So, I've got a rectangular little/logo banner thing drawn up in Adobe Illustrator:

enter image description here

And I want to fade out to nothing around the edges relative to a new shape; in this case, an ellipse.

enter image description here

Here it is again with the fading part overlaid in pink for clarity. So it's like a frame within a frame.

enter image description here

Using a raster image editor, I managed to hack together an approximation of what I'm going for.

enter image description here

  • Huh? Not sure I get it. You will need an Opacity Mask to fade softly to transparency SEE HERE, which is generally a bad idea for a logo. Clipping masks will not "fade softly". – Scott Dec 19 '18 at 20:25
  • @Scott What don't you get? It's not complicated. The pink overlay represents the fade. The fade begins where the pink meets the black. So it's like.. cropping the corners but the edges bleed out. – voices Dec 19 '18 at 21:05
  • I don't "get" .. what is to fade. A logo or that black ellipse?? Is type supposed to be hidden by the fade? – Scott Dec 19 '18 at 22:01


  • Fill = none
  • Stroke = Black
  • Opacity = 100%


  • Fill = none
  • Stroke = Black
  • Opacity = 0%


  • Select both shapes
  • Menu Object > Blend > Make
  • Menu Object > Blend > Blend Options > Specified Steps > Increase the number

enter image description here


Thanks for the edit. Much Clearer (and easier to accomplish) than it appeared initially.

All you need is an ellipses with a soft edge. That can be accomplished a couple ways:

1.) The Feather Effect

Draw the ellipse and merely choose Effect > Stylize > Feather and enter a value. The higher the value the more the edge will blur. This blends inward from the edge of the ellipse.

enter image description here


2). A Gradient

Draw the ellipse and fill it with a black to black radial gradient. Yes, set both color stops to the same color. However, set one color stop's opacity to 0%.

enter image description here

Switch to the Gradient Tool and using the on screen Gradient Annotator you can alter the gradient to match the shape of the ellipse, control where the drop off occurs, etc. This method gives more "live" control.

enter image description here

For an actual logo using soft edges, such as this, is generally a bad idea. But I don't know the actual implementation you may be envisioning.

  • Right, so I have the rectangular graphic. And now I have an ellipse. What's next? Do I use it to make a clipping mask or something? I mean, I can make an ellipse, no problems. It's the subtractive part that's tricky. Or are you saying I should just start from scratch? – voices Dec 20 '18 at 16:29
  • @tjt263 That's the part you haven't really explained in the question. Is the rectangle something more than merely a color? Why do you even need the rectangle at all?? – Scott Dec 20 '18 at 17:58
  • I don't know what else to tell you, man. Start with this, end with that. I like your diagrams and animations though. – voices Dec 21 '18 at 18:01
  • Okay, well if you can't explain I surely can't assist. Good luck! I hope you get it figured out. – Scott Dec 21 '18 at 18:19
  • I've explained it. I've illustrated it. We've discussed it. There's not much else I can tell you. You get it right? – voices Dec 21 '18 at 20:02

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