How to make a gradient in Illustrator in 5 easy steps

In this article, I will show you How to make a gradient in Illustrator. In the past, I have used gradients to create different types of designs. The steps you use are relatively easy and flexible so this will be a relatively short video.

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How to make a gradient in Illustrator

  1. Create a new document
  2. Set the document size
  3. Create a Shape that you will add the gradient to
  4. Add a gradient
  5. Adjust your gradient

Create a new document

After opening Illustrator, click Ctrl+N on Windows or Command+N on MAC to open a new file. Set the artboard size and any document settings you want then click Create the document.

How to make a gradient in Illustrator

Create a Shape

Select the shape tool and drag it over the artboard to create a shape. I will draw a rectangle. Your shape might be blank or the last used color.

make a gradient in Illustrator

Add a gradient

Make sure you have the fill option in front and not the stroke. You can change this by clicking X. If you however want a gradient on the outline, have the stroke in front.

Click the small red box to remove the stroke on the shape.

make a gradient in Illustrator

After that click on the gradient fill option to add a gradient to the shape. By default, the color will be from white to black. A new pop-up menu will come up where you can change the gradient settings.

If you do not see this pop-up menu, go to Window>Gradient.

make a gradient in Illustrator

How to change color on a gradient

To change the color, double-click on the slider and choose the color you want. Do the same for the other side too.

To add a third color, click on the slider to add a point and choose a color. You can also change the orientation of the gradient and opacity of each color from the gradient menu.

make a gradient in Illustrator

How to make a gradient in Illustrator for text

  • Create a new document
  • Set the document size
  • Create a Text
  • Convert text to curves
  • Add a gradient
  • Adjust your gradient

Adding gradients to text follows the same process. However, text in Illustrator is not a shape object. To solve this problem, convert your text into curves, then click on the gradient fill.

To have the gradient flow seamlessly not per letter, change the angle to 90 degrees.

make text gradient in Illustrator

That’s it, play around with different settings to get used to it.

More illustrator Tutorials

  1. How to make a gradient in Illustrator

    Create a new document
    Set the document size
    Create a Shape that you will add the gradient to
    Add a gradient
    Adjust your gradient

  2. How to make gradients in Illustrator for text

    Create a new document
    Set the document size
    Create a Text
    Convert text to curves
    Add a gradient
    Adjust your gradient

denis maina kamau

Written by: Denis Maina

I am an experienced and skilled graphic designer with a strong focus on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. He specializes in creating a wide range of design materials, such as digital art, business cards, stationery, logos, flyers, posters, banner ads, brochures, PSD templates, and other graphics.

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