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Add Striking Gradient Effects to Your InDesign Projects

Powerhouse brands such as Instagram and Apple have made gradients popular in the last few years and the trend isn't going to peter out any time soon.

Gradients can add stunning colour transitions to your designs — whether you're creating something print-based or web related.

In this tutorial, I take you through the steps on how to add striking gradient effects in Adobe InDesign.

In this example, I created a web document in InDesign that is 1920px X 1080px in dimension with a landscape orientation.

I created a grid that includes eight columns and eight rows to make it easier for placing typography as well as the main menu car for my mockup website landing page.

To create a custom gradient swatch in Adobe InDesign, open your Swatches panel, which can be accessed in WINDOW>COLOR>SWATCHES.

In the top right-hand corner of your Swatches window, select the options icon (three lines with arrow to the left) and click New Gradient Swatch. (Note: Creating a new gradient swatch will make it easier to use on other pages in your document and makes it more efficient to edit globally).

The first step is naming your gradient swatch, as it will appear in your swatches window once you've save it. The type of gradient is up to the designer, but clicking the dropdown will give you the option for Linear or Radial. In this example, I kept it at Linear.

In your Gradient Ramp slider, click the first colour stop, which will come in as white as default. You will have to select the type of colour stop — in this case I use RGB. Set the Red-Green-Blue sliders to your desired colour. Repeat the same steps for your right side colour stop, which as you can see comes in as a default black.

Once you're satisfied with the your gradient, click OK and it will show up in your Swatches panel.


There are a couple ways to alter or edit your gradient:

  • Double click the gradient in the Swatches pane and move the sliders in the Stop Color or Gradient Ramp. This will update the global gradient in your project in real time.

  • Use your Gradient Swatch Tool (G, keyboard shortcut) to draw over your gradient to set the direction and location of your gradient.


Here is the result of the gradient as explained the steps above:

Give Your Project Texture

In my "Experience the Gradient Galaxy" design, I added a grunge vector texture from Adobe Illustrator. In this case, I used a Soft Light blending mode and set the opacity to 65 percent.

These settings give your design the illusion of stars in your gradient galaxy!

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