Mastering Gradients in Illustrator | Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand | Skillshare
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24 Lessons (1h 31m)
    • 1. Introduction & Overview

    • 2. What Makes Good Gradients

    • 3. Choosing Colours

    • 4. Setting Up Gradients Using the Gradient Panel

    • 5. Adjusting Gradients Using the Gradient Tool

    • 6. Creating Multiple Gradients within One Object

    • 7. Applying Gradients to Type

    • 8. Applying Gradients across Multiple Objects

    • 9. Applying Gradients to Strokes

    • 10. Shading Strokes with Gradients

    • 11. Stacking Multiple Strokes

    • 12. Creating Gradients Using the Gradient Mesh Tool

    • 13. Distorting Gradient Meshes to Create Experimental Designs

    • 14. Creating Gradients Using the Blend Tool

    • 15. Creating Gradient Brushes

    • 16. Creating and Saving Gradient Swatches

    • 17. Recolouring Gradients and Designs

    • 18. Texturing Gradients and Designs

    • 19. Creating Graphic Styles

    • 20. Exporting Your Work

    • 21. Final Thoughts & Conclusion

    • 22. Bonus: Making of Layered Organic Design

    • 23. Bonus: Making of Vector Illustration with Gradient Brushes

    • 24. Bonus: Making of Vector Illustration with Fill & Stroke Gradients

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About This Class

Level up your gradient skills with our special tips, tricks & techniques ranging from beginner to advanced Illustrator levels!


I'm Evgeniya Righini-Brand, and with this class I invite you to master gradients in Adobe Illustrator. Whether you’re going for a vibrant and dramatic look, or something more subtle and dreamy, something minimalistic or elaborate and experimental, gradients create a sense of depth, allowing you to change the feel of any design, object and environment!

This class is suitable for anyone who loves gradients, and I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to make awesome gradient-based designs suitable for both digital and print projects. 

In this class I’ll share:

  • how to choose the right colours and avoid murky gradients and colour banding;
  • how to make the most out of the range of the Illustrator tools for creating gradients;
  • how to combine multiple gradients within one object and work with gradients covering multiple objects;
  • how to apply gradients to editable text;
  • how to use gradients with strokes;
  • how to create and use gradient brushes;
  • how to texture gradients to make them look exciting and prepare them for print;
  • how to create gradient presets and graphic styles to improve your workflow;
  • how to export your gradient designs for print and digital use.


For the first 3 weeks of this class we’ll be running a special contest: we’ll be giving away 3 design kits containing Illustrator gradient presets, brushes and graphic styles, and one lucky winner will also get a 1 year Skillshare Premium Membership. All you need to do to enter is create a project in this class and share your gradient experiments before Monday, April 17th 2017.

I’m super excited to see your gradient experiments! Join now and let’s make something awesome!


Gradients — research & inspiration board on Pinterest

Recommended classes:

Creating Trendy Abstract Patterns in Illustrator — a foundation class about using various tools in Illustrator and creating vector patterns, which would also look awesome if coloured in gradients.

Creating & Using Custom 3D Objects in Illustrator — learn how to make a range of exciting 3D objects in Illustrator which you can then art-map using the gradients to make them even more awesome.

Creating Trendy Designs with Abstract Patterns in Illustrator — learn about design composition and different approaches to designing and illustrating with patterns, mix it with gradients and you'll get something super cool;)


