I'd like to create a rectangle (in a vector graphics format) that has a gradient in black/white. The difficult part here is that I'd want it to follow a curve similar to the gradient in the image below. The image has distinct borders/regions. Advice for creating both a gradient with distinct regions as well as a smooth gradient will be appreciated! I've not yet decided whether to go with distinct regions or not.

enter image description here

How do I do create a gradient like that in InDesign / Illustrator / Photoshop / Xara Designer Pro? I am not particularly skilled in any of the programs.

  • 2
    Have you tried using a gradient mesh yet? It might not be exactly what you're looking for, but it could be worth trying. helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/how-to/…
    – Vicki
    Oct 27, 2015 at 22:32
  • Thanks, but I haven't been able to get a nice result with it. I'll try again. Any other suggestions?
    – pir
    Oct 29, 2015 at 14:52
  • You might be able to achieve similar results using gaussian blur. This would allow you to easily create the distinct shapes.
    – AndrewH
    Oct 29, 2015 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


This is easily done in Illustrator using the blend feature. Copy the original shape and paste the copy in front of the original. Reduce the height and width to where you want the gradient to stop. Round the corners of the smaller shape. Color the background rectangle with the darkest color of your gradient. Color the smaller, rounded shape with the lightest color of your gradient. Select both shapes and create a blend (Object>Blend...>Make). By default you should see a smooth gradient from the back to the front. If you do not see a smooth gradient, select the blend object and edit the blend options (Object>Blend...>Blend Options). Select "Smooth Color" and click OK. The attached image shows an example of "Smooth Color" next to "Specified Steps" (5 steps). Good luck!
enter image description here

  • To clarify: My attached image is the cropped lower left corner of a larger object. That is why the top and right edges do not appear to fade with the gradient.
    – 13ruce
    Oct 29, 2015 at 16:23

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