Gradients are one of the most versatile ways to transform the look and feel of any composition. Download this pack of sixty-four free gradient elements to elevate your next design.
Gradients are made up of two or more hues that transition into one another to create a gradual (or abrupt) blend of color across backgrounds, shapes, illustrations, lines, images, or typography. They are often used to incorporate dimension, character, and pops of color. Gradients can take on a vast range of hues and appearances, ranging from vivid and rainbow-esque to subtle and monochromatic. You can alter the mood of any composition just by experimenting with distinct color palettes in your gradients.
Oftentimes, it can be hard to find a gradient palette that works within the means of your design. So, to help streamline your design process, we’ve created a unique collection of sixty-four gradient elements that you can use in virtually any application. Scroll down to preview a sample of this gradient freebie, then read on to learn how to make the most of the swatches, shapes, and backgrounds in your next project.
What’s All Included in This Free Gradient Pack
This free gradient pack features sixty-four gradient elements that you can use for a variety of applications, from shape overlays to accent backgrounds. In the download, you’ll receive access to forty gradient swatches and twenty-four vector and raster shapes and backgrounds.
All you need to do is place the JPG or PNG files into any design software or manipulate the vector EPS files in Adobe Illustrator. Read on to learn how to make the most of these versatile gradient swatches, shapes, and backgrounds.
How to Download These Free Gradient Elements
Downloading this free gradient pack is straightforward. Just click on the button below for direction to your gradient download. This download initiates a ZIP file download; double-click the ZIP file to unpackage its contents and you’ll see the files in its respective folders.
By downloading this free Gradient Pack, you agree not to resell or redistribute these assets.
Apply Swatches to Vector Objects
The beauty of these preset gradient swatches is that you can quickly apply them to any vector object, such as backgrounds, shapes, strokes, and even typography. To bring up the swatches in Illustrator, head to the Swatches panel and click on the dropdown menu and hover over Open Swatch Library. Then scroll down to Other Library and navigate to the gradient download file.
Find the AI Swatches folder and choose from one of the preset palettes. This will bring up the swatch file, equipped with four gradients and four hues. To add any of the palettes to the Swatches panel, Shift-click across all of the palettes and hit the dropdown and choose Add to Swatches. This action transfers the downloaded swatches to the main Swatches menu for added convenience.
You’re now ready to start experimenting with gradients! Draw out a rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M) and drag across the artboard to create your background. Select from the preset gradients, or use the color palettes to create your own. Experiment with various vector shapes by using the Ellipse (L) or Polygon Tool, then take the gradients a step further with the help of blend modes in the Transparency panel.
Create a Unique Gradient Composition
With gradients, you can do more than just applying a transition of color to a single shape or vector object; you can also design a unique gradient composition. Gradient posters and flyers have been increasingly popular in the design community and provide a different take on typical print or web design. The use of gradients also evokes a colorful, futuristic, and often neon vibe, reminiscent of the Yesterday’s Tomorrow Creative Trend.
In this tutorial, we’ll create a gradient composition to emulate an on-trend flyer design. Start off by creating an Illustrator document around 600 x 800 pixels, or any size that fits the needs of your composition. Get those downloaded swatches ready to go by using the steps directed above.
To provide that element of contrast and allow gradients to stand out, I prefer to use a dark background against vibrant shapes. Draw out a rectangle the size of your artboard with the Rectangle Tool (M), then apply a dark blue gradient, such as the Cool Cyber Gradient 4. Adjust the hues as needed with the gradient slider and Swatches palette.
Then head to the gradient shapes file in the download and choose from the range of shapes as your composition’s focal point. To experiment with a complementary color scheme, I chose the Living Coral Circle and set the blend mode to Lighten using the Transparency panel.
Rinse and repeat with the remaining shapes. You can either draw out your own polygons with the various shapes tools, or paste in the remaining gradient shapes. Adjust the sizing of each shape with the Selection Tool (V) and move around to fill in some negative space.
To provide ample room for event details, draw out a guide beneath the focal shape. This organizes the composition and incorporates a level of alignment.
Draw out a white outlined rectangle the size of your artboard to create a simple line border. Activate the line path and head to Object > Path > Offset Path. Type in a negative value in the pop up menu, then check the Preview. This technique ensures your border is equidistant from the artboard for a clean and even appearance.
Now, let’s add in a title and some supporting details.
First, bring up the Character panel and draw out a text box with the Type Tool (T). To mimic the whimsical nature of the gradient shapes, I opted with the variable font Agrandir. Its weight and width axes bring in some character and allow for complete customization. Bold sans serif fonts pair well with colorful gradient shapes. Bring in more text boxes to fill out the important details, then align to the center of the artboard with the Align menu.
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