Illustrator: How to add 3 or 4 part gradient to this logo? I don't want it to a smooth gradient but a block-like looking gradient.

enter image description here

Example 'block-like looking gradient':

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    I don't know about anyone else, but I have no idea what kind of gradient you want. Maybe you have an example image? By the way, this starts to feel like the community here is doing your job for you, or at least holding your hand firmly as you go forward with it.. – Joonas Nov 7 '12 at 9:36
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    @Joonas: agree with first point, disagree with second as long as the questions are well written and potentially useful to others. – e100 Nov 7 '12 at 10:48
  • I think he simply meant to comment on the fact that this shape stems from a question how to make the shape. And perhaps now we get to live the entire process of creating this logo with him. Maybe expecting text placement as a next question (and so on). And no, there is nothing wrong with the question itself. – KMSTR Nov 7 '12 at 11:30
  • What exactly is a "block-like" gradient? Wouldn't that simply be color areas and not gradients at all? – Scott Nov 7 '12 at 11:56
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    Well I have no clue what it is you're looking for. It does seem as though you want a very specific shape with a very specific appearance and you want exact steps to achieve that - I really don't know how anyone is going to match what you're envisioning. – Scott Nov 7 '12 at 17:14

So you're looking to create something like this? Where it's not a gradient, but blocks of solid colour coming in from the outlines creating a gradient-like blocky slightly 1970s effect? (not sure what a name for that would be either...)

enter image description here

If that's what you're trying to do, it's pretty simple in terms of tools, there's basically two tools you need to know about:

  • Offset path (Object > Path > Offset Path). This creates a copy that is either bigger or smaller by a fixed amount
  • Multiple strokes, inside and outside aligned. Open up the massively important appearance window if you don't have it out all the time already (Windows > Appearance), then use the add stroke button at the bottom to plonk any number of additional strokes of any colour on your shape. Then, in the Stroke window, so long as they are closed paths, you can use the 'Align stroke' buttons to move it from following the middle of the path to the inside or outside.

There are lots of ways to use this to create effects like those you linked to. I used offset path to get a slightly larger copy, pushed it to the back, and gave each path an inside and an outside stroke. You could just pile on loads of progressively larger inside strokes for effects more like this...

enter image description here


If you don't want the lines to be so regular - if you want them to fade in more progressively, that's kinda a different question, but play around with drawing a very thin version of the path of a different colour inside the original path, then select both, blend them (Object > Blend > Make), then in Object > Blend > Blending options, choose an appropriate fixed number of steps. Then, if you need more colour variety, expand the blend (Object > expand), and give each block the right colour.

The advantage of blends is more control. Here's an ugly but illustrative example of a simple blend between the original shape and a white shape added on top. You can have as many stages as needed in a blend. See also this related question for other ways to get blend-like concentric effects.

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  • Yeah thanks, I was considering using the Path Offset feature although there is no way moving the gradient to make the effect look more 3D. – Josh Nov 7 '12 at 13:32
  • Move to look more 3D... you mean making the effect asymetrical so it's like a tunnel going in or out? That should really be part of the question... but you can get there by doing the above then outlining the strokes so they become objects you can move around. Although, for things like that, blends would be better, I've editted in an example image. – user56reinstatemonica8 Nov 7 '12 at 13:41

I think you could just use multiple strokes applied to the base shape.

You can add strokes in the Appearance panel flyout or via a button along it's bottom edge. The thickness would increase as you go down in stacking order.

Be sure to Align stroke to inside in the Stroke panel. It's the middle stroke alignment button.

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  • Sounds a bit like my second image example, piling on loads of progressively larger inside strokes ;) – user56reinstatemonica8 Nov 7 '12 at 16:56

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