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I need to recreate the gradient settings in letters in Adobe Illustrator (below you can find one example letter in .ai file). Is it possible?

letter G (cs6).ai

I do not know this program very well (normally I'm using only Photoshop). I can not find in AI any settings anywhere that contain gradient parameters.

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This particular example was done with a light colored shape above the other one which is semi-transparent with a gradient on it.

That produces the effect

enter image description here


  1. To make it, select your letter and clone it, now with one copy selected; Right Click → Create Outlines (Shift+Ctrl+O).

This will make a copy of your letter into a path which you can apply gradients to.

  1. Open the Gradient Panel Window→Gradient (Ctrl+F9) and apply a gradient to your outlined letter path.

The gradient should be a composed of 2 sliders of the same lighter color and should have 0% opacity on one slider, and a higher (not 100%) on the other.

Gradient sliders

  1. Set your gradient to 90° (so it goes top-bottom).

90° angle


If you also want that outlined effect, you can select your path and go to Object→Path→Offset Path and do -2 and hit ok.

Note, you will have to ungroup it and delete the first one, as offset path will create an additional path.

  • Thank you for the quick reply. I know this is a beginner's question but with an orange letter G what should I do next to achieve this effect. I will be grateful for the explanation or link to some tutorial. – Verbatus Mar 7 at 22:45
  • @Verbatus I've updated my answer. – WELZ Mar 7 at 22:56
  • Thank you for the exact explanation. Now everything seems logical but it would be hard for me to come to it myself. :) – Verbatus Mar 9 at 15:37
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I took a look at how the letterform G you had as an .ai file was structured, and found that I agree with @WELZ - it was layered elements on top of one another - all separate.

IMHO this is a non-optimal workflow in Illustrator, as it makes it hard to reproduce things.

My approach to this kind of thing is a bit different: I use the Appearance Palette, add new fills (in this case a white to transparent gradient) and set effects on them (such as Path>Offset with a -0.33 mm offset in this case) and set the appropriate opacity (screen at ~ 33) to get our required effect.

enter image description here

Once I have that prototyped correctly, I save it as a Graphic Style, and then apply that to new elements as I desire:

enter image description here

And in case it's not clear: one nice thing about the graphic style approach is you can apply it to multiple entities simultaneously, and it works pretty well irrespective of specific geometry, provided you've set your offsets correctly:

enter image description here

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