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Although I am an experienced designer, there is something I always struggle with and I feel it is something that subconsciously makes me hate working with or creating vector art and graphics. I struggle with gradients and the way they work or the way I think they work. Maybe I don't understand Illustrator but that's how I go about it.

enter image description here

The real QUESTION: Is there a better way to create gradients? I usually make some logo and I avoid gradients in logos, so I never researched if there is a better way to color these gradients. I feel there is and I need your help because what I do is confusing me.

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  • I'd suggest checking out the help files. It's possible drag from the color or swatches panels to gradient stops, one can double-click a gradient stop, you can choose the color palette rather than the color books in the gradient panel, etc. I'm sure someone will post a "lesson in gradients", but all the information regarding basic operations is in the help files.
    – Scott
    Jun 27 at 19:48
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    @Scott Really? Maybe we should write this "it's all in the help files" and close StackExchange. The funny thing is in the help you link, they say to pick a color from the available swatches but they are limited. When I click the stop of the gradient it offers Grayscale picker. I need to switch to RGB but as I demonstrated, the second stop is also Grayscale and I find it weird and strange. That's why I ask for a better way. I counted 9 clicks to get a custom gradient and 4 of them are to switch Grayscale to RGB. Can you create a custom gradient with less than 9 clicks?
    – Komental
    Jun 27 at 20:39
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    You need to click the color palette icon on the Color Panel SEE HERE --This is essentially basic operations of the application. This isn't anything overly complicated or in depth. All it takes is an understanding of the basic operations. While stack certainly exists to help users, some effort should be made by the users to understand their tools. The help files do exactly that. Should a user run into difficulty with basic operations, the help files should be the first step they take in an effort to resolve their issue.
    – Scott
    Jun 27 at 21:05
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    It's really just a matter of understanding what can be done... you don't have to click gradient stops. You can drag/drop -- or from Swatches. I really don't want to come across as being difficult or obstinate, but this is all detailed in the help files. In fact, there's even a video tutorial on using gradients.All this information from Adobe is exactly what you are asking about. The help files cover your issues if you'd merely look at them.
    – Scott
    Jun 27 at 23:58
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    The default white to black gradient is indeed a greyscale gradient. If you want a different default gradient, you need to edit the startup documents and here
    – Scott
    Jun 28 at 1:12
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The Gradient Panel will revert to whatever color palette you have specified in the Color Panel. This is why you are having to work around that every time you want to add color your gradient- the Color Panel palette is set to Grayscale.

Simply open the Color Panel and set it to RGB (or whatever) from the hamburger menu in the upper right corner. Then each time you double click the color stop the palette that you want will come up.


EDIT- After further investigation... I do not use the Gradient Panel this way- I simply drag a swatch to a color stop then adjust the color sliders from there.

It seems the Color Panel will stay in Grayscale (which is the problem you are having) if the item you had selected previous to that is set to Grayscale. You can have 3 objects- one set to Grayscale in the Color Panel, and one set to RGB. The third object will take on the color palette of whichever one you had previously selected.

Not sure this helps- it almost seems like a bug to me...


Another extra- if you prefer the "Photoshop Style" Color Picker (I never use it)- Select the Gradient Tool (or select Edit Gradient from the Gradient Panel). Select one of the color stops (either in the Gradient Panel or on the Gradient Tool itself) and then double click the Fill Box in either the Tool Panel or in the Gradient Panel and the "Color Picker" will open and you can choose your color from there .

enter image description here

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  • Thanks for sharing. The problem is that the default gradient is Grayscale. Both stops are grayscale and they reset the color panel to Grayscale. Your method does seem to work, I click the first stop, Color panel sets to grayscale but if I double click that fill box it does allow me to pick a color for the stop. Weird but true. It doesn't save clicks but it makes more sense + I like the PS color picker. Your method is the best so far and I actually like it. One bad moment is the gradient doesn't change until I press OK, so no preview but it's OK, because usually I know what color hue I want.
    – Komental
    Jun 28 at 2:58

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