1. Introduction & Overview: Hey guys, this is JA from [inaudible] In this class, I invite you to master gradients in Adobe Illustrator. Whether you are going for a vibrant and dramatic look or something more subtle and dreamy, gradients create a sense of depth. They're allowing you to change the feel of any design, object, and environment. In this class, I'll show you how to make the most out of the range of the Illustrator tools for creating gradients, how to combine multiple gradients within one object from the work with gradients covering multiple objects, how to apply gradients to editable text, how to use gradients with strokes, how to create and use gradient brushes, how to texture gradients to make them look excited and prepared them for print, and how to create a gradient presets in graphic styles to improve your workflow. I will also share tips on how to choose the right colors and avoid marking gradients and color abandon, and how to export your gradient designs for print and web. This class is suitable for anyone who loves gradients. I will walk you through everything you need to know to make awesome gradient based designs suitable for both digital and print projects. For the first few weeks of this class, we'll be running a special contest. We'll be giving away free design kits contained in Illustrator gradient presents, brushes, and graphic styles. The one lucky winner, will also get a one-year Skillshare premium membership. All you need to do to enter, is create a project in this class and share your gradient experiments before Monday, April 17th, 2017. I will be super excited to see your gradient experiments. Start watching now, and let's make something awesome. 2. What Makes Good Gradients: As a designer, I believe that there are good and beautiful gradients, and there are also bad and the ugly ones. Your good gradient, is a natural, harmonious, clean and smooth blend of colors, and this is what I always strive to create in my work and consider to be a good practice. I've been into gradients for quite a long time, and for the past few years I've been collecting beautiful gradients on my gradients board of interest, so don't hesitate to check it out. To avoid making murky gradients or gradients with visible color bands, you need to understand the way gradients are created in Illustrator, and have a basic grasp on color theory. Of course, you can get good results by experimenting, but keeping in mind the following rules and principles will save you time in the long run and will enable you to create exciting gradients every time. Each color in a digital environment has a numeric value, and for working with gradients in Illustrator, it is important to understand what RGB and CMYK color values mean and do. In RGB, each primary color has an intensity setting from 0-255, from lack of color which is black to its full intensity. Mixing all three colors in their full intensity creates what? In CMYK, each color has an intensity setting in percentage. Mixing cyan, magenta, and yellow at 100 percent creates black, or rather America brownish black. In both models mixing all primary colors in equal amounts will create a shade of gray, and mixing all primary colors in close but not exactly equal amounts will create dirty grayish colors. There is nothing roller as gray as such, but it can be created in the midpoint of a gradient by mistake and make your gradient look dull and yurky. The midpoint is the point on the gradient where the two colors create an ingredient are mixed in equal proportions. In Illustrator, it is calculated as an average between the numeric values of each color component in either RGB or CMYK used into colors, blend and intergradient. These two colors are called color stops. It is important to remember that color values in the gradient are not calculated based on the hue values of the two colors or their position on the color wheel, which would be great alternatives and wouldn't make a mess. Don't expect to have a gradient between two colors which are far away from each other on the color wheel to follow all the transitions you see on the color wheel. Keeping this averaging principle in mind, you can estimate your midpoints to whatever dirty colors, but this is probably easier to resort to the basic principle of the color theory at this point and follow a more visual rule instead. We're fighting gray midpoints, and the color theory tells us that the colors which cancel each other out and create a chromatic or dirty colors when mixed together are complimentary colors. Complimentary colors are the colors which sit opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, blue and orange. If you create a direct gradient between these two colors, you'll get a dirty transition. To avoid having a dirty midpoint when creating a gradient between complementary colors, you need to manually add at least one new color stop in the middle of the gradient, and set it to a color which is situated between these two complimentary colors on a color wheel. Even if you are not blending together opposite colors, when you create gradients between cold and warm colors, or colors which are far away from each other on a color wheel more than 90 degrees apart. Consider introducing additional color stops and setting them to colors which should naturally occur at those points in the gradients, this will allow you to create a harmonious transition between the colors. Since gradients in a digital environment are based on mathematical averages, it presents a few limitations in comparison to mix in physical colors. If you have two colors which are very similar to each other, you would think that you should have a very small subtle transition, but this is not always the case. If you have a gradient which covers a large surface, and the colors you use on it are pretty close to each other in terms of their numeric values, you might encounter initial cold color banding. Color banding occurs when the number of color blends form in a gradient between the two colors is not enough to smoothly cover the whole gradient area, and it is most apparent in the gradients between very dark colors and white. Watch out for it, and make sure you cannot see wide color stripes in your gradients. If you do see color bands consider adjusting the colors of the color stops, or reduce to the size of your gradient. The point here is that there is no more colors which can be used to form this transitions, so there is no other way around it. You can conceal color banding a little using texture and techniques, and we'll have a look at them later in this class, but it's better to start with the colors which are optimally different from each other in the first place. This is particularly important for any work for print as CMYK supports less colors than RGB, so the number of operations is less and color banding is more likely. If you're creating work for a digital viewing or projection, set you document to the RGB Color Mode and use the RGB color model for defining colors. If you're creative, work solely for print, set your document to send CMYK and use CMYK to define colors on the colors panel. If you want to present your work both digital and in print, start with RGB and convert a copy of your document to CMYK when finished. Keep both files as masters, and export work from RGB file for digital use and from CMYK for print only. CMYK being a print model, supports and reproduces a smaller range of colors than RGB, so watch out for color banding. Except for all these color mixing nuances, ultimately what makes good gradients are the colors you choose to blend together. There are no hard rules here, the only point is that the colors should feel right for the movie you want to create, and then you need to follow the aforementioned technical rules to create nice transitions. Whilst keeping all these rules in mind, let's look into a few approaches for choosing colors which make good gradients. 3. Choosing Colours: To begin with, let's quickly create and set up a new document which will be used for all the whole class. Set up your artwork size to whatever you wish and set the color mode, according to your intentions. It would be really cool to see you upload your experiments in your project for this class. I suggest you work in RGB and enjoy vibrant colors and share your work with the World afterwards. Then make sure to click on the "More Settings" button here and set Raster Effect to 300 ppi. We'll be texturizing our gradient artworks later on in this class and having high resolution effects will be crucial. Let's create a new document. There are going to be a lot of stages in this class, so I recommend you get into a habit of saving your work every few minutes and start now by saving your new document in the desired location under a descriptive name. Make sure to select AI format and click "Save". Now, let's get on with the colors. The beauty of working with colors digitally is that you don't need to be an expert in calligraphy. There are tools to help you create awesome color combinations based on the color harmony rules. The first tool which we'll be using is the Color Guide, so open it up and if it's not in your workspace, activate it through the Window menu. To begin with, on the Tools panel, set up a color which you want to use in your gradients. It can be as intense or a subtle as you wish. I like using bright colors to begin with, so I will set the brightness and saturation to 100 percent. In the Color Guide, you can now see other tints and shades of the same color. If you don't see tints and shades here in this menu in the top right corner of the panel, make sure you have tints and shade selected. Also in the same menu, you can set up the number of color variations the color guide will create. Go to the Color Guide Options and set up the number of tints and shades variants you want to be able to use. Four or five should be enough. Here you can also set up the variation percentage, I'll keep it at 100 percent as it produces the best variety for what we're doing. Now, we're all set here. Let's have a look at different harmony rules, which can help us to create nice groups of colors for the gradients. You already know that complimentary colors can be quite problematic for creating good gradients and require additional color stops to make them work. If you really want to have a gradient between two complimentary colors, start by selecting the top complimentary pair harmony rule. Then in the Color Guide, Command click or Control click on Windows onto active colors in the middle to select them and then click on the "Save color group to Swatch panel" button on the bottom of the Color Guide panel. This will add these two colors as a new group to your document swatches. If the Swatches panel is not open, open it for the Window menu. Now, go back to the Color Guide, and in the harmony rules, go