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Mar 06

Elegant gradient ribbon in Illustrator

2009 at 05.38 pm posted by Veerle Pieters

One of the Duoh! dot com illustrations called Grafiek Grafik Grafico has this special shape which I thought would be ideal for a tutorial.

Flow

Draw a circle

Draw a circle

Draw a circle using the Ellipse tool holding down the Shift key and apply a linear gradient at 90°.

Cut in half and duplicate

Cut in half and duplicate

Select the Direct Selection tool (white arrow), select the most right anchor point of the circle and hit delete. Click and drag the 1/2 circle to the right holding down both the Shift key and Option/Alt key. The Option/Alt key is to duplicate the object and the Shift key is to make sure you drag this shape perfectly horizontally.

Join the segments

Join the segments

With the Direct Selection tool (white arrow) still selected, drag a selection over the top most anchor points. Go to Object > Path > Join or hit Cmd/Ctrl + J. Do the same for the bottom anchor points as shown in the image above. The shape should be perfectly closed now.

Rotate duplicate at 180°

Rotate duplicate at 180°

Make sure Smart Guides is turned on: View > Smart Guides. Select the Rotate tool and click precisely in the bottom right anchor point. If you hold down the Option/Alt key you get a window. Enter a value of -180° and select Copy. Or you can also click without holding down the Option/Alt key and drag the shape holding down both the Option/Alt key and Shift key as shown in the image above.

Apply gradient

Apply gradient

Apply a new gradient by adjusting the bottom color as shown in the example above.

Rotate duplicate at 180° both objects

Now select the Selection tool (black arrow) and select both shapes. Click precisely in the bottom left anchor point. You can do this again holding down the Option/Alt key and enter a value of -180° and hit Copy or drag 'by hand' holding down both the Option/Alt key and Shift key.

Rotate duplicate at 180° both objects

Adjust the gradient of both shapes. The bottom color is the same as the top color in the shape that follows. This way we achieve a smooth transition. Next, we make sure our duplicated shapes are both selected and we click in the same spot again holding down the Option/Alt key. Here we enter a value of 125% and we click OK. Repeat this step if need and as long as you want this shape to be.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. It will be one of the last ones for a week or 2 as I'm off on Saturday for San Francisco to visit some of my friends and a few clients. Later in the week I'm on a *jetplane* towards SXSW (Austin, TX) :)

Want to learn more?

VECTORTUTS+ Vector Tutorials and More A good and not expensive source to learn more about Illustrator, Photoshop, or web design is by joining the Tuts+ sites. You get access to the source files for just $9 a month. So your ONE membership gives you access to members-only content for ALL the Plus sites. I've written a tutorial for the Vector Tuts section.


21served

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permalink this comment Lieven Fri Mar 6, 2009 at 06.19 pm

Again a nice easy way to use Illustrator! Couldn’t you use the “repeat” for the copying? (Cmd+D).


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permalink this comment Derek Russell Fri Mar 6, 2009 at 06.20 pm

Great yet simple tutorial. You are a great source of inspiration for me and a have been a big (positive) influence on me over the years I have been reading your blog! Thanks


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permalink this comment Richard Fri Mar 6, 2009 at 06.40 pm

That is such a clean simple solution. Very nice!


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permalink this comment Aloke Fri Mar 6, 2009 at 07.29 pm

The simple is simple and powerful! Love the free flow. Thanks for the tip!


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permalink this comment Andris Fri Mar 6, 2009 at 09.03 pm

Miraculous :)


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permalink this comment billseymour Fri Mar 6, 2009 at 09.22 pm

Your designs have a completely ‘unforced’, natural feel to them. (Plus the ‘Flow’ color scheme is one of my favorites- yellow-purple/magenta complementaries). Kudos.—Bill


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permalink this comment ed Sat Mar 7, 2009 at 10.26 am

nice tut, thank you! so easy and useful!

btw. i am wondering what typeface you use for your hmmm headlines and Header and so in (i.e. flickerness, veerle’s blog,...)

want to know! its quite as elegant as AG but little childish or something^^


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permalink this comment Tony Sat Mar 7, 2009 at 04.05 pm

beautiful work, Veerle :)
have a safe trip!


