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How to use the Blend Tool in Adobe Illustrator?

Before learning other text effects, it is important to learn the use of Blend Tool.

Blend tool helps in blending colors and shapes and give them a new look or you may say effect.
There are several options available in blend tool which allows you to control the blend effect.

In today’s tutorial you will gain knowledge about the blend tool as well as options which come under this tool.

Firstly, let’s see how the blend tool works-


Shape Blending: Draw two or more shapes on the artboard. I have drawn two shapes which you can see in the below image. Select the shapes with the Selection Tool and then click on Blend Tool. After selecting Blend Tool you will notice that your cursor is now a small square shape cursor.
Place the cursor on the center point of one shape. When you will place the cursor on the center of one shape you will see a star (*) at the bottom of the cursor. The time when this sign appears at the bottom of the cursor click at the center point. Now move your cursor on the center point of another shape. There will be a plus (+) at the bottom of the cursor. Click on the center point and the shapes will be blended.

When you will click on the corner points of the shapes to blend them you will see that the shapes blended are of different sizes as compared to the original shapes. Blended shapes will be in descending order depending on the specified steps selected.

Study the below image, to understand the difference between the blending results by clicking on the center point and by clicking on the corner points.

Color Blending: You have learned to blend the shapes and now you will learn how the two or more colors are blended. Blending color in your artwork gives it different shades.

For blending colors draw two or more shapes and fill it with different colors. Select all the shapes and click on Blend Tool. Now place the cursor on the center point of one color filled and click and then place the cursor on the center point of another color filled and click. If you have three colors then do the same with the third color filled and the colors will be blended. The result of blending will be different shades of the original colors.

Specified Steps

Specified Steps option of the Blend Tool is used to increase or decrease the number of blended shapes/colors formed. Select the shapes blended and then double click on the Blend Tools and the Blend Option Window will appear. Then select Specified Steps in the Spacing Option. Now enter the number of steps required in the box next to the spacing box and click OK. Before clicking OK you can click on preview to see the result of the steps entered.

Specified Distance

This blend option is used to specify the distance between the blended shapes/colors. To select Specified Distance option follow the same process as mentioned in Specified Steps. Instead of selecting Specified Steps in the Spacing Option select Specified Distance and then enter the point of distance required. Check the preview and then click OK.

Reverse Spine

Blend is also available under the Object in the Menu Bar. Click on Object and then place the cursor on Blend. There you will see more options. From those options one option is Reverse Spine.
Reverse Spine is used to reverse the blend. Select the blend you have created and then click on Object and then place the cursor on Blend. Now select the Reverse Spine to reverse the blend. You can see the result of Reverse Spine below-

Reverse Front to Back

Reverse Front to Back option is used to bring the backside of the blend created to the front side. Select the shape/color blended and then click on Object in the Menu Bar and then place your cursor on Blend and select Reverse Front to Back. The backside of the blend will come to the front. See the below shapes to understand it more clearly.

Replace Spine

With help of Replace Spine option you can change the path of the blend created. For that first draw an open path, whatever shape you want, then select both the blend created and the open path drawn.
Then click on Object and place the cursor on Blend. Select Replace Spine.

When you will click on Replace Spine the path of the blend created will change to the path to the shape drawn. See the below image.

You can do many more things with the blend tool. Create different shapes, choose different colors and blend them. You can create many beautiful things with this tool.

In next tutorial you will learn to create a text effect with help of blend tool.

Till then practice this tool and share this tutorial with others.


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