to the very bottom of the list and select pentagram, then click on this "Edit or Apply Colors" button and go to the Edit tab here. We'll have a closer look into this window with all this super-useful settings later on in this class, but for now, let's just use of the color wheel here to see how the harmony rules create colors. The pentagram rule creates a set of colors which are equally distributed around the color wheel, so all these four new colors will allow you to create a smoother transition between your original color and its opposite color, which would be somewhere here. For some colors, the tetrad harmony rule, which you can access here in this window, can also be used to create nice gradients, but having two colors stops and between the complimentary colors allows to create smoother transitions. We'll stick with the pentagram for now. Let's adjust these colors to have more even gaps if we imagine that the opposite color is here. Unlink harmony colors here and move these colors so that the gaps between them are about 60 degrees like this,and there is about 120 degrees between these two colors as the complimentary color would be between them. Now, close this window. In the Color Guide, select these four colors by Command clicking or Control clicking on Windows on each of them. There is no need to select the original color as we have already edited to the swatches. Create a new color group from these four colors here. Now on the Swatches panel, drag this colors to the group with two complimentary colors. Now we've got the first group of colors. Now let's have a look at the analogous colors. There's a couple of analogous rules to choose from, so you can pick one which looks best for you. Analogous colors are the colors which sit next to each other on the color wheel and share the same components. These type of colors are probably my favorite when it comes to gradients. In the tints and shades color variations, you can pick as many colors as you want. I usually pick all of the active colors and then add quite a few tints and shades to the mix. If you want to select a few rows or columns of colors, you can shift click onto "Colors" in the opposite corners of the desired selection. This is faster than Command clicking, and in this case, Command clicking can be used to deselect a few colors you don't want to use. The great thing about analogous colors that whilst offering some hue variations, their tints and shades easily blend together and you can use them to create some really complex gradient artworks. To create the most subtle type of gradients, you can use one of these two monochromatic rules here or the shades rule. As with the analogous colors, these colors will also beautiful blend together as they are based around the same hues so because many or as little variations here, and then create a new color group from them. The lightest tints and the darker shades are very useful for fading or document type of gradients, and they create more organic and smooth transitions than when you use pure white or pure black as color stops, because all the color groups we have created are based on the harmony rules, we'll be able to easily develop other color groups using the same rules based on them and easily recolor our future gradients, but we will look at it a bit later when we actually have some gradient artworks to work with. After you have created color groups, but before you start applying your colors to your artwork, it's a good idea to convert each color into a global color. Global colors are very useful when it comes to recoloring your work or making minor adjustments to colors, because when you adjust any global color swatch through this window, the change will be automatically applied to all objects which use this color. Take global color here, and then go through all the colors you have created and convert them to global too. A global color swatch has a white triangle in the corner here, so you can easily see what is global color and what is not. When you are done with this color groups, now we can start creating some gradients. 4. Setting Up Gradients Using the Gradient Panel: Illustrator offers a number of different tools which can be used to create gradients and work with them in a straightforward or an experimental manner. Each of them can be used to create designs and artworks of different types and levels of complexity. It is important to understand the capabilities, advantages, and limitations of each of the stores and utilize the most appropriate tool for each specific task. Let's start with the basics. On the tools panel, I'll select the Rectangle tool and create a rectangle in the size of my artwork. Is not crucial at this point, but at this stage, I want to create a gradient which can work as a background. I'll align this rectangle to the art board using the aligned settings here. Then I'll set the outline color to none and set the field to a gradient by clicking here on the toast pedal. When you apply a gradient, the gradient panel should open automatically. If not, it can be opened through the Window menu. If you cannot see all the settings here, go to this menu in the right top corner of the gradient Panel and select Show Options. The gradient which is assigned to your workflow tools panel is either the last gradient you've used, or if it is the first gradient you are creating in the document, it is going to be set to the top gradient from the gradients watches which are listed here, unless, of course, you've selected a different gradient watch in the first place from the Sources panel Is we are going to be creating gradients from our new color groups, the default gradients, which are irrelevant. Make sure that at this point the gradient is applied to the fill and not to the stroke, which is a different story, and I'll go through it separately later on. In Illustrator, there are two basic types of gradients, linear and radial. When you have a linear gradient selected, you can set up its angle here. If you select a radial gradient, you'll also be able to set the aspect ratio of the ellipse. If you set it to a 100 percent, you will create a circle. At this point, the angle is not going to make any difference. But if your gradient is anything else rather than a circle, then modifying the angle will change its orientation. Then we've got a gradient slider, which shows the color transition. On the slider, there are at least two toggles below which represent our color stops, and one Togo above for the midpoint. As I've already mentioned in the previous videos, color stops are the base colors between which the gradient transition happens. The mid point is the point where the two end colors are mixed in equal proportions. By default, the midpoint is placed at 50 percent in the middle of the gradient. You can move it if necessary by dragging it sideways or by inputting a precise value here. This way, you'll be able to control the transition between the two colors and can make one of the colors dominant if required. Color stops also have a location attribute, and you can move them around the same way. Here you can also set the capacity of the colors, and this is a very useful feature so remember about it. For a radio gradient, the left color stop represents the color in the middle of a circle or ellipse. For a linear gradient, left is left and right is right, unless you have changed the angle here. Clicking on the reverse button will reflect the gradient and so the color stops around. You can add new color stops by clicking just below the Gradients slider. This will automatically add new stops with the correct settings for that particular location on the gradient to keep the transition smooth. You can also duplicate the color stop by dragging it sideways whilst holding down the Alt key. This will make a new color stop with the same color and a positive settings as the original one. To delete a color stop, simply click and drag it away from the gradient slider. To change the color of the color stop, double-click on it. This will open the color picker, which will allow you to select your desired color. Since we have our color saved as swatches, click on the swatches icon here and select the color you want to use. I will pick this color from this group here. Now, let's select the right color stop and set it to a complementary color to the first one. You can see that the midpoint here is dull. This is why we've got more colors to put between the end colors for this gradient. Let's create two new color stops in-between, and send them to the colors which should be in between these two complementary colors on the color wall. When you assign your colors, make sure the color stops, go in the right order, and then adjust their location if necessary. These are the basic gradient settings. Play around with them, and check out how other colors work together and add as many color stops as you need to create good gradients. If you want to create a reflective symmetrical linear gradient, you will need to repeat the same color stops starting from the center to the edge, like this. Now, let's move on to the gradient tool and see what extra options it color offers. 5. Adjusting Gradients Using the Gradient Tool: To control the size of the gradient or its position in relation to the object that is applied to, you need to use the Gradient tool located in the "Tools Panel". To use the Gradient tool with a gradient field object, select this object to the selection tool, and then select the 'Gradient tool". Alternatively, if your object is not selected, you can select the "Gradient tool" and click with it on the gradient field object. When your object is selected, and the Gradient tool is active, you should see this slider. When you move your Gradient tool all over this slider, you should see color stops and extra controls, which together are called a Gradient Annotator. If you have everything selected and the gradient tool is active, but you still cannot see the Gradient Annotator, go to the Menu View and click on the "Show Gradient Annotator". Now, you can adjust the gradient using this slider. It works absolutely the same way as the Gradient slider in the Gradient panel, so you can change the colors here by double-clicking on them and choosing colors from this window. Here, you can also set the opacity of the selected color stop, and of course you can move color stops and midpoints around. If you drag the slider by this circle in the beginning of the linear gradient, you move the gradient in relation to the object it is applied to. On the other hand, if you drag the endpoint on the other side of the gradient slider, we just square, you will resize the gradient instead. If you move your mouse just outside the square end point, you will see the rotation cursor. Now, you can hold down the mouse button and rotate the gradient. To change the type of