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Design Tip: Let's Make Shiny Buttons in Illustrator

Shiny Buttons Tutorial

Ok, are you ready to learn some basic steps to create shiny looking vector buttons in Illustrator?

Let's get started. First you must have Illustrator! Now lets create a squarish blue button. Create a gradient square with no outline. You can choose any color you wish, I chose a nice blue.

Now, lets just select the square and copy and paste.

Next, place  the copied square over the other one.. should 'snap' together. so now you have 2 squares laying on top of one another. Then, select both squares... in the Illustrator menu, go to EFFECT >STYLIZE>ROUND CORNERS. For this example I chose a size of .4 as you see below.

Next, lets draw a rectangle.. slightly wider than the square. Place the top of the rectangle to about center of the square, this would be the "shine". Now, select the top square and bring it forward over the rectangle, so now the rectangle sits between both squares, as you see below.

Now we join the 2 pieces. Select the rectangle and the top square... go to your PATHFINDER window and choose INTERSECT button under "Shape Modes". Your result should look something similar to the image below.

Now here is where we concentrate on the gradient placements. Lets select the main big square and flip it so the lighter gradient is on the top. I could've done this in step one, but you always seem to end up playing with the gradients to the correct colors and shades anyway. So we want a nice, pretty light shade at the very top... almost to white, but not quite.

Now, lets select the "shine" part, the bottom section of the button. We want the gradient of that to have a dark shade at the top to a lighter shade at the bottom. This will make it pop. As I said you will have to play and adjust the gradients. The example of this is below.

Now we are near the finish line. Its time to add your text for your button. I made mine big and bold so it will stand out.

Now, since the text is part of the button, it should reflect the shine as well so it look like it's part of the button. First select the bottom "shine" part of the button, COPY, then PASTE as below.

So now we don't really want the shine to be blue. We need to show a gradient shadow effect. So take the copied bottom piece and make it a gradient of a medium  grey color to an opacity of 0. Now place the copied bottom grey gradient and lay it over top of the button over the text... so you see something like the image below:

Now, select that gradient and lower the transparency. I lowered mine to about a 9. Pretty low. All depends how dark your grey color is. So there you have it, a shiny button!

Next, you can add a border if you like or a shadow. I added a gradient border on my button. Now I just cheated and did it quickly by copying the large main square, then paste it.. create a slightly darker shade at the top.. maybe even a center shade and then a darker shade for the bottom of the square. Enlarge the square a bit to your desired border size. Place back over the button and select it, and ARRANGE it and SEND TO BACK. Y0u may have to play with centering it and sizing. But there you have it.. a shiny button with a border!

Try it out! Enjoy and Good luck!

Allison Reich of and

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