I am trying to make an app icon by following the guidelines given here in Adobe Illustrator, but I am unable to figure out how to generate the colors for tint, shade and shadow. Can anyone help me with that?

Thank You.

  • Hi Aakaash, thanks for your question. Could you tell us what you tried that didn't work? Always good to show some effort, and your chances for a good answer increase. If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
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2 Answers 2


There are two easy ways:

  1. Use the Color Guide palette. Open the Color Guide options to control the number of steps and variation between steps. Color Guide palette in illustrator
  2. There is a script called "Add Highlight And Shadow Swatches" that does exactly that. You'd need to adjust the values manually in the script, though.
  • I tried the Color Guide but it makes the shades by adding black to the base color. But according to what Google has given in material design Image I need to make Blue overlapped with Indigo 900 20%. I am not able to get that. Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 15:09
  • Then I think you will have to do it manually. make a square, overlap it with the blue as specified and make a swatch from the resulting color.
    – spiral
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 9:01

I don't know how Illustrator calculates the Tints and Shades, but when I use these swatches for suggesting 3d objects, sometimes the shades look too grey and light.

Shade looking too grey

So far, the best I found is double clicking on the Fill-square, switching to HSL mode and sliding the brightness slider down.

Using the Fill-square and the Brightness slider

This give me usually better results:

enter image description here

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