gradient, you'll still need to go to the Gradient panel and set it there. When you use a Radial Gradient, Gradient Annotator will also allow you to change the aspect ratio of the gradient by dragging this point on the outer ellipse marking the size of the gradient. To resize a radial gradient, use either the square point on the slider or the point on the outer ellipse opposite it. Dragging by the circle in the beginning of the Gradient slider will allow you to move the gradient, but here you also have a smaller circle, moving which will allow you to offset the origin point of the gradient in relation to its overall shape. As that the gradient is created between the origin point and the outer ellipse marking the spread of the gradient, off setting the origin point we'll make a longer gradient on one side and the shorter one on the other. When you work with the gradient using the Gradient tool, that object contains the gradient within it, even if you increase the gradient size, or in other words gradients spread, you only affect what's inside the object, and the rest of the gradient outside of the object boundaries won't be visible. Ability to control gradients position within the object is extremely useful when coloring or shading illustrations and designs, and it also allows to create some exciting effects when you start using more than one gradient within one object, and this is what we are going to look at next. 6. Creating Multiple Gradients within One Object: Let's leave this gradient as it is, and for the next thing which we are going to make, let's create a new artboard. Select the artboard tool on the tools panel, and then deselect, move copy artwork with artboard here on the top panel if it is active. Now, this button should appear not pressed. Now, I'll drug this artboard to make a copy of it. You can also create artboards by drawing them here and setting the size here. But when you want artboards to be in the same size, it's just easier to copy them by old draging. If you want to build upon what you have on your artboard, then you can copy it's contents with it. In this case, you need to have this move copy artwork with artboard button pressed instead. Now, let's exit the artboard editing mode by selecting any other tool. For the next example, I want to create a circle. So I'll pick the ellipse store here and draw a circle by holding down the shift key. The technique I am about to show you relies on having multiple gradient fields within one object, and to be able to work with them, you need to have the appearance panel in front of you. If you don't have it in your workspace, go to the menu window and select "Appearance". Appearance panel lists all the attributes which are applied to the object, and can include fill, stroke, effects, and opacity settings. Note that for this panel, you can control the opacity and the blending mode of the object overall, as well as of it's separate fills and strokes attributes. Let's start with assigning a solid field color to this circle so we have some background color to it. Then, we need to add a new field by clicking on this button. Now, select this new field on the appearance panel and set it to gradient on the tools panel here. Now, let's set up our new gradient using the gradient tool and the gradient panel. To be able to blend gradient fields with each other or with the object's background color, you can either use the opacity settings for the gradient color stops or the blending modes of the separate fields, or a combination of both. As this technique is about blending multiple things together, I usually start with creating a fading out disappearing gradient. For this set both color stops to the same color, and then set the opacity of one of them to zero. This creates a smooth transition of this color into transparency. You can also use different color stops. But in this case, you will have a gradient transition of the color, as well as of the opacity. If you have a more complex gradient, which has a number of different colors, you will need to carefully work out the opacity you want to have throughout it. But my advice is to smoothly fade the colors out into transparency at the edge. When you set up your fade ingredient, select the gradient tool and adjust it's size and position. Then, let's create another fading gradient. I'll set it to some other color here, and then to be able to create an effect I am after, I need to move this gradient to a different position, and rotate it like this. If you want to reset the alignment of the gradient to the default center position, the easiest way to do this is to change the gradient type on the gradient panel to another one, and then change it back to what it is supposed to be. This already looks quite exciting, even though it is pretty subtle. If you carry on adding more gradients, changing their colors, and moving them around, you can make a lot of awesome effects. Make sure to select the gradient field you want to modify using the appearance panel, and also use this panel and drag the fields around if you need to change the order in which they are applied to the object. The bottom field is applied first and the one on top is applied last. If you want to integrate your gradient field object like this, with all this fading colors with the background, you can also dispense off the background field and have a partially translucent object like this. This is super easy, but really cool, especially when you add a bit of texture to it and we will look introduction gradients later on in this class. When you have set up your multiple gradient fields within an object, you can also experiment with changing their blending modes on the appearance panel. Make sure to open the gradient field which you want to adjust. Click on the "Opacity" right under it, and check out different blending modes from the list. Blending modes are quite complex and the effects they create heavily depend on the colors or the gradient blending mode is applied to and the background below it. To get the result you want, you need to look for different modes in each particular case. There are no shortcuts here, and the beauty is in the unexpected. There are tons of opportunities for experimentation, and both of these techniques can be super useful for creating minimalistic designs and nice colorful backgrounds. 7. Applying Gradients to Type: Applying gradients to editable type objects is super-useful. Though, it is not as straightforward as one might expect. Let's start by selecting the type tool, type something, and quickly typeset it using the Character panel. This order. If we select this text using the selection tool and said the filter to gradient, nothing will happen. Gradient is apparently applied, but you cannot see any changes. If we select text using the type tool and apply Gradient Fill, nothing will happen either. But there is a select your type object with the Selection Tool and go to the appearance panel and guess what? There is no fill attribute applied to the type. But when you select your text with the type tool, there is a field or attribute here, but it cannot interpret the gradients. So, to apply gradient to your type. Firstly, you need to select it with the selection tool and set its fill to none. This will ensure that you won't have a background color common from the type settings. This is very important. So make sure that you set field to non here for the whole object. Now, whilst having your type objects selected with the selection tool, go to the appearance panel and click on add new "Fill" button here. This will add both fill and stroke attributes to a type object which you can now set up, select "Fill", and set its type to gradient on the Tools panel. Now you can go and set up the gradient the usual way using the gradient panel and the gradient tool, as if it was any other object. Since we haven't outline this type, you can now edit the text or the type style as much as you want. Remember, not to edit the color of your text whilst having it's selected, are highlighted using the type tool. As this will add an extra color underneath of the gradient. Instead, only edit your text field for the appearance panel, whilst having, it's selected with the selection tool. If you want to add another gradient filter or type or a color fill to use as a background. You can do it here and it will work the same way as we have looked at in the previous video. Note the text within one type object will have a continuous gradient applied to it. As illustrator, sees it as one object and not as separate characters. To apply gradients to separate characters or words, you will need to either create them as separate type objects, meaning that you will need to type them separately and see them as separate objects on the layer spell. Alternatively, you can create outlines, but this will stop your text from being editable and treated as any other vector shape instead. If you create outlines from type which has a continuous gradient applied to it, it will stay the applied as it was to the group of objects. You can see the gradient attribute on the appearance panel when you have the group selected. If you ungroup it by pressing "Command shift G" or "Control Shift G" in Windows, the gradient attribute will disappear. If you apply gradient to these objects now, it will be applied to each object individually. If you group them back together and apply gradient, by clicking on the "Tools panel", the gradient will be applied within a group to each individual object and not to the group overall. When it comes to applying a continuous gradient to text, it is better done to the editable type object, mostly because it is editable. But there are a few different ways to apply continuous gradients to separate objects, and this is what we are going to look at next. 8. Applying Gradients across Multiple Objects: Applying gradients to multiple objects might seem like a very obvious thing. But in illustrator, there are a few different ways of doing this and each of them allows you to create different effects. Let's go back to this outline type we have created before. Since it is grouped, you can apply a field attribute to the whole group. But before we do this, we need to make sure that each individual object has a fill color set to none. Select the group, and set the filled color to non on the top panel. Pay attention to what you see on the appearance panel, and at this point there shouldn't be any field attributes applied to the group. The changes you made were applied to the individual objects within the group. Now having this group selected on the appearance panel, click on "Add a new field" and set it to gradient. Now you can adjust it anyway you want using the gradient panel and gradient tool and add as many gradients fields as you wish, the same way as I've shown you earlier in this class. Remember that this