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  • Lauren Makowski

How to Create Ombre Lettering in Adobe Illustrator

Updated: Apr 19

Welcome to my very first tutorial! I went through the steps really quickly on the video, so they are also listed below for your reference. I hope you enjoy it!


I love the look of ombre lettering! It is super easy to create on the iPad in Procreate, but when I went to add my design to a shirt, I found that the image wasn't as crisp as I preferred. When creating a design that is going to be printed, it is best to create a vector of the text to ensure it has clean lines and won't be blurry. Of course it would be easier to create it on the iPad, but I want to make sure my designs are always crisp and clean!


To create a vector of your hand lettering from the iPad:

  1. Create your lettering in Procreate. I suggest creating it in solid black to ensure the cleanest lines when tracing in Illustrator.

  2. Email the .PNG image to yourself from Procreate.

  3. Bring that image into Illustrator and select "Image Trace".

  4. Select "Sketched Art".

  5. Click "Expand".

  6. You're all set!

To create the ombre lettering:

  1. Find or create an ombre background to use (you can also do a glitter background too!)

  2. If using a font in addition to your hand lettering from the iPad, select the font text and click on "Type > Create Outlines". This will create a vector format for the text.

  3. Select all of the text (handwritten and font) and click "Object > Compound Path > Make".

  4. Bring the background image into Illustrator (File > Place or drag and drop it in) and send to the back using "Object > Arrange > Send to Back".

  5. Make sure the background covers all of the text.

  6. Select just the text and remove the color so it is completely transparent.

  7. Select the text and background together.

  8. Click "Object > Clipping Mask > Make" and voila, you are done!

If there's any additional tutorials you would like to see, please let me know in the comments below!

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