How to Create a Gold Text Effect and Graphic Style in Illustrator

gold text effect

In today’s tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a complex gold text effect which includes a reflection, dropping shadows and highlights. These all can be created with the help of the most powerful tool available in Adobe Illustrator–the Appearance panel. You learn how to create this graphic style and then apply it to editable text objects. Have fun learning our new vector tutorial!

Tutorial Details: Gold Text Effect

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS5 – CC
  • Difficulty: Beginner – Intermediate
  • Topics Covered: Appearance panel, Scatter brush, live effects
  • Estimated Completion Time: 20 minutes

Final Image: Gold Text Effect

gold text effect

Step 1: Gold Text Effect

Start Adobe Illustrator, then go to the File > New…. In the opened dialog box choose the RGB color mode, the size of the artboard doesn’t matter since we’ll create a graphic style.

gold text effect

Step 2

Take the Type Tool (T) and type any word in upper case. I used the Myriad Pro font and 180pt font size for such purposes.

gold text effect

Select a word, then click twice on the Characters in the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance).

gold text effect

Select the Fill attribute in the panel, then delete it by clicking on the Trash icon.

gold text effect

The letters disappeared, don’t worry–that’s the way it should be. Click twice on Type: No Appearance.

gold text effect

Step 3

Click on Add New Fill button in the Appearance panel.

gold text effect

To the fill, apply a linear gradient using the Gradient palette consisting of five colors: white R=255 G=255 B=255, light-yellow R=252 G=220 B=161, yellow R=255 G=182 B=77, brown R=69 G=24 B=1 and light-brown R=181 G=113 B=40.

gold text effect

Step 4

Click on Duplicate Selected Item button in the Appearance panel, then select the lower fill.

gold text effect

Note that while working in the Appearance panel, the object should remain selected. Go to the Effect > Path > Offset Path… and set 2px for the Offset value.

gold text effect

Replace the gradient of lower fill with a vertical gradient which consists of yellow R=255 G=182 B=77 and brown R=69 G=24 B=1.

gold text effect

Step 5

Click on the Duplicate Selected Item button in the Appearance panel, then select the lower fill.

gold text effect

Go to the Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort…. Shift the upper vertices of the text bounding box down and to the center as it is indicated on the figure below, then click the OK button.

gold text effect

Replace the gradient of the lower fill with a vertical linear gradient from white to grey R=64 G=64 B=64.

gold text effect

Apply the Multiply blending mode to this fill. This can be done in the Transparency panel or directly in the Appearance panel. In this step, we’ve manually created a drop shadow effect from the text.

gold text effect

Step 6

Click on the Add New Fill button in the Appearance panel.

gold text effect

Move the new fill above all attributes.

gold text effect

Keep the lower fill selected and go to the Object > Convert to Shape > Rectangle…. Set the Extra Width and Extra Height value in the opened dialog box.

gold text effect

Replace the gradient of the lower fill with a radial gradient from dark grey R=43 G=43 B=43 to black R=5 G=5 B=5.

gold text effect

There you have it! We’ve now created the background in this step.

Step 7

Click on the Add New Fill button in the Appearance panel.

gold text effect

Replace the gradient of the upper fill with a vertical linear gradient from brown R=181 G=113 B=40 to black R=0 G=0 B=0.

gold text effect

Now go to the Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform…. In the opened dialog box select Reflect Y option, and click on the lower white square in the reference point locator.

gold text effect

Apply the Screen blending mode to the fill and reduce the opacity to 35%

gold text effect

We’ve created a text reflection in this step.

Step 8

Choose grey R=153 G=153 B=153 for the stroke and set a 2px width in the Appearance panel.

gold text effect

Apply the Multiply blending mode to the stroke.

gold text effect

Thereby we’ve created a bevel on the edge of letters.

Step 9

With the help of the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 20x20px circle with a black fill R=0 G=0 B=0 and no stroke.

gold text effect

Now create a second circle – 1x1px with a light-grey stroke R=204 G=204 B=204. Centers of both circles should match.

gold text effect

Select both circles. Then go to the Object > Blend > Make, and next to Object > Blend > Blend Options… and set 10 specified steps.

gold text effect

Step 10

Drag the blend object into the Brushes panel (Window> Brushes). In the opened dialog box, select the Scatter Brush.

gold text effect

Save the brush without changing the default settings.

gold text effect

Step 11

Select the text, then click on the Add New Stroke button in the Appearance panel.

gold text effect

Apply a brush to the stroke which was created in previous step.

gold text effect

Click twice on the Scatter brush icon in the Brushes panel in order to get access to the parameters of the brush. Set 4000% for Spacing value, and click OK.

gold text effect

Click on the Apply to Stroke in the dialog box.

gold text effect

Set the Color Dodge blending mode for this stroke.

gold text effect

We’ve created highlights on our letters in this step.

Step 12

And finally, when the gold text effect is ready, we can save it as a graphic style. Open the Graphic Style panel (Window > Graphic Style), select the text, then choose the New Graphic Style in the fly-out menu of the panel.

gold text effect

Now this graphic style can be applied to any editable text. All I have left to say to you is bye-bye!

gold text effect

Iaroslav Lazunov

Author: Iaroslav Lazunov

My name is Iaroslav Lazunov, I am a graphic designer from Ukraine. I am glad that I finally found the job in my life that I can share my knowledge and experiments with you in my tutorials. Follow me on Twitter or visit my blog Vectorboom.com

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19 thoughts on “How to Create a Gold Text Effect and Graphic Style in Illustrator

  1. Thanks, great… but I’m looking for some tutorials for example how to make potion etc. This kind of tutorials are missing here. For example one tutorial about making gold bars, hatchet this are really perfect tutorials.

  2. Thanks for a great tutorial, Iaroslav!
    Small typo!
    As I pointed out to Stani, where it says:
    “Now create a second circle – 1x1px with a light-grey STROKE R=204 G=204 B=204. Centers of both circles should match.”

    It should actually be be a light grey FILL.

    Great tutorial!! 😀

  3. This is an awesome tutorial THANK YOU. I did however struggled on Step 9. I just could not get the blend the same as yours. After 1 hours I figured it out. My process: I created a circle according to your specification 20px x 20 px, then i put a black fill (R=0 G=0 B=0 ) with NO stroke. Then I created a smaller circle 1px x 1px, i gave it a grey fill (R =204 G=204 B=204) and NO stroke. I grabbed the small circle with the selection tool and centered it on top of the bigger circle. Then, I clicked outside of the circle(s) (they should not be selected). Then i just clicked on the Blend Tool (left side on the tool bar, above the Sprayer Tool) i clicked on the small circle first and then on the bigger circle and got the matching blend on your tutorial.

    • That’s because of a small typo, where it says,

      “Now create a second circle – 1x1px with a light-grey STROKE R=204 G=204 B=204. Centers of both circles should match.”

      You actually need it to be a light grey FILL.

      Great tutorial!! 😀

  4. This tutorial was perfect, except the last step. When I set the stroke to colour dodge, the circles stay white and grey on top of my gold text. I have tried to fix it without success. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you!

  5. Awesome work , I can confirm in CC you need to use Effect > Convert to Shape in Step6. Best thing to do is follow the steps exactly, then when your Happy you can play around with them to suit any project, for example if you need a far smaller font size than 180pt.

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