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permalink this comment sana Sat Mar 7, 2009 at 07.45 pm

The shape is pretty simple, with an obvious way to create it.
I’m a little disappointed by it being so simple. However it seems there are people who liked it… still strange.
Anyway, I would have grouped shapes in a single one and used a single gradient instead of two.


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permalink this comment Veerle Pieters Mon Mar 9, 2009 at 05.54 pm

Thank you for commenting. Glad you like it :)

Lieven said:

Couldn’t you use the “repeat” for the copying? (Cmd+D).

I don’t think you can because each time you duplicate and rotate in the opposite direction of the previous rotation.

Lieven said:

I am wondering what typeface you use for your hmmm headlines and Header and so in (i.e. flickerness, veerle’s blog,...)

It’s the Chalet Paris 1980 from House Industries.

sana said:

The shape is pretty simple, with an obvious way to create it.
I’m a little disappointed by it being so simple. However it seems there are people who liked it… still strange.
Anyway, I would have grouped shapes in a single one and used a single gradient instead of two.

I think simple is good, why would complicated be better? If you want to share complicated tutorials, go ahead, nobody is stopping you. Grouping the shapes and use 1 gradient would make things less flexible IMHO. Everyone has their own technique of course, I’m just sharing mine.


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permalink this comment Vector-Master Mon Mar 9, 2009 at 06.11 pm

Waw
Excelent tutorial thank you


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permalink this comment Renata Mon Mar 9, 2009 at 08.00 pm

I love it’s great! And really simple at the same time.
It kinda reminds me the copacabana sidewalk, in wich I used to play a lot as a kid. Love all your tutorials.


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permalink this comment Michel Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 12.50 am

A very nice tutorial! Thanks for sharing your technique, Veerle! :-)

Btw, while I was testing the steps in Illustrator, I suddenly became sort of curious as to ‘Is it possible to apply the same technique in Fireworks?’, so I quickly fired up Fireworks CS4 and tested.

Believe it or not, almost everything worked exactly as in Illustrator, with a couple of small exceptions.

One was, selecting a point and hitting ‘delete’ in Fireworks would not produce the same result as in Ai. Better use the knife tool, to cut the circle shape in two.

Second, in Fireworks you can easily rotate/copy an object around a specified axis, using the Scale tool, just like in Ai. But also it’s very easy to clone the object (ctrl/cmd+D) and then rotate the duplicate to 180 degrees, and then position it with the mouse or the arrow keys.

Apart from that, everything went perfectly. It’s very interesting to compare two Adobe vector apps, like Fw and Ai, side-to-side.

I may write a small tutorial on this myself, these days (if I find enough free time, of course - which is a problem, lately…).


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permalink this comment Bekytg Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 08.11 am

Cool tutorial, will be perfect to use on my 60’s invite.


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permalink this comment MediaMarc Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 09.54 pm

Veerle,

This tutorial is FIRE!(hot) I mainly used Photoshop in the past but lately have been “playing around” with illustrator and I found this tutorial easy to follow.


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permalink this comment Jens Schulze Thu Mar 12, 2009 at 09.09 pm

Great Tut ;)
You have the eye for the right colors


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permalink this comment Lynnette Ewoldt Sat Mar 14, 2009 at 04.22 am

Thanks for the tip about joining points. I had been joing with the pen tool. Your way is much faster! Love your blog!!! I have learned so much.
Best Wishes,
Lynnette


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permalink this comment jocuri Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 02.07 pm

Great tutorial!

thanks!


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permalink this comment Jillian Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 06.24 am

Hi Veerle. I stopped by again because I love your site and your tips. Thanks for the tutorial - great as always! - and I hope you have a blast at SXSW. Did you catch the Arc Angels show by any chance? They are trying for a comeback and have overcome some serious personal problems, but I love their music. I was happy to see that they were doing show in Austin for the SXSW peeps and hope you had a chance to hear them.

Jillian


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permalink this comment dfx Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 06.48 am

good resouce ,thanks!


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permalink this comment dresiczek Wed Apr 1, 2009 at 11.10 am

Hi,

great tut! This simple shape can be a basic for very beautiful and advanced works. On your webside I can find many of them and thank for it :)

Yoy`re very creativ person and I wish you success, because skills is not everything to do such wonderful works. :)



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