I want to create a block of colours like this (from top left c:0 m:0 y: k:0 to bottom right c:100 m:0 y:0 k:0) enter image description here There are 100 colours there and I am currently doing a line of 10 with a fade with 10 steps and then duplicated that down. I then added a white line grid to make colour difference more apparent.

Is there a way to fade from top left to bottom right and get a blocky effect without having to do it a line at a time? Do note that each square above has no gradient in itself.

I need to make about 100 pages and want a quicker way to do this. I can use either photoshop (preferable) or illustrator.

  • Welcome Aasim! Methods are different based on the application being use. It's possible in several apps. Pick which app you want, otherwise this question is merely too board in my opinion.
    – Scott
    Sep 25, 2014 at 22:30
  • well it was only three programs but I've reduced it to just photoshop (preferable) and illustrator
    – Aasim Azam
    Sep 25, 2014 at 22:33
  • 1
    100 pages!? I'd consider scripting this.
    – DA01
    Sep 26, 2014 at 4:14
  • The tricky part here is that you don't have a linear gradient going from corner-to-corner, but line-by-line.
    – DA01
    Sep 26, 2014 at 4:15

3 Answers 3


I'd stick to Illustrator just because it's so easy there....

There's no real benefit to using Photoshop if you have access to Illustrator.

  • Draw a rectangle
  • Choose Object > Path > Split Into Grid...
  • Set the number of rows and columns you want in addition to the gutter between them
  • Fill the shapes with your gradient
  • Use the Gradient Tool to position the gradient.

gradient grid

Note: The gradient here isn't very smooth, but that was done intentionally to reduce the file size of the animation.

Realize that I just applied one gradient over the entire area, but your sample is actually a more complex gradient. You would need to select each row of boxes and apply the correct gradient for that row rather than applying one sweeping gradient.

Copy/Paste into Photoshop as a smart object if that's where you need it.

You could also copy/paste into Photoshop as a shape layer then apply a gradient to it in Photoshop (You'll lose the gradient fill when pasting as a shape layer.)


Follow these steps in Adobe Illustrator:

1) Create a small box in the top left corner of your artboard. enter image description here

2) Do the same for the other corners of the grid. enter image description here

3) Choose desired colors

4) Blend the 2 columns with the blend tool and choose the amount of steps you want enter image description here

5) Expand the blends with Object > Expand (or Expand Appearance)

enter image description here 6) Now blend the two groups together.

enter image description here

The key here is to expand the two blends before blending them together.

Hope this helps.

  • Great! This has made it so easy! Only one slight problem, there are 100 squares so the numbers should cycle through from 0-100 but some are duplicated, but it isn't too many so some manual changing is ok.
    – Aasim Azam
    Sep 26, 2014 at 23:47

For Photoshop

  • Edit: * As pointed out in the comments, this uses a linear gradient, rather than progressing row-wise. For a quick adjustment to make it work correctly see comment at the end.

This will create a square (500x500 pixels) gradient grid with 10x10 colours. For other dimensions, start with a square and change the image size before adding the lines.

  1. Create a new document 500x500 pixels.

  2. For your foreground/background colours choose white and cyan, respectively, by manually setting the cmyk values in the colour chooser.

  3. Place vertical guides at 50px and 450px. Do the same for two horizontal guides.

enter image description here

  1. Select the gradient tool. Ensure that you have white as your foreground colour and choose 'foreground to background' in the gradient settings.

  2. Draw a gradient going from the top-left intersection of the guides to the bottom-right intersection. It should look like this:

enter image description here

  1. Now apply a mosaic filter to the gradient layer (Filter > Pixelate > Mosaic...) Set the Cell size to 50. Hit OK. This creates the basic grid. And your screen will look something like this:

enter image description here

  1. To create the grid lines, select the "line" shape tool (click and hold the shape tool from the tools palette.

  2. Draw a single vertical white line along the first vertical guide (left hand side). You can move it after, but it's important to have it exactly in line with this guide.

  3. Duplicate the line 8 times (cmd+j on mac, ctrl+j win). You will now have 9 vertical white lines, all on top of each other. Select them all in the layers palette and group them (cmd+g mac, ctrl+g win). Name the group vertical lines.

  4. Next move one of the lines to be exactly in line with the second vertical guide (right hand side).

  5. Make sure your "move" tool is active (hit v) and select all of the lines again. Now click on "distribute horizontal centres" (top toolbar). This will space the vertical lines out evenly.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  1. Now duplicate the vertical lines group and name it horizontal lines.

enter image description here

  1. Select the horizontal lines group and go to (Edit > Transform > Rotate). Now rotate the group be 90 degrees. (Holding shift while moving the handles will make it snap to 45 degrees, then 90 degrees).

  2. Check that the lines at the top and bottom are aligned to your guides.

  3. Your done!

enter image description here


  • If you want thicker white divider lines, just change this in the shape settings.

  • The colour of the top-left & bottom right squares should be exactly right, but might not be. If necessary, just flood fill those at the end. The intermediate squares will be close enough ;)

Hope that helps!

  • This is really good. However, the one catch is that I don't think the original gradient is linear. It goes line-by-line.
    – DA01
    Sep 26, 2014 at 4:15
  • @DA01: You're absolutely right! Somehow I completely missed that. Hmm... So, how about this: Make a single row 50x5000, apply the same mosaic filter with the same settings as above. Make a new blank doc 500x500 and transplant 1x10 sections into it, one row at a time. Not so elegant, but I think it would achieve the correct result.
    – Pog Le Pog
    Sep 26, 2014 at 10:44

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