How to create a gold text effect in illustrator

Written by ken burnside Google
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How to create a gold text effect in illustrator
Illustrator's Effects menu allows you to make patina and metallic-coloured text patterns easily. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Adobe Illustrator has a number of effects filters that are direct ports from Photoshop, starting with Illustrator CS3 and later. These effects include a number of settings that make doing metallic text effects as easy (or easier) in Illustrator than they are in Photoshop, with greater control over gradient fills and all the benefits of vector graphics, such as being scalable. Metallic text effects are used in logo design, and this is a good technique for a logo designer or corporate graphic designer to pick up.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Start Illustrator with a blank document. Create a background that's 80 per cent grey by using the Rectangle tool and filling the entire art board area. Click on the fill colour and set it to CMYK values of 10-20-70-0, which will be a very bright yellow.

  2. 2

    Create a new layer, and select the Text tool. Enter the text you want to use, and then adjust the font and size to match what you want for the logo. When in doubt on logo design, go for wider kerning (space between letters) and thick fonts with no serifs. After you are happy with the font and have edited for grammar and spelling, select the text and click on the "Type" menu, selecting "Create Outlines." This will turn the letters from fonts (and editable text) into Illustrator drawing objects.

  3. 3

    Click the Gradient panel from the right side of the screen, popping it out. You will want a linear gradient, with the angle set to 90 degrees. This will create a black and white gradient that's black at the top of the text and white at the bottom. At the bottom of the gradient panel will be a slider with a diamond-shaped handle at the top and a pair of box-shaped sliders at the bottom. The bottom sliders control the colour of the gradient.

  4. 4

    Click on the white slider on the Gradients palette, and then click on the small downward pointing chevron at the upper right of the Colors palette; you'll get an opportunity to change the colour to CMYK. Make the CMYK values 10-20-70-0.

  5. 5

    Click on the "Color" panel and set the colour to black. You can do this by clicking the solid black box. Then, click on the colour swatch (the black square) and drag your mouse to the slider on the gradient panel. This will create a second slider under the handle, coloured black. You can drag the three sliders for black, gold and black around to set the values desired, and you can change the tint of the black colour to something lighter (15 per cent black will work well).

  6. 6

    Click on the graphic to make sure it's selected, and then click on the "Effects" menu. Under the Photoshop Effects section of the menu, select "Texture." In the sub-menu that comes out, select "Grain." Set the grain to a horizontal grain, and move the contrast slider to 1 per cent. Then, set the Intensity slider to 5 per cent.

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