technique would work with any field vector objects and not just outlined type. If you double-click on any object within a group, you get into an isolation ward where you can only work with the coordinates of the group. If you start moving the objects within the group around, you'll see the main benefit of applying gradients to groups of objects. When you change the position of any object within a group, the gradient field applied tool will automatically update according to what it should be in this particular location. You can easily rearrange the elements, once having the gradient, cover them continuously. To exit the isolation mode, click on this arrow button in the document window or double-click anywhere away from the objects in the group. While seven objects in a group can be beneficial in some cases, in Illustrator, you actually don't need to have objects, group to be able to apply continuous gradient across all of them. Let's say you want to apply gradient across all of these shapes. To do this, you need to select them all using the selection tool and then set their field to gradient. This will apply a gradient to every object within your selection. The gradient will fit into the size of each object, and each object will have a separate gradient slider, which you can use to adjust the gradient in the usual way. This is useful if you want to apply the same non-continuous gradient to a number of objects. But this is not what we want to do here, so once having the object selected, pick the gradient tool on the tool panel, go to the point where you want your gradient to start and create a gradient by dragging your mouse to the point where you want it to end, like this. The gradient will continuously feel you selected objects. The result will be more predictable when the individual gradients fill in all the selected objects are the same to start with. Well having the selection and the gradient or active, you can edit your gradient using the gradient slider and the gradient panel. After releasing the selection, to edit the gradient applied to the objects later on, you'll need to select all of them again and then select gradient tool. If you have modified any of the objects within the selection after applying the original gradient, all objects will now have individual gradients sliders and to apply one continuous gradient to them, you need to draw a new gradient once again. If you want to include an editable type object into the same selection and apply a continuous gradient to it as a part of a bigger composition, make sure you have assigned a gradient to it the way I've shown you in the previous part, and make sure that the gradient is the same as the one applied to other objects within the selection. If everything is okay, you will be able to apply a gradient to a mix of objects like this. 9. Applying Gradients to Strokes: There is something super excited about applying gradients to stroke and it offers quite a few new possibilities in comparison to the gradient fills. This feature is available in illustrators CS6 and Creative Cloud versions. If you have an older version of Illustrator, you will need to use a workaround, which I'll show you a bit later in the part about creating gradient brushes. But in any case, there are certain concepts which are the same regardless of whether you are using the gradient stroke tool or applying gradients to strokes using brushes. I'll cover them in this part. To see how different gradients stroke settings work, let's create an closed path, for example, a circle, and one open path, let's have a semicircle like this. Now, we need to select them both and set the field color to none and stroke color to gradient. At the moment, we cannot see much here as a stroke is quite thin. We need to go to the stroke panel and increase stroke weight here. I'll also set caps to round so this semicircle has move ends. Keep in mind the different settings on this panel, including dashed lines, arrowheads, and profiles can be used as gradient strokes and can allow you to create some cool stuff. If you need to learn about different possibilities of style and strokes using the stroke panel, don't hesitate to checkout my class on creating trendy abstract patterns in illustrator, which has a separate part just about stroke. Now, let's have a look at what options we have available on the gradient panel. Unlike when using field gradients with stroke gradients, you cannot use the gradient tool to adjust or position the gradient. On the other hand, you have other options which are now available on the gradient panel. If you choose the first option here, the gradient will be applied within the stroke, as if it is a shape and the gradient is filling in. The spread of the gradient will be from one side to another. You can control the angle of the gradient, but you cannot change a gradient position or size. This is the only stroke gradients setting which allows you to choose between different stroke to puff alignment on the stroke panel. The next buttons here applies gradient along the stroke, which is super useful. With this setting, you can very nicely color on a line, lettering or drawings, use it in infographics or in any other types of designs or illustrations which require this playful coloring, especially if they have overlapping elements. This type of stroke gradient only works with the stroke aligned centrally to the path. If you are trying to apply it to your path on the gradient panel, but nothing happens, make sure to set stroke alignment to center and everything will work just fine. If you're using a closed path, you can also loop the gradient using the setting. To do this, you will need to set both end points to the same color. Start with odd gradient in one of the end color stops to copy it, and place it on the other end of the gradient. Then adjust other colors stops in-between to create a smooth gradient. At this point, you might need to add more color stops to create a clean beautiful transition from the original end color to the new one. This is super cool and looks great on all closed paths, not just circles. The last option here allows you to apply gradient across the stroke, and it also only works with centrally aligned strokes. The setting can be also handy for coloring line lettering or illustrations, but probably the nicest thing about it is that, you can use it to shade shapes and add more volume to them. This and other cool effects can be achieved using multiple strokes. This is what we will be looking at next. 10. Shading Strokes with Gradients: The same way as we have edit multiple fields to the object. You can add multiple strokes. Select the object you want to shade with the gradient and go to the appearance panel. Here, select the stroke which is already applied, and click on duplicate selected item button. Make sure that your new stroke is above the one which is used to color the line and that its settings are absolutely the same and they should be since we have duplicated the previous one. Now, select the top stroke and go to the gradient panel. Here, we need to apply gradient across stroke and set it up so it shades our stroke. For this, we'll need free color stops. Set the opacity of the middle one to zero and then go and play around with the colors of the color stops. The same as before, I prefer setting all of the color stops to the same color just to have the opacity gradient. But you can play around with the colors, as it can allow you to create some interesting coloring effects. Black or very dark colors are the obvious choice for shading. But you can also have a more colorful approach and use some bright colors like this. And if you set the nth color stop to some light color or white, it will be more of a glow effect rather than shading. When shading with darker colors, the transparent color stop in the middle will be the highlight areas of the path. Move it around if you want to have a different lighting effect. Also, you can move the midpoints around to control the spread of the gradients. The shading areas might look a bit harsh, especially if you're using black color or dark colors so you might be tempted to change their opacity here. I wouldn't do this here, I'd rather go back to the appearance panel and change the opacity of this whole gradients stroke here. This looks much better already, but don't forget that you can also set the blending mode or the gradient stroke so check them out too. Darken, multiply, overlay or soft light can be quite good for different levels of shading. If you are creating a glow effect using light colors, try out screen mode. So, experiments with different colors, opacity, and blended modes. There are a lot of cool effects you can create. 11. Stacking Multiple Strokes: Except layer and strokes. You can also use multiple strokes next to each other to create something like this. Start with the single gradient stroke here. Let's select it on the appearance panel and duplicate it. Now, I want this new stroke to be placed on the outside of the original stroke. To do this, I need to select the new stroke, go to the Add New Effect button in the bottom of the appearance panel. Go to Path and select offset path, to preview here to see the changes. Then go and input the desired value here. Make sure that the units you're using to set up your stroke weight and to offset your paths are the same to make it easier to work with. If they are not, press OK to close this dialogue window and go to the Illustrator Preferences, which are located in the Illustrator menu on Mac and then edit menu on Windows. In preferences, select Units and set General and Stroke units to be the same. You can use any Units you want. Then go back to the appearance panel and click on the offset path effect here. Remember that you are offsetting the path of the stroke it's applied to. The offset value here is the distance between the two parts. In my case, the stroke is aligned to center and both strokes have the same weight. So their set value will be the same as the stroke weight. This way two strokes will touch each other but not overlap. Dependent on how your strokes are aligned to parts, what ways the strokes are, and what effect you want to create, you will need to calculate the offset value accordingly. If you want strokes to be touching each other and the strokes are centrally aligned to parts, then the offset value will be the sum of both stroke weights, divided by two. If both of your strokes are aligned to the inside, then the offset value will be the weight of the outer stroke. If they are aligned to the outside, the offset value will be the weight of the inner stroke. Dependent on the type of the shape, you can also explore different joints settings here, which are the same as the corner settings on the Stroke panel. Click "OK". When you're done with the offset settings. Play around these multiple strong gradients and their various settings. Add as many of them as you want, and see what you can create. Keep in mind that the multiple strokes don't need to be touching. They can have gaps between them or overlap. 