I am looking to create a flare effect which will be printed in white ink onto a black colorplan stock. The flare will need to be seperated into two layers, the center spot, and the background flare. I created a simple flare in Illustrator for visual reference (right) and then tried to create my own version using Illustrators blend mode (left). I am struggling to create the smooth transition to black from the outside edge of the flare.

The spot is pure white, and the flare is 5% white tint.

Any help would be great!

enter image description here

  • What do you consider a "smooth transition"? It looks pretty smooth to me so far. May 3, 2018 at 14:48
  • 1
    Hi Stuart, Welcome to GD.SE. Speak to your printer before you do another thing. Printing white on black is nearly impossible. The effect you strive for may not be possible to do in the manner you plan to use.
    – Stan
    May 3, 2018 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


Why a blend?

You can merely use a Radial Gradient In Illustrator....

enter image description here

Of course, for reproduction, you will most likely want a black gradient, not a white one.

enter image description here

Black would represent where the varnish is applied. You wouldn't set up white artwork unless you intend to either knockout the areas in white, or actually print white ink. White ink isn't common in traditional offset printing (but it's not impossible either). You might want to discuss with your print provider what is the optimum set up for the "flare".

I don't really understand why you'd need 2 parts, unless it's something like a double-pass of the varnish. If that's the case, you can merely draw a secondary circle to cover the center spot of the gradient.

  • I am not sure if screened varnish will work well.
    – Rafael
    May 3, 2018 at 20:10
  • Me either @Rafael which is why I suggested speaking with the production house :) I was merely focused on the blend aspect.
    – Scott
    May 3, 2018 at 20:13
  • The printer has suggested supplying it in two parts, as the white ink isnt 100% opaque and will require a few hits. The white spot might require 8, while the flare may only require 2. Thanks for your reply and information, ill give it a go and get back to you. My main issue is that the outside edge of the flare is srill quite hard, I can clearly see the circle edge, whereas on the righthandside version, the edges are a bit more blurred.
    – Stuart
    May 9, 2018 at 8:16
  • The radial gradient creates an identitcal result to the blend mode, a flare that still has a somewhat defined edge
    – Stuart
    May 9, 2018 at 9:20

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