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Illustrator Gradient Banding

banding color banding gradient illustrator

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#1 lien


    Junior Member

  • Designer
  • 21 posts

Posted 15 December 2013 - 09:44 PM

Hello everyone!
I have had this problem for a while, but i don't know if the problem is in the program or if it's just my screen showing a lower resolution gradient than it will be finalized when i upload the image etc.
I get this banding when i use gradients for bigger canvases:
Attached File  Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 10.41.44 PM.jpg   43.78KB   61 downloads
If you don't understand what I mean, check the image.
There are several rings displaying the gradients instead of one, smooth gradient.
Is this because of my display settings is wrong, do I need to fix something in illustrator, or do I just need to live with the annoyance of it?
Many thanks.

#2 HappyGD



  • Designer
  • 2731 posts

Posted 16 December 2013 - 03:47 AM

Hi lien, unfortunately gradient banding in Illustrator is not entirely fixable (if you want to keep it as a vector object). In Photoshop it's much easier to hide banding than it is in Illustrator.

If file size isn't a big concern, I usually make my gradient in Photoshop, and then place/embed it into Illustrator.
If you need your gradient to be vector, try using more contrasting colours. Or try moving the 2 colours used closer together so the banding becomes more condensed.

Other than that there isn't much you can do in Illustrator. But I hope this helps

#3 HerbertNordal


    Junior Guru

  • Designer
  • 3433 posts

Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:16 AM

Banding of gradients (blends) has long been a problem. When blends were new, banding in print was a persistent problem.

The smoothness of blends depends on the resolution of the output and on the "distance" of the blend. That is the actual length of the blend and the beginning and ending tint values of the blend are important to banding. An 11 inch blend from 0% to 100% was less likely to band than a 11 inch blend from 0% to 20%. A shorter blend was less likely to band than a long blend, 2 inches versus 11". The real smoothness of a blend is determined by the resolution of the output device. A blend may be smooth from a 3200 dpi imagesetter but "band" on a 1200 dpi imagesetter. Blends usually band on a postscript laser printer. Remember, blends are Postscript codes which are interpreted by the output devices.

To avoid banding, keep them short and keep the values long. I hope this helps, Thanks...

#4 HerbertNordal


    Junior Guru

  • Designer
  • 3433 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 01:33 AM

This banding concept is also known as "Stepping" where a smooth blend has "steps" upon reproduction. Your example brings up another issue. If you are going to try to print a very dark gradient, it had better be on a very high quality commercial press with very smooth coated paper.
The darker values are guaranteed to plug up and fill in. If you tried to use a blend in newspaper ads, it would totally fill in after about a 85% tint value. The spongy paper would just soak it up and spread it out. The dot gain on print reproduction (the ink always spreads) is something you need to talk to your vendors about. Thanks

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: banding, color banding, gradient, illustrator

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