two varieties: the linear gradient, and the spherical gradient (Linear and Radial)

The preview icon displays a general view of the gradient. The gradient from the preview can be dragged with the mouse to any object. This is another way to assign a gradient.

You can drag the preview to the panel. Swatches. In this case, the gradient will be saved in the panel Swatches.

Next to the preview is a small arrow. In the drop-down menu there is a list of all the gradients added to the panel Swatches. For example, if in the panel Swatches there is not a single gradient, then the drop-down menu is empty. If so, then in the same menu, click on the diskette icon. It saves the customized gradient to the panel Swatches. Do this and you will have the first gradient.

The following panel settings Gradient responsible for the location and degree of gradient of the gradient with respect to the object. Of course, it’s much easier and more visual to change such a tool Gradient toolinstead of changing the numbers on the panel.

  • Reverse gradient - reverses the gradient in reverse.
  • Angle - changes the angle of the gradient
  • Aspect ratio - changes compresses a spherical gradient. This value does not work with a linear gradient.

At the bottom of the gradient bar is the gradient bar itself, its nodules and values. A strip works just like a gradient strip on an object. Nodules with color can be added by clicking on the strip and removing, "pulling" them from the strip. The color of the knot can be selected by double-clicking on the knot. In addition, the old methods are still valid: the color of the nodule can be adjusted by dragging it from the panel Swatches swatch with color, select a specific knot and adjust the color in the panel Color.

  • Opity - the degree of invisibility of a particular nodule with color.
  • Location - the location of the nodule on the gradient strip. Gradient bar has 100 conditional points, where 0 is the left end of the strip and 100 is the right.

Oval gradient

Illustrator has only two varieties of gradient. Linear and oval (Linear, Radial). The oval gradient is configured on the gradient panel discussed above and formally it does not differ in any way from the linear gradient, apart from, of course, that it is directed from the center in all directions.

The methods for adjusting the oval gradient are the same as linear. The right tip allows you to rotate and change the length of the gradient strip, and the left tip to move in space.

The black circle allows you to compress the oval gradient, turning it into a super oval or into a small galaxy. The same setting is displayed on the panel. Gradients as Aspect ratio. However, this is not all. Hover over the center of the gradient until the cursor turns into a black arrow with an asterisk. Now drag the gradient to the side, shifting its light source to the side.