Goal: Gradient that fades from “transparent > color” or “transparent > white”
Software: Adobe Illustrator CS3

  1. Draw rectangle, fill with solid color (or solid white).
  2. With rectangle still active, choose Transparency > “Make Opacity Mask.”
  3. Click on mask in the Transparency palette (it’s the black square on the right right side of the Transparency palette); rectangle will disappear (this is normal). Make sure Clip check-box is ticked.
  4. Draw a second rectangle on top of the first rectangle and fill it with a “white > black” gradient.

Original instructional article: Transparent Gradients in Adobe Illustrator


  1. AK on March 14, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    where do I chose “transparency”?

    • Reid Walley on March 14, 2019 at 9:19 pm

      Sorry, Anton, it’s been so long since I used Adobe Illustrator that I no longer remember how to chose transparent for the gradient.

  2. Cornelius on March 15, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Hi, you choose transparent in the transparency window on the three lines above each other. It is called as described “Make Opacity mask”.
    very helpful advice here. Thank you.

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