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How to Make a Faux Gold Foil Effect in Adobe Illustrator

Megan Martin


Welcome to another round of Bar Cart Branding! Today I am going to teach you one of my favorite little graphic design tips: How to Make a Faux Gold Foil Effect in Adobe Illustrator! I use this handy tip just about every time I design something for my business. Social media graphics? Check! Printables? Check! PDF’s? Check!


I love the look of foil. Add a little metal to anything and it instantly looks luxe! The look of foiling is extremely popular in branding and brand design, so I want to show you just how to make it happen for your own brand!


DIY Branding and Graphic Design Help for Creatives with Megan Martin


There are two ways to go about creating a faux gold foil effect in Adobe Illustrator (or any metallic color!).


The first is where you grab an image off the internet of a literal piece of foil and create a clipping mask with that image onto any given shape. Here’s why I am not a fan of this method: First, you are, in essence, violating copyright laws. You can’t pull an image you see on the internet and use it for commercial or personal purposes without express consent from the photographer who captured that image. Let’s not break the law. shall we? ūüėČ Second, in the context of other graphics, this method doesn’t quite “blend” in my opinion.


It is just my personal preference! If you like the clipping mask route, I would plead with you to at least find your own sheet of foil (you can do so at most any craft store) and take your own picture!


Today, I am going to teach you the second method to creating a Faux Gold Foil Effect in Adobe Illustrator: The Digital Way using a Gradient!


How to Make a Faux Gold Foil Effect in Adobe Illustrator


In this tutorial, I will show you how to create your own metallic foil gradient formula so you can choose the look you like best (and have your own unique metallic tone!). I’ll teach you how to apply it to any shape, icon, or even text in Adobe Illustrator. The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can create!



Want to use my formula for a Faux Gold Foil Effect? Here are the HEX codes I use: Light Gold = #E3CF94 and Dark Gold = #BDA271.


Happy Foiling, Friend! I can’t wait to see what you create!


Related: My Top 10 Favorite Stunning Little Hand Lettered Fonts

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  1. Susan Kennedy says:

    Thanks, I was looking for this instruction!

  2. TheGerman says:

    Thank you – this was actually super helpful and straight to the point of most important points. the Hex codes are useful. Thanks so much for this!

  3. Christina says:

    Thank you!!!! This is exactly what I was looking for to finish my look. Great tutorial

  4. Deena R McKindles says:

    Hi Miss Megan,
    Honestly, I’m having to learn so much to get my online store open that it is intimidating ; you were a breath of fresh air and created a normal, friendly environment that helped me really hear and absorb the information. It
    was like my daughter came over to help me! Professional YOUTUBERS BEWARE & LEARN!

  5. Tash says:

    WOW you made it easy for me to understand. I will see how it looks on my logo! I ended using a color from my product label. I am so confident I will attempt to do more of the graphic design I need. I was able to save swatches which was helpful because the one I used had three colors.