12. Creating Gradients Using the Gradient Mesh Tool: Another super cool tool for creating gradients in Illustrator is the gradient mesh tool. It is designed for making photorealistic illustrations, but when it gets into the wrong hands, cool experimental abstract designs can be created instead. To create a gradient mesh, you need to start with an object. I'm going to use this new rectangle for it. There are two ways to create a mesh, depending on how precise you want it to be. If you want to place mesh points manually, you can use the mesh tool. Because this rectangle has a field color assigned to it, I can click anywhere inside of it and create mesh points this way. If you have an object which has [inaudible] color set to none, you'll only be able to add mesh points either on the outline of the object or on the mesh lines when they are created. If you want to create an even mesh, you can also do it automatically. To do this, select your object with the selection tool, go to the menu object and select Create gradient mesh. In this menu, tick preview to see the changes and set the number of rows and columns. Then select appearance. I will pick flat if I don't want to have any automatic highlights which are created using the other two options here. Click Okay to generate gradients mesh. Radiant meshes can be generated within any shape. So remember that you are not limited to basic geometric shapes. So either way, gradient mesh splits object into a number of cells and each point in the mesh can have a different color assigned to it. You can select mesh points either with the mesh tool or with the direct selection tool and then pick a color on the colors panel or from the sources you have created. This way, you can color an object into a number of colors, which will transition smoothly into one another. Each point on the mesh is a color stop. So transitions happen between the points and within every cell. The mesh tool allows to select and work with only one point at a time. If you want to select and work with a number of mesh points, you should use the direct selection tool and shift click to select multiple points. This allows to color a number of selected points on the mesh in the same color and move them together. You can also adjust the mesh lines using either the direct selection tool or the mesh tool. When you select a point with either of these tools, the handles will appear, which allow to create and control the curves. If your mesh lines overlap or the handles controlling different points cross, you might create this kind of ridges. They look cool but if you push it too far and create loops and strong overlapping in the mesh, it can cause some undesirable defects. Some things here might be just Illustrator [inaudible] issues, which you won't see after everything has exported correctly. But things like this are not. So you need to adjust them and move mesh points and lines apart if you want everything to be smooth. To add new points to the mesh, use the mesh tool. To delete a mesh point, hold click on it using the mesh tool or select it with the direct selection tool and press delete. If you hold down shift while dragging a mesh point, it will follow one of the mesh lines it sits on. If you need to change the opacity of a mesh point, select it and then set the opacity to a desired value using the top panel, transparency panel or appearance panel. Keeping all of this in mind with this tool, you can create a lot of different things from something really minimalistic to something more experimental and even the more experimental effects are possible if you throw a few other tools into the mix. 13. Distorting Gradient Meshes to Create Experimental Designs: You can mainly remove mesh points around and make some cool artworks. But you can also use some other tools with the gradient meshes to distort them and create experimental stuff. Before you start distorting your gradient mesh, it's a good idea to create a copy of it and keep it just in case. Then select the gradient mesh you want to distort with the selection tool. Having your object selected, go to this "Tool" button and pick one of the tools here. You can use any of these tools except for the width tool, as it only works with stroke. All of these tools distort objects in different ways. My favorite tools here are warp, crystallize, and wrinkle. But other tools here are cool too. Each of these tools can be set up by pressing "Enter" to access this setup window. There are some settings which will be shared by this tools, but also there are some settings which are unique to the specific tools. But generally, they control the size, intensity, and the level of distortion. Experiment with the settings and see how it affects your gradient mesh. I advise you to stick to the lowest detail value because it controls the number of points which will be created, and a lot of points are, firstly, very messy, and secondly, they make your graphics very complex which can cause your Illustrator to freeze or crash as there is a lot of data to process. If you want the distortion to be more complex, better control it with the complexity settings here or through simplicity setting for some other tools. The size here can be manually set to any value, even though it only allows to set it to a maximum of 400 pixels for this drop-down menu. If you use the wrinkle tool, you can set how much distortion will be created vertically and horizontally using these attributes. This is what the wrinkle tool does. Here's crystallize, and here is a rather subtle work. If you have the whole gradient mesh objects selected, these tools will affect all of the points in the mesh. You can control the overall shape too. But if you want to distort specific points, then you will need to select them with the direct selection tool before you start using any of these tools. The result of some of these effects will be quite rough, and if you create very complex distortions, it might affect Illustrator's performance. So keep it in mind before you go wild with your experiments. 14. Creating Gradients Using the Blend Tool: Another way of creating gradients in Illustrator is by using the Blends tool. When it comes to gradients, it allows us to easily make certain effects which are either not possible or not very easy to create otherwise. It also makes it possible to create Gradient Brushes. The Blend tool creates a transition between two or more objects. To have a predictable result, it's a good idea to start with the objects which are the same in terms of the attributes applied to them. For example, to field objects, to close path with a stroke or to open paths with a stroke. To blend objects together, select the Blend tool and Click on the objects one after another. If you are blended objects with stroke or open paths, Click on the Paths and not on the anchor points to blend objects together without any issues. If you want to blend more than two objects together, Click on all of them in the order you wanted them to be blended in. If you want to blend the number of objects in the separate blends, after you have created the first bland, Command click or Control click in the Windows away from the object to reset the selection. Then proceed with creating the next blend. When you have created blends, you will be able to see them like this on the Layers panel. You can change the order of layers here to control which object is on top. You can also get into the isolation mode when double-clicking on the blend and aided the objects here, the usual way. Change their colors, resize them, move them around, or rotate them. When you are done editing them, remember to exit isolation mode to be able to work with anything else you might have in your document. If you want to release your blend, you can either select your blend and go to the Menu Object, Blend and select Release or drag the objects out of the blend group on the Layers Panel. By default, Illustrator creates move color blends, and this is what we need to create gradients. It works well with any objects within a solid fill color. But when you try to blend stroked paths for gradient fields objects, it might not work as well as we need it to. So if you don't want this effect, which by the way is also quite cool, or if you don't want to have color blends like this, you will need to select the blend you want to edit, choose Blend Tool and press Enter. In this Dialog Window, you need to change the spacing method to specify steps and bump the number up. The maximum number here is 1,000. But don't go crazy as this is a lot of data for Illustrator to process. You can also play around with the Orientation settings here, which allow to either align blended objects to page, which gives them as they are, or allows them to path, which rotates them to be perpendicular to the path every step of the way. So adjust everything you want here and click OK. If you're blending two strokes together, you can also increase stroke weight through weight having gaps between the blend steps. It might not be possible to completely avoid the gaps for color blending. So you need to decide yourself whether you can live with it or carry on adjusting colors and stroke weight until you get a smooth transition. The super cool thing, which is not that obvious with the Blend tool, is that you can control the path the blend follows. This path is called blends spine. You should be able to see it on top inside the Blend Group. To change the way your blend is formed, you can edit it as you would edit any other path using the Direct Selection tool. But that's not all. You can also create the blend spine separately and then replace the existing spine of any blend group. To do this, select the Blend Group and the New Path and go to the Menu Object, Blend and select Replace Spine. This can allow you to create a lot of super cool designs. But generally, I advice you to stick to not very long open paths here. If you go to the Blend Menu, again, you will find a couple more useful functions. One of them allows you to reverse spine. This basically swaps two end objects around. Then, there's another option called Reverse Front to Back, which controls which end of the blend is on top. So these are the gradients related blend tool functions. You can create some variable blends from solid colors, from gradient field or even a gradient stroke objects like this. Remember that you can create blends of multiple objects or paths. So experiment with different shapes and overlapping elements to create some interesting figure-looking shapes. Also don't forget that you can distort blended objects and blend spines using the tools I've