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Article: Create the Funkiest Color Gradient in Adobe Illustrator

Create the Funkiest Color Gradient in Adobe Illustrator

Does your artwork need more excitement? Let's try using color gradient!
Here's a guide of how you can create & apply the pigment with Adobe Illustrator.
Created by Mano a Mano |

In many cases, color has a special power and role as a design element. When the lively display appears, it helps create a greater impact in people's minds. It can evoke either impression, behavior, or ideas. This is when certain gradient shades or ideas evoke different emotions and impact. You can call some examples, such as red which means strong, or white that looks neutral.

But how about one that comes with washed or blended color? Also known as gradients, the color display is currently trending in the design world. You can create it in many ways, apply it to many objects, and use different hues just to make a certain impression. Another good thing is that you can make color gradients in Adobe Illustrator. But what is it about?


Understanding The Term 

Before going too far about the jargon and details, you should know what kind of term it is. What is the gradient? Long short story, you can call this design a smooth transition from one hue to another. It blends, mixes, and makes a great saturation that gives an intriguing appearance toward a certain design—making them different from just a solid shade. 

What makes this design idea fascinating is how it can blend or transition to similar or contrasting hues. Thus, it can create a fun-looking display from something unique. Gradient ability to blend more than one color makes it an extremely versatile idea. From the way it appears subtle, bold, as a background element, or as the focal point, you got the point.  

Another point that piques interest is the way it can bring out a more modern, different, yet also retro feeling in it. It completely depends on how and what color gradients you choose. Worth noting that color can speak subconsciously and evoke certain impressions or emotions. It is not literal talking but shaping certain information and bringing up a lot of meaning. 

How about Adobe Illustrator? If you are here, chances are you already know about the design tool. Adobe is one of the popular brand companies that provide several designing tools, and Illustrator is one of the pack. Simply put, Illustrator refers to the more industry-standard vector graphics app. Yes, the Adobe app uses vectors that are the opposite of gradients. 

However, there is no doubt that you can create such a funky color gradient by using Illustrator. Adobe specifies the app as more vector-focused design software, but it also has some features to make a powerful gradient. Nevertheless, the Adobe app itself is pretty much available to create varieties of icons, logos, drawing, typography, to more complex illustrations.

Created by P-G-H |


The Uses Of Gradient 

There has been a big uproar in recent years when the particular design idea is getting more popular. Some of the major brands in society hopped on board with its gradient-colored logo. Apart from being another nostalgia and throwback, people are starting to love the gradient trend on the larger purposes and uses. There are a lot of media that are starting to use it. 

1. Branding 

Branding got a little bit of a splash of the trend. With the help of other trends and software, such as Adobe Illustrator, there is a chance that you can do the same with this idea. So, color gradients design appears to be successful in this particular field. What makes it works is how they stand out and helps add another string of interest. 

Branding work a lot under visual representation, hierarchy, impression, and looks. With the help of this trend, the field gains a lot of advantages to propose a more flexible way. The color abstraction in the labeling design helps the brand state its message without saying too much. Underline that a picture can be worth thousands of words.

With the help of Adobe software, such as Illustrator, this idea is not something new anymore. Thoughtfully matched shades and shapes are meant to help represent a brand, and Adobe Illustrator, with all of its features, helps designers get their intention. Another worth mentioning idea is how versatile color gradients match with a variety of branding. 

The two objects are a match made by heaven. Designers can fit the brand and the design. When the challenge is to make a straighter forward design, Illustrator can help you create a more enthusiastic, bold, and daring gradient. There are also possibilities to create a subtler and gentle touch with the help of pastel shades in Illustrator. Adobe provides an abundance of color picks. 

Created by Werklig |


2. Web Design 

Color gradients in web design also make the whole interface look even more alive and meaningful. Adobe Illustrator once again brings you a lot of options for the project. The color pick, as well as the design media, are pretty large and vast, creating a more versatile ability to fit in. But what makes the idea powerful in web design is its abstract application. 

