Is there a name for this effect and what would be the best way to achieve it in Photoshop or Illustrator in terms of filling a different vector shape with a similar distribution of rainbow circles?

umbrella foundation logo

Another example:

enter image description here

I did something like this long ago, but it was painstakingly slow by hand and I'm sure there's a better way.

  • As already posted by John this question has been asked before. If you feel your question may be different please edit your question so we may best answer it.
    – user9447
    Apr 24, 2013 at 1:38
  • 3
    Umbrella Corporation is trying to hide under a new logo. Don't fall for it, people!
    – Joonas
    Apr 24, 2013 at 8:05
  • Thanks John. 'Particles of varying sizes' was the search term I was looking for! Apr 24, 2013 at 11:28
  • @Christopher Cool, glad that helped. I originally edited the term into that other question, but didn't give any background because it wasn't so relevant there; I've added an answer here that explains the background a little bit. Apr 24, 2013 at 12:55

3 Answers 3


To some degree this can be accomplished via scripting and Illustrator. Check THIS THREAD at Adobe.com. NOTE; it seems the link in the thread to version 1.2 of the script is broken. However the link to version 1.1 earlier in the thread still seems to work.

User Jongware has written a script for Illustrator which fills shapes with various sized circles. Adding the gradients afterward is a simple matter.

This may save a bit of time over a hand placed method.


That kind of effect is sometimes described as 'particles'. Effects like it on a large scale are often created using particle generators in rendering software like those in Adobe After Effects, 3D software or in HTML5.

In a logo, however, it's more likely to be done by hand in regular design software, for fine control - but the term is sometimes still used because the final effects are often similar.

Here's a fun interactive particle version of the Google logo from Google Labs nicely demonstrating the overlap between hand-controlled design and live, software-driven dynamic particles. Each particle / blob / dot / circle's position has been carefully set by some designer, and they've also been programmed to have particular behaviours based on what the mouse pointer is doing.

Static screenshots: enter image description here

enter image description here


I'd call it 'dots'.

And I can't imagine there's a better way than by hand--at least for the level of detail you're going for.

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