shown you in the previous part. 15. Creating Gradient Brushes: Apart from all this experimental blend, you can use the blend tool to create gradients, which then can be used as illustrated brushes, start by zooming in to better see what you're doing. Increase two or more solid shapes, your circles, if you want your brush strokes to have smooth ends, or squares, if you want them to have square ends or if you want to use this brush on closed puffs. Make sure that all objects are of the same size, which is better kept at one pixel, 1.01 millimeter, depending on the units you're using. Horizontally, align your objects to each other, and then create a blend between them, then finalize the colors to create a nice gradient. When you are happy with the gradient created by the blend, open the brush panel, if it is not in your workspace, you can find it in the window menu. Then drug your blend into the panel, release your mouse button when the plus sign appears, and in this menu which will pop up, select ''Art brush'' and click ''Okay''. In the art brush options window, select ''Stretch to fit stroke length'', and indirection, makes sure that it is along your path left to right. In the options here, select, ''Adjust corners and falls to prevent overlaps'', you don't need to do anything else with the rest of the settings, but you can check them out yourself if you want. I'm happy with what I've got here, so I'll click ''Okay'', now I can create any puff and apply this brush to color it. The stroke weight can be now controlled normal way using the stroke panel, if you had one pixel, 1.01 millimeter objects new blend, the stroke weight of the brush will be exactly what you specify here, you can also create a gradient brush, which will cover the puff across. For it, you will need to create a vertical gradient were burned two or more rectangles or line segments together, then drug this blend to the brush panel and repeat the same steps, make sure that the direction of the brush here is across the gradient you have set up. When you create this brush, you can apply to any strokes, but bear in mind that if you have overlapping strokes, you will get this effect. In comparison to the new feature of a plan gradients to strokes which have demonstrated before when you use brushes, you cannot use dashed lines properly, is it treats every part of it as separate objects to color. Also, brushes like this are best for open puffs and this closed puffs, you'll get something like this instead, but again, with a bit of trickery, you can shift the end points from the corners and make gradient brush follow the shape properly. To do this, select the ''Pen tool'' and add a new point somewhere in the middle of the line segment, furthest away from any kings or changes of direction. Then pick the direct selection tool and select this point on the path, then go to the top panel and click on the ''Card button'' here, then select your objects with the selection tool and press ''Command J'' or control J in windows to close the path. If you want to have a lope gradient, then you need to create a gradient art brush, which has the same colors and both ends, is the same principle I've shown you before in the part about strong gradients. When you have a collection of gradient brushes, save them to use in other documents, to do this on the brushes panel, go to the menu in the top right corner and select ''Same brush library'', give your a brush library a name, and click ''Save''. This will save your brushes within the illustrator folder, consider saving a backup copy elsewhere so that you can easily access it if necessary. To load your brush library, go to the same menu, select ''Open rush library'', and find your brushes either in user-defined folder or access it from any other location where you have saved it. 16. Creating and Saving Gradient Swatches: In the beginning of the class, we have created some color swatches to make it easy to use different colors in the gradients. Similar way to the solid color swatches, you can create gradient swatches to be able to quickly fill different shapes with gradients. Gradients swatches can be created from any gradients made using the gradient panel and gradient tool, and they contain color information, but don't take into account position and go for aspect ratio of the gradient. To create a gradient swatch from a gradient filled or stroked object, select this object with the selection tool and make sure that on the tools panel, the attribute which has a gradient applied to it, is on top, then go to the swatches panel and click on the "New Swatch" button here, give your swatch a name, and click okay. The gradient swatch will be added to the main swatches here and you can now apply it to any fields or strokes. If you have a habit of creating swatches by dragging objects into the swatches panel, it won't work with gradients as this will create a pattern swatch and not the gradient swatch. Gradient swatches are not exchangeable between different apps, and even if you add a gradient to your Creative Cloud library, it will only add it as a graphic and not as a gradient swatch. Sometimes this might be useful, but it is always better to save both gradient swatches and the colors using them in the same library. To save a swatch library, remove standards swatches first, if you don't want them to appear in your library, and then, go to this menu in the top right corner of the swatches panel and either select "Save Swatches Library as AI" if you plan to use it in Illustrator only, or select "Save Swatches Library as ASE" if you want to use it in other Adobe programs, the same as with the brush libraries, it makes sense to save this swatches library both with an Illustrator folder and somewhere else for easy access. To load swatches library, go to the same menu and select "Open Swatch Library", and find your library either in "User Defined" folder, or located elsewhere outside the standard swatches folder. 17. Recolouring Gradients and Designs: Illustrator makes it very easy to edit or replace colors in the existing gradients or artworks which feature multiple gradients. The first method I want to show you is very straightforward and relies on having global colors in your gradients. Remember, I told you to convert your colors to global in the very beginning before using them to color anything. This is when it comes in handy if you use global colors in your work. Now, if you modify any of the global colors, this color will change in all artworks has been applied to, even if they are heated. It's great when you need to make a global change of colors across multiple artworks and especially if you need to do some minor adjustments to your gradients. This could be super useful if you need to modify all the colors you use in your work for print, if your original document and the colors were in RGB, so keep global colors in mind for this occasions. Another method I want to show you is a bit more playful and experimental and allows you to change the whole color palette from one place without a lot of effort. Before you do anything to your work, I suggest you make a copy so that you can have variants to choose from and be able to look at how your work develops. Select a copy of your artwork or gradient using the selection tool, and go to the Menu, Edit, Edit Colors and chose Recolor Artwork. If you have the Assign tab on, you can simply click on the other color groups here and see how new colors are applied to your work. Make sure you have Recolor Arts ticked here to see the changes. Here, you can see which old color is replaced by which new one and you can also solve them around by dragging. The arrow between the old and new color, means that this particular old color will be changed. If you click on the arrow, you will see a dash instead and this will turn all the recoloring for this specific color, pay attention to whether you have arrows audacious here and change them according to units. Also, you can go through the colors from your selected color group by clicking on the randomly change color order button until you get the result you like. These can be quite fun and it can allow you to create some unexpected results. Though, remember that since we are dealing with gradients, colors should bend altogether. Independent on what is in your color groups, it might not always be the case, especially if you have color groups based on tetrad upended ground rule. In these cases, the order of the colors is really important and that's when menu reordering of the new colors can come in handy. This is the assigned time. Now, if you click on Edit, you will see the color wheel, which we briefly looked at before. You can make further adjustments to your color wheels by playing around with the settings here. Note that I have got a smooth color wheel set in here, as it shows the whole area of available colors on the color wheel. These two buttons right under the color wheel allow you to change the wheel from hue and saturation one to hue and brightest one. This slide under allows you to control the remaining setting, which is brightness, if you use hue saturation wheel and it is saturation if you use hue and brightness wheel. If your gradient uses colors created using harmony roles, you can click on link harmony colors button here and then move the whole range of colors around the wheel. Make sure to drag by the largest circle, which contains the first color in the set, because this way, you will be able to globally change the situation and brightness of colors. On the other hand, if you drag any other color around to change its saturation or brightness, this will only change this color and everything else will stay where it is on the color wheel, but if you drag it to change the hue, if you have harmony colors linked, all the colors will follow the hue shift. If you want to edit individual colors, you will need to unlink the harmony colors here. You might need this if you want to do some minor hue adjustments of individual colors. If you like, then your set of colors you have created, save it as a new color group by clicking on the "New Color Group" button here. This way, when basing your colors on the harmony rules, you can create a lot of different color groups very quickly. This new color groups will appear on your swatches panel as soon as you apply changes here, but they won't be added to the swatches if you cancel the recoloring here. When you are ready, click "Okay" and you can see your work recolored, and now you can create as many other color-variance as you wish. If the gradient or any artwork you recolor using the recolor artwork tool has any existing gradients, swatches in it, when you apply the recoloring changes to your work and new swatches will be automatically edited to your swatches panel. This way, you can very quickly create a range of gradients swatches which follow