How to Create a Rainbow Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator: 2 Ways
Adding a colorful rainbow gradient to text is a great way to personalize an often boring design element. There are two easy ways to create colored gradient text in Adobe Illustrator, and each has different uses.
Adding a gradient to a preset font is a quick way to add fun color to your text, but it lacks an element of customization using a font. Using the blend tool, you can easily create that custom “feel” of colorful hand drawn lettering.
1. How to make rainbow text with gradients
There’s an easy way to add colored gradients to your lettering in Illustrator. You can make regular and boring fonts fun and colorful by creating your own custom gradient with whatever color pattern you desire. This technique allows you to add the gradient to any type of font you have in your system.
While adding gradients to fonts is a great way to customize your text, this method only adds gradients to pre-existing font types, it’s not to create custom lettering itself. But there are many places that allow you to create custom fonts.
By using the Input tool (J), type your text. Format the text using the Properties panel if necessary. If you don’t see the Properties panel, you can open it by going to Window > Properties.
Since you cannot add a gradient to dynamic text, you must define the outline of the text. Once you have formatted your text the way you want, right click on the text and select Create outlines. This option removes all editing capabilities from the script itself; however, you can continue to format it.
If you want to correct letter spacing or join or create ligatures, right-click the text and choose Ungroup. Move the letters or add additional elements to the design. When you’re done, highlight everything and use the Unite function in Scout on the Properties sign.
Select the text and choose the gradient option from the toolbar To fill color chart. The default gradient is a black and white gradient that aligns to each separate word, not the entire text. Open the Slope sign (CTRL + F9 under Windows and Ordered + F9 on Mac) to customize the gradient.
Click on the first circle under the gradient slider to change the color. Then, to add more colors, click directly below the gradient slider and again on the circle that appears to change the color. You can add as many colors as you want and you can put them in any order you want to create a rainbow effect.
You can also change the style of the gradient: radial, linearWhere free form. We’ve already covered how to create gradient backgrounds in Illustrator, which uses some of the same techniques. For rainbow lettering, the linear the gradient works better.
How to save your custom gradient swatch
You can easily save your newly created gradient for future use. Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw a rectangle. If you do this immediately after creating your text gradient, it will automatically fill with your gradient.
Open the Samples sign. If you don’t already see the icon, you can open the panel by going to Window > Samples.
To save the gradient, select your gradient shape, then click New sample at the bottom of the Samples sign. Name your gradient swatch and click OKAY. Your swatch will appear at the end of the list of existing colors and gradient swatches.
In order to open it in the future, you must save the sample in your computer system. From Samples panel, click Menu > Save Samples Where Swatch Libraries Menu > Save samples. Illustrator will open a default folder in the system swatches folder, so you can save it directly there. Name the sample and save the file.
To open your custom rainbow gradient, open the Samples sign. Click on Menu > Open swatch library > User defined Where Swatch Libraries Menu > User defined and choose your saved sample. It will appear in your swatches library for you to use.
2. How to create custom rainbow text with the blend tool
Using the blend tool lets you easily create custom rainbows or color blends that you can add to any path. While this technique isn’t exclusive to creating custom rainbow text, it’s definitely a great way to create a custom text design. You can also use the blend tool to create an auto-filled color palette.
Use the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a small circle. Fill the circle with the first color of your gradient. Copy the circle (CTRL + VS under Windows and Ordered + VS on Mac) and paste it next to the original (CTRL + V under Windows and Ordered + V on Mac). Change the color of the second circle to your next major gradient color.
Do this for as many rainbow colors as you wish to have. Line up all the circles next to each other.
Select all the circles, then go to Object > Mixed > Build. This will turn them from circles into a line of mixed colors. Go to Object > Mixed > Merge Options and increase the Specified steps at 100 or more. Deselect your gradient line.
By using the Brush Tool (B), Pencil Tool (NOT), Where pen tool (P), draw your text. You must ensure that all handwritten text is attached, even if it is a separate word. When you are happy with the text path, select both the path and the gradient line. Using a tablet with a stylus is a good idea for writing by hand.
Go to Object > Mixed > Replace spine. This makes your gradient line follow the line of the text path you created. You have now completely customized your hand drawn rainbow text. You can click to edit the path if you want to change the shape of your lettering at any time, but the thickness of the circles cannot be changed once they have been merged.
Create Fun and Colorful Rainbow Text in Illustrator
You can easily add custom gradients and rainbow effects to your text in Illustrator. Using Gradient Fill lets you add a rainbow gradient to existing fonts, and by creating a gradient with Blend Mode, you can write your own rainbow text. These two techniques produce different results.
Adding rainbow gradients to your lettering creates a fun and colorful custom feel to any typographic design.