A Quick Way To Create Text Reflections In Adobe Illustrator


Hi everyone, and welcome to Tubetorial. I’m Lorraine Nepomuceno

Reflections on text can be a very powerful, although subtle, effect. You can do this in Photoshop- but doing it in Illustrator has one big advantage, and that is that you’ll be making vector art… so the text looks crisper, and can be scaled up or down without sacrificing quality.

Today I’ll be showing you a quick way to add reflections to your text in Illustrator. Once you learn this basic method, you can apply it in various ways, for various effects- depending on the look you’re going for.

So, I’ve opened a new document in Illustrator CS4. I’m on a Mac, but if you’re using a PC it’s pretty much the same. Let’s type in some text. How about my name?

And now I want to Create Outlines so that I can manipulate this text like a shape.

The first thing I want to do is duplicate the text. To do this, I hold down the OPTION and SHIFT keys, and drag down.

Now I have two versions of the text. I’m going to reflect this bottom one by selecting Transform > Reflect.

I want to choose “Horizontal Axis”, and I can get a preview of how this is going to look by clicking here.

Now, using the UP ARROW key on my keyboard, I’ll carefully move the reflected text up, so it’s almost touching the bottom of the top text.

I want to lock the top text, so that it doesn’t go anywhere- and now I’m going to make the reflected text look like a real reflection. I do this by creating a rectangle shape on top of the reflected text.

I’ll fill this rectangle with a black to white gradient, with the angle at -90. You can play around a bit with the gradient here.

Now… I’ll select everything- the top text is locked, so it won’t be selected- and go to the Transparency Palette. Here, I’ll choose “Make Opacity Mask”, and set the transparency so that it looks more realistic.

And there you go! A quick and easy way to add reflections to your text in Illustrator. You can use them on your website, blog or logo designs, and play around with colors and transparency options to get different effects.



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