How to Create a Golden Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

Today’s tutorial would be interesting for everybody who works with the text styles and effects in Adobe Illustrator. We will be creating the Golden Text Effect, live and editable, that you can download from Envato Elements.

Golden text Effect can be applied to any font

Clearly, you might use the 3D software to make it super-realistic, but Adobe Illustrator offers another advantage – design it once, save it inside the Graphic Style and reproduce it with a single click. If you want to learn more about Graphic Styles, Actions and other tools that make your workflow efficient, give my Udemy course a try.

Start with a Text

Lunch the Adobe Illustrator and start a New Document at any size.

Grab the Text tool (T) and start typing your word. I am working with the word “Gold”. Select a typeface from the drop-down menu. The Audrey Bold is a choice for me – both elegant and bold, their glyphs are massive enough to bear the golden gradient.

Filled with Gold

For this design we need multiple fills. Head over to the Appearance panel (Window/Appearance) and create a new fill by clicking on the icon on the bottom left.

Click twice to add two new fills. Select the one on top and apply a gradient to it by clicking on the Gradient slider under the Gradient Panel.

Add more gradient stops by clicking on the bottom of the Gradient Slider. You should create five more stops.

Arrange the colors for the gradient stops as they go in my list. Do not forget to type the position to obtain the same spacing. Use the image below the Gradient list as guide.

  1. #B2690B. Location 0%
  2. #B36D0B. Location 3%
  3. #BA720F. Location 5.5%
  4. #FCA32A. Location 30%
  5. #CF7E21. Location 58%
  6. #C6771F. Location 63%
  7. #9E6519. Location 80%
  8. #A8661C. Location 98%
  9. #B0671C. Location 100%

Second Fill

The second fill serves as a highlight, so we need to offset it by 1px to the bottom left with the Transform effect. Select the fill and head over to the fx icon on the bottom left.

From the open drop-down select the Distort & Transform first, than Tranform to bring up a Tranform panel. In opened dialog box type 1px inside the Horizontal and Vertical Move text fields.

Change the color by clicking on the Color Picker. In opened dialog box type #FFD200 to give a bright yellow color.

Third Field

The third field is responsible for depth with metallic reflections as well as shadows.

Select it and add a gradient by clicking on the slider. Then add 19 gradient stops and pick the color up from the list.

  1. #FCF49F. Location 1%
  2. #801E00. Location 6.5%
  3. #FCF49D. Location 9%
  4. #EB8304. Location 12%
  5. #872C09. Location 17%
  6. #DB7800. Location 21%
  7. #FCF27E. Location 27%
  8. #872F02 Location 31.5%
  9. #F89A05. Location 34.5%
  10. #872F02. Location 39.5%
  11. #D05502. Location 46%
  12. #F89A05. Location 50%
  13. #913708. Location 56%
  14. #DC7800. Location 62%
  15. #7D2404. Location 66%
  16. #D18604. Location 73%
  17. #F9EE97. Location 76%
  18. #F4D556. Location 82%
  19. #D35601. Location 88.5%
  20. #F39405. Location 91.5%
  21. #862B09. Location 100%

Adding the Depth

Now that we have a gradient, so we are ready to use Transform effect to add the depth and 3-dimensional look. Head over to the fx icon and bring up the drop-down menu with the Distort&Transform/Transform option.

In opened dialog box specify these parameters:

  • Horizontal scale 99.8%
  • Vertical move: 1px
  • Copies: 11

Please note: there is no limit in the number of copies. The higher the number the more extrusion depth you introduce to the text.

The text is a pure gold now, but it looks a bit unnatural without a shadow.


All the shadows are applied to the third fill, do keep it selected and click on the fx icon under the Appearance panel to bring up the effects drop-down. Select the shadow effect and set the parameters as they are shown in the image below.

So, for the first shadow set:

  • Opacity: 74%
  • X-offset: 0px
  • Y-offset: 1px
  • Blur: 0px

This combination gives you a one pixel tint in the bottom of the text.

For the second shadow set:

  • Opacity: 33%
  • X-offset: 0px
  • Y-offset: 8px
  • Blur: 0px

It was a final step. We are done. Thanks for reading that far. Now you know how to turn any text to the gold. Although silence is golden, let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

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