In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to create your own gold foil texture in Adobe Illustrator. We are going to apply some effects through Illustrator to create your own unique texture without having to use someone else’s textures. Once we are done with the effect, I will also show you how to create a Graphic Style so you can apply the texture to any object.

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Step 1: Start by drawing out a basic rectangle and filling it with a gold gradient. I am using a basic linear gradient. The colors I am using: (from left to right) #C4952F, #FDD065, #D19D34, #D0A239, #F0C45A, #CB9C34. Make a swatch for this gradient.

Gold Foil Texture Tutorial

Step 2: With your gradient filled object still selected, go to Effect > Texture > Grain. Set the intensity to around 25, Contrast to 75 and change the “Grain Type” to Clumped. Hit OK.

Gold Foil Texture Tutorial

Step 3: Now, go to Effect > Artistic > Dry Brush. Set the brush size all the way up to 10, the brush detail to 8 and the texture to 3. Hit OK.

Gold Foil Texture Tutorial

Step 4: Go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Set the Grain to 1, Highlight Area to 7 and Intensity to 6. Hit OK.

Gold Foil Texture Tutorial

Step 5: Go to Effect > Texture > Grain again. Change the Intensity to 30, Contrast to 58 and leave the Grain Type as “Clumped”. Hit OK.

Gold Foil Texture Tutorial

Step 6: Open up your Appearance panel. Window > Appearance or Shift + F6. You can see all of the effects that have been applied. Here you can pull each effect back up and make additional adjustments if you want.

Gold Foil Texture Tutorial

Step 7: Open the Graphic Styles panel. Window > Graphic Styles OR Shift + F5. With the object that you have applied all of the effects to still selected, click on the menu in the Graphic Style panel and click “New Graphic Style”. A window will pop up for you to name the style. Click OK. You can also save this graphic style by clicking on “Save Graphic Style Library” at the bottom of the menu.  This way you can load it into other documents to apply the effect.

Gold Foil Texture Tutorial

Now that you have created your graphic style, you can apply it to any object. Note: Any type by default will not accept a gradient, so you will need to expand any text before applying the style to it.

Step 8: Type out any message with any font. The font I am using here is called “Awesome” and can be purchased at Creative Market – Click Here

Gold Foil Texture Tutorial

Step 9: Expand your type (Type > Create Outlines). Apply the original gradient swatch to the letters. Finally, apply the Graphic Style you just created to the letters.

Gold Foil Texture Tutorial

Step 10: Try it out with different fonts and adjust the gradient before applying the style. It looks great with a rough typeface. This one is called Basic Innocents and can be purchased from Creative Market – Click Here

Gold Leaf Texture Tutorial

Step 11: So, I know what you are thinking. This isn’t a vector. No, it isn’t. But, once you have everything the way you like it, you can Expand the effects (Object > Expand Appearance). This will allow you to create a Live Trace of the object. I know this isn’t ideal, but it will get you back to pure vector. Open the Tracing Options and under the Presets, select Photo Low Fidelity. Click on Ignore White and hit Trace.

Gold Leaf Texture Tutorial

Step 12: After the trace is done, click on Expand. You can see that even though we have a pure vector now, it added some problems. There are small gaps between each shape that are letting the background show through and it added some white bits around the outline. We are going to fix this.

Gold Leaf Texture Tutorial

Step 13: First thing is to get rid of those white outlines (your image may not have generated them, so you can skip this step if you don’t have any). Select the Direct Select tool (A) and click on one of the white shapes to select it. Then go to Select > Same > Fill Color then delete them.

Gold Leaf Texture Tutorial

Step 14: To hide the gaps, select your whole Live Traced object, make a copy (Ctrl + C), create a new layer below your traced image and paste in front (Ctrl + F) on the new layer. With the copies trace still selected, go to the Pathfinder and click on “Unite”

Gold Leaf Texture Tutorial

Step 15: Sample one of the colors from the original trace, I am using #FAD455 and fill the new shape with it. Zooming in, you can see this got rid of the gaps.

Gold Leaf Texture Tutorial

There you go. Your own gold foil texture.

Gold Leaf Texture Tutorial

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