With this aspect, Adobe users can introduce the hues mix to give a wow factor in the web design without much trouble or effort. It can toil as the fastest way to engage the audience through a paint palette. The color gradient abstraction itself brings another touch of impressiveness. You can make it appear in background, logo, focal point, to lighting effect. 

If you are a web designer or get a project to make the design work, consider adding this color gradient as the way to splash shades. Some of the pre-made landing pages have already adopted the design, making it easier for web designers. But you can also make it from scratch with the help of Adobe Illustrator. The Adobe software even allows for more shapes or implementation. 

Created by Deborah Stoleru |


3. Logo Design 

Illustrator does help create a more versatile design and gradient implementation. Logo marks and gradients bring a lot more impact toward the brand logo. In this case, you got the chance to go nuts or experiment with the hue. However, the old rules of thumb in creating perfect color picks start with the black and white version in Adobe Illustrator. 

As you start with the black and white version, then you can play around with the colored version at Adobe. This is when you are playing with color gradients. However, you need to make sure that the shades must be simple and clean. Using more than three different shades is not recommended since it can destroy the real meaning of your Illustrator project. 

However, when it comes to modern media and digital illustrations, the uses of shades are more meaningful than the limited color ones. Gradients bring out a more special and playful impression in the modern world. Thus, making it one of the ways to gather the younger and millennial audience. You can even use many Adobe apps to make this visual.

With that consideration, you can always do or design with the black and white version first. But after that, use the help of Adobe Illustrator to bring out the gradient for your logo. You have a lot of options to make one, so play around with it. These days, a colorful logo will bring more audience than a static solid logo, especially when considering the rise of pride in design. 

Created by Md Shihab Uddin |


4. Illustration 

Digital illustration adopts a lot of color gradients as its positive feature. The idea of digital illustration itself helps the designer to play around with hues without worrying about printing costs or anything. From the simple illustrations done by Illustrator to the subtler game or animation design, you can tell that these mixed hues are getting more attention in recent years. 

One thing for sure, there are a lot of design elements that you can play around with with Adobe Illustrator. From the vibrant shapes and shades, you can create a whole design in this Adobe software. The good news is that adopting gradients in the illustration is like shooting fish in a barrel. It is very easy and can also be implemented in non-digital illustration projects. 

Take, for example, how designers love to use the gradient for a backdrop. It helps emphasize their work and strengthens the use of hues in the media. The most natural uses of the design are skies that are decent to sunsets. You can also implement it for the water drawing that gradually gets dark. They are doable with the help of Adobe Illustrator. 

The color gradients themselves are also usable and applicable for any subjects, people, still life, houses, planets, items, to even the typography. Illustrator helps create more unique shapes and models with the gradient inside, for example, by creating entrancing planets with lighter to darker shades on your Adobe software. Thus, creating depth and shadow in it. 

Created by Thomas De Fondaumiere |


5. Apps 

One of the heavy reliance on the color pick is app design. There are many possibilities for adopting gradients in apps. You can use it for UI elements, background, accent, button, marketing materials, etc. the idea itself is to create a brand identity as well as finding a way to make the app stand out. That is why there are a lot of color representations you can opt for. 

For example, the hues that you use will set up the app's mood. The more formal and high-end function might need bolder shades of blues. But you can also create a more calming mood with pastel shades. Adding more charm also works with the ability to adapt the color gradient in many shapes with the help of Adobe Illustrator. 

Created by Nihal Ahmed |


6. Printed Material  

When faced with printed material, one of the concerns is the hue. The chance that you will have to face an accurate gradient printing result. However, many printing machines are also getting advances year by year. Thus, creating possibilities to make way versatile Illustrator design which includes the shades blending. It also helps Adobe users feel relieved with the result.

In this particular media, Adobe Illustrator brings up a lot of help in the form of design prowess. You can create business cards, posters, book covers, and many more. At the same time, the material also allows the designer to make endless creativity by incorporating the color gradient design for accents, illustration, popping up text, and background. 

Created by Roma Akaev |


Creating Your Color gradient In Adobe Illustrator 

After you read all of the possibilities and how the design set the mood, now you can start creating one with the help of Illustrator. One thing for sure, you will need the original Adobe software to get the whole complete feature. It is paid software, but at least you got a range of design prowess to play around with. If you are ready, here are retro color gradient designs you can try on. 

