If you take this image: spiral image

Is it possible to make a gradient in Illustrator that follows that path? I made something similar (just not with a single path, but with the pen tool) and I want to have the gradient follow the shape, but instead it just goes either linear (top to bottom) or radial (from the inside out). I want to have the start of the spiral lighter and than the tip in the center to be darker.

  • Yes, but it depends on AI version....
    – Ilan
    Oct 31, 2014 at 10:20
  • I have Illustrator CS6.
    – Spyron
    Oct 31, 2014 at 10:52
  • 1
    You should differentiate the PATH and SHAPE which is in your case may be expanded path. I answered the Q assuming you have a path, and if you don't - create it :)
    – Ilan
    Oct 31, 2014 at 11:13

3 Answers 3


Look at the images - you choose the same options and get the result -

You select the path and invoke GRADIENT panel where you choose between 3 STROKE options according to the desired effect:

enter image description here


enter image description here


enter image description here

  • 3
    Ilan it's the correct answer, but I think it's lacking textual content. Search engines will only be able to read: Look at the images - you choose the same options and get the result - or or as the answer. Answering all how-to's like this will negatively impact SEO. I really wish you would write out some step-by-step instructions for your answers.
    – Dom
    Nov 4, 2014 at 18:26
  • @MrE.Upvoter Added text explanation with keywording.
    – Ilan
    Nov 7, 2014 at 20:40

There is now a "Apply gradient along stroke" setting in the Gradient panel of Illustrator CC. My current version is 20.0.0. Just adding this for googlers.

Gradient Panel > Add gradient along stroke


I'm creator of ruri.design/splines that allows to do same thing and more:

  • it's free
  • works more like a brush, that you draw with path tool
  • you can change shape thats used for drawing curve

Here are some samples i've created with it enter image description here

Disclosure - this is self promo, if you feel it does not fit here, i'll remove it.

  • You, hopefully, realize that Adobe Illustrator is a vector application. Your web-based app appears to only export a raster format (PNG). Or I'm unable to find any mechanism to change that. While the physical operation of creating a path and applying a gradient to it, is nice in your app. The lack of actual vector output makes this completely miss the point of the question. For raster output there are dozens of application capable of a gradient along a path. I don't feel this actually answers the question.
    – Scott
    Apr 19, 2022 at 14:50
  • @Scott You, hopefully, realise that 'gradient across path' effect is NOT supported by SVG format, therefore when exporting it from Illustrator, you get false impression of getting SVG, where in fact you get png;base64 image wrapped within <svg> tag. Using SVG like this is basically same as using PNG.
    – Klavs
    Apr 19, 2022 at 17:51
  • Yes. But there's nothing in the question about actual usage.. It asked how to in illustrator, a vector editor. You are making a leap to assume SVG is wanted or desired. What if the user is designing for print and needs vector output? As I commented, if you want a png then your tool may be great, but if you want vector its not viable. I'm not trying to be defamatory towards your tool. I'm merely saying, at face value, it's not a good tool if vector output is desired.
    – Scott
    Apr 19, 2022 at 17:54
  • It can be frustrating when developers overlook the entire point of working in vector. Just because something is possible in raster formats, that does not mean it's automatically viable substitute to working in vector. At best, it's a "as good as possible" substitute. (Note event huge corporations fall into this same pitfall at times.) If an entire piece is vector and this user needs a gradient along a path.. the best they could do with your app, is export a PNG and then use raster content in their vector layout.
    – Scott
    Apr 19, 2022 at 18:05
  • In short... far be it for me to tell someone they can't self-promote. It's perfectly fine here with disclosure. But, first and foremost should be to actually answer the posed question, which this does not in my opinion. But I'm just user, same as you.
    – Scott
    Apr 19, 2022 at 18:14

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