Microsoft Word - Create Web Buttons - Kiamichi

Web Buttons with the Gradient Tool and Gradient Panel
Ever wonder how those cool Web buttons are made? You’ll find many were created with
the use of gradients in Illustrator. It’s one of the more artistic tools in a designer’s “digital
illustration” toolkit, used for creating a variation in color shading to provide a sense of
depth to an illustration. A gradient is a blend of one color into another. There are two
types of gradients: linear and radial. Linear gradients are applied in a straight line at a
given angle, while radial gradients spread out from an inner position to the outer edges
of an object.
The Gradient Panel
Gradients can be created using the Gradient Tool (G) and selecting either a linear or
radial gradient type from the Gradient panel. The Gradient panel is the control center for
creating the gradients. You can select colors from the Swatches panel and drag into the
gradient bar to create color Gradient Sliders to blend in special colors, or you can
choose from a few preselected gradients and modify them. You can also save color
combination in the Swatches panel. It’s time to create a few buttons.
You’ll use linear gradients with Shapes tools to create recessed buttons.
1. Create a new document, portrait orientation, in RGB Color mode (File> New >
RGB Color).
2. Name the file Buttons and Save it on your drive in Illustrator format.
3. To make sure the Gradient panel is showing, select Window > Gradient or click
on the Gradient icon under the Fill/Stroke boxes on the Tools panel.
4. Select the Linear Gradient type in the Gradient panel.
5. Make sure the Swatches panel is displayed, and then select the “Show All
Swatches” icon on the panel bottom.
6. Select a color from the Swatches panel and drag to the rightmost color stop until a
small square displays around the color stop, then release the mouse. The Fill box
on the Tools panel will display the gradient. Drag downward any extra color stops.
7. Create a 1-inch circle with the Ellipse Tool with a 1-point Black Stroke.
8. With the shape selected, choose the Gradient Tool (G) and drag diagonally from
the upper right to the bottom left. The lighter or left color from the Gradient panel
will display first, then blend into the right darker color from the panel.
9. Dragging outward from the center point of the selected circle you created, create
another smaller circle by holding down the Shift and Option/Alt keys.
10. Change the Stroke color to None.
11. To create the recessed look of a button, select the Gradient Tool (G) and drag in
the opposite direction, as in Step 8.
12. Adjust the positions of the color gradient sliders and midpoint sliders (looks like a
diamond) to fine-tune your button. That’s all there is to it. You can even save this
in the Symbols panel.
13. Try creating different combinations of colors and shapes for special buttons
Design Tip: To create a recessed look from overlapping shapes, try applying gradients
in opposite directions to create this illusion. Gradients can also help to indicate the
direction of light on an object.
Design Tip: Dragging a shape outward from the center point of a selected shape using
the Shift and Option/Alt keys provides perfect centering for overlapping shapes.