1. Create The Shape 

Adobe Illustrator plays with some unique mechanics when it comes to a color gradient. You will need to make shapes to create the blending shades. In this case, let's start with creating three circles using ellipse tools. Make sure you make them in different sizes.

Moving on to the second largest circle (70% of the biggest one) and fill it with your color pick. Lastly, the smallest circle that you need to fill with another shade. Make sure that the three circles go on top of each other, with the smallest on top. To make the cool color gradient in Adobe, you will need to move the circle and position them a little more dynamic. 


2. Blending Tool 

The next thing to do in Adobe Illustrator is using the blending tools. This tool will allow you to merge the three circles. To get these tools, you will need to navigate in the Adobe taskbar on top of the screen. Pick the object panel and then move to Blend. After that, choose the Blend options to get advanced configuration for your Adobe Illustrator gradient project.  

The pop-up Illustrator advance configuration will give you a lot more directions and options to do. However, you will need to choose Specified steps to continue the Adobe color gradient step. In this one, you can enter a number to fit your desired color result. Number 50 is the best one. But you can do whatever you want and make the smooth gradient look in Illustrator. 

What you need to know is, the number signifies the number of circles that will multiply to make a smooth color transition. Thus, creating a smoother gradient in Illustrator. The more numbers, the more seamless the shift will be. However, the fewer steps will create a more unique-looking color gradient design from Adobe Illustrator. 


3. Experimenting 

The second you choose the number, your step in creating the blended hues in Adobe Illustrator is done. However, you can also play around with some more experimenting moves. In this case, you can try to duplicate the color gradient shape. Make it a tad bit smaller, position it in such a way, and play with the transparency panel. Do more than one and duplicate it. 

If you can, use the Adobe overlay effect that allows you to make a unique design. You can also use other effects that you found in the Illustrator transparency panel. It is worth it to play around to find the right match. Just try a lot of ideas and settings. It will eventually bring out several innovative appearances that make your Adobe Illustrator color gradient project fun. 

Created by Treize Grammes |


Gradients Tips in Illustrator 

1. Avoid Brown 

It is not about you cannot use brown. But the not-so-matching color will create a browned out color gradient. Brown will appear pretty dominant in the middle space that connects to different shades. When they do not match, the brown will disrupt the clean and crisp look. It is one of the challenges that you need to face in Adobe Illustrator. 

Unlike other Adobe apps such as Photoshop, you will need to make your gradient in Illustrator. It is highly possible to happen in Adobe Illustrator since you will need to decide your shades and the number of blending options. The good rule of thumb is that brown means that you use unmatched two warm and cold shades, especially in Illustrator. 

2. Mind The Color Saturation 

Another pinpoint that you need is saturation. If you use a high vibrancy color, make sure they are equally bright. This kind of color gradient can appear washed out when you are not choosing the right shades. Once again, it can happen in Adobe Illustrator. All you need is to make sure you got the same saturation shades in this kind of Adobe Software. 

However, it does not mean that this washed-out color is poor either. If you find the gradient matches your preferences, then do so. But if you want a good match set of colors, make sure you choose the matching vibrancy. It mostly happens in pastel color. While Adobe Illustrator allows you to pick ranges of shades, use helper if you find this step is not your forte. 

3. Download Pre-Made Gradient

The quickest and practical way to get the most exciting outcome that you want is to purchase from what is pre-made. There are plenty of fantastic color schemes that you can choose from and then can be applied to your projects. Here are some of the most recommended color gradients that you can use for various project needs.

Created by Olga Ryzychenko |


Created by Unio Creative Solution |


Created by Kuro |


Created by Leroy Design |


Created by Ana & yyy |




Basically, you can create funky color gradient design in almost every designing tool. In Adobe Illustrator, you have to do some steps due to the mechanism. You have to play around with colors, rinse, and repeat. The idea of creating a balanced and perfect color gradient is never fixed. You can make whatever you want and keep learning to get your creativity running.

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