the same principle, but use different colors. If you add new swatches this way and see the saving the swatches library again, when you are done. 18. Texturing Gradients and Designs: Smooth gradients are great for viewing on screens, but printing smooth gradients sometimes might be problematic due to the printing equipment limitations. Adding grain to the gradients can make it easier to reproduce them and print. If you're using your gradients on screen, texture can add a different feel to them. There are a number of different ways you can add grain to gradient artworks in Illustrator. Firstly, I want to show you my favorite method which works equally well with individual gradient objects and gradient-based designs. If you have texture and multiple elements like an overall design here, select all of the elements and group them together. Then, having this group selected, go to the "Appearance" panel and there go to the "Menu Effect", "Texture", and choose "Grain". This will open this window in which you can set up the grain effect. You can see how it looks in the preview here. You can zoom in and out to get closer to your intended real size view. Grain effect has a few different controls. The first one to set is contrast as it controls the overall tone of the image. You can set it to 50 percent and it should keep the contrast in the image as it is. But if you choose to change it, check the whole image and make sure that there are no color bands created by your contrast settings. Intensity controls the amount of grain edit to your image. It is pretty straight forward, but the most important here are the grain types in this menu. I recommend using regular or soft if you want to have regular color grain or noise. For sprinkles, if you want to have a warm look. When you change the grain type, make sure to adjust the intensity accordingly. There are other gradient types here, but these three on top are my favorites when it comes to texture and gradients this way. You can toggle the visibility of the effect here to quickly see the before and after. When you are happy with your grain, press "Okay" here to apply this effect. The effect will be edit to the group's appearance here. As with all other appearance attributes, now you can revisit the settings by clicking here. If your grain looks too big, check what the raster effects are set to. To do this, go to the "Menu effect" and click on "Document Raster Effect Settings" and in this window, set the resolution to 300 dpi. This technique is great to texture the work overall, but sometimes it is very useful to be able to texture individual gradient objects, especially if the gradients have some transparency in them. The next technique I am going to show you is great for making gradients with transparency blend in with the background, but it will also work for overall designs and groups of gradient objects. So to start with, select the gradient object you want to texture. Here I have this fading out gradient, and this is what I want to apply a texture to. The first thing I need to do is to duplicate the gradient fill I want to texture and then select the one on top, and go the "Menu", "Effect", "Texture" and again, choose "Grain". In this case, in the grain type, you will need to choose "Strippled" and then you adjust the intensity and contrast as and if necessary. When you are happy with how this grain looks, apply the effect. Then on the appearance panel, go to the gradient attribute to which you have applied the grain effect, and click on it's opacity. Change the Blending Mode to either "Overlay" or "Soft Light", and then adjust the opacity if you want your grain to be more subtle. It is important to remember that the grain which you add to your vector gradient is not a vector, but raster. Up scaling your work with raster effects on afterwards will cause pixelation in your work, so work in your intended size to begin with. 19. Creating Graphic Styles: Except creating gradient swatches, you can also save the appearance settings of your gradient field or stroked objects as graphic styles. Graphic styles are kept in the Graphic Styles panel, which you can open through the Window menu. To add the appearance settings from the selected objects or groups of objects with a graphic styles library, simply select the object and click on the "New Graphic Style" button in the Graphic Styles panel. This will take all of the appearance attributes you can see on the appearance panel and put them in a style which now can be applied to any other objects. To apply a graphic style, simply select what you want to apply it to and select the desired graphic style here. This will replace the appearance attributes of the object with the appearance attributes saved in the graphic style. Alternatively, if you click on the "Graphic Style" here, it will emerge a graphic style with the existing appearance attributes of the selected object group. So you can work with all the attributes together or add extra attributes. For example, a Grain effect on top of everything else you have here. I recommend you to create graphic styles based on your experiments especially if it involves multiple fills, multiple strokes, and effects, as it will save you a lot of time and it'll make it super easy to recreate certain effects and appearances. To use the styles you've created later on in other projects, you will need to save your graphic styles as a separate library by going to the menu here. The same as with the swatches and brushes, save your graphic style library in the illustrator folder, and keep a backup somewhere else. To load your graphic styles in future, go to this menu and select "Open Graphics Style Library", and find your library on the list in the user-defined section or elsewhere on your computer. 20. Exporting Your Work: When you're finished, save your final work as an AI file. Then let's start with exporting it for digital use. To export your artwork, go to "Menu File", "Export", "Export As". Pick the desired format here. I'm going to export my work as JPEG as it produces smaller files than PNG when you use gradients, which is better for publishing online. You can choose either. Give your file a descriptive name here, then select art boards you want to export. Even if you just have one art board in your document, you still need to specify art board number here. Click "Export" to continue. In the next options window, select "RGB" color mode, and set up your desired quality. I usually go for the maximum quality. Choose the desired resolution. I usually export everything at 300 DPI to start with, and then work with JPEG and PNG files further in Photoshop if necessary. Exporting as 300 DPI takes much longer and produces larger files. If you want to export your work and quickly upload it online, you can choose 72 DPI instead. Make sure to select art optimize anti-aliasing to avoid having rough edges and blends, gaps between the puffs, and other graphic artifacts. Embed the standard as RGB profile to ensure that your colors will be displayed correctly. Click "Ok" to export your work and you're all set for sharing your work. Using gradients in the work for print is always met with a from, from the print technicians, as they believe that gradients don't print well. Of course, it depends on the equipment, but it also hugely depends on what gradients you use in your work, which we have already covered. If you have been working in RGB, now it's time to save a copy of your document. Then convert it to CMYK by going to the menu file, document color mode, and choosing CMYK. At this point, you might notice all your colors getting dimmer. That's normal. If you have used global colors in your work, which you should have, now you can go through them and adjust them if necessary. Double-click on the color you want to edit and in this window, choose CMYK mode, and then go and work with the values here. Remember that what you see on your screen is not necessarily how your work will look when printed. It's always a good idea to produce some tests prints, especially if your planning a large print from. Contact your print shop. If you have a color guide, for example, pantone color bridge, you can reference it for the specific CMYK values for your desired colors. Go for all of the colors used in your document, which need adjusting. When ready, export your work as TIFF because rasterized gradients stand a better chance of being printed well. Again, select the art board you want to export and click "Export". In the next window, set color model to CMYK and resolution to 300 DPI. Then make sure that you have Art Optimized, Anti-aliasing selected here. Check LZW compression if you want to produce smaller files. If you have installed the color profile used by your printer, then you can specify it here. Alternatively, embed the standard profile or keep it unchecked and [inaudible] to your print shop. Press "Ok" and you're done. 21. Final Thoughts & Conclusion: When creating gradient artworks and designs, explore how different colors work together and play off each other, and keep in mind all the technical rules for creating good gradients. You don't necessarily need to create super bright gradients. There are plenty of other options depending on what you want to achieve so experiment and check out my Gradients Pinterest board for inspiration. It would be awesome to see your gradient experiments in the project for this class. Start your project today with posting colors which inspire you and which you want to use in your gradient designs and share your progress as you develop your work. Remember, for the first few weeks of this class, we will be running a special contest. Make sure to post your gradient experiments before Monday, April 17th, 2017. To participate and check out all the contest details in the community board for this class. We love to see the projects done in our classes on Instagram so please tag attitudeskills and check out our Instagram profile for updates. That's it for this class. I hope you have enjoyed it and learned something new. If you liked this class, please leave review so more people could discover it. Don't hesitate to follow us here on Skillshare to be the first to know about our new classes. If you have any questions, please leave a comment on the community board from this class and I will happily answer and provide feedback. Also, be sure to check out and follow our page in Facebook to see what we're up to, get all the latest updates, send us private messages, if you need to get in touch about something, and not to miss, if you are featured in our students' photo and gallery. Thank you for watching this class and I hope to see you in our other classes. 22. Bonus: Making of Layered Organic Design: 23. Bonus: Making of Vector Illustration with Gradient Brushes: 24. Bonus: Making of Vector Illustration with Fill & Stroke Gradients: