Creating a Logo Reflection Design

Adding a reflection to your logo design is a great way to display it on the web, in a catalog printing piece, or even on business cards. Illustrator makes it easy to create a professional and realistic reflection in vector format so that it can be re-sized to fit any promotional need. The following steps are done in Illustrator CS4, but can easily be translated to any other CS version.

Open Your Logo
First things first, open your logo in Illustrator by going to File>Open. I will be using one of Wellesley College's athletic logos.


 
Select and Copy
Select the logo with the Selection or Direct Selection Tool and copy the logo (Ctrl + C or Edit>Copy). Paste the copy below the original logo (Ctrl + P or Edit>Paste) and move the copy directly underneath until a green line connects the two and then release it. This means that the two logos are aligned correctly.


 
Reflect
To "reflect" your logo, right-click on the copy logo and go to Transform>Reflect. Make sure to choose Horizontal reflection.


 
Move
Make the two logos almost touch by moving the reflection closer to the top logo using the Selection Tool. Once again, use the green line to make sure the logos are aligned exactly.

 


Lock
Now Select the top logo and lock it in. Go to Object>Lock>Selection.


 
Create a Box
Cover the entire reflection with a white rectangle. To do this, select the Rectangle Tool and make sure the Fill is set to white.


 
Gradient
Fill the rectangular box with a white to black gradient by opening the Gradient palette located on the right hand side of the screen. Click on the box on the upper left hand side of the Gradient palette to add the gradient to the box.

Move the sliders in the Gradient palette as shown. Make sure to set the degree to -90.


 
Select All
Next you will need to select both the gradient box as well as the reflection by pressing Ctrl + A while the gradient box is still selected.


 
Opacity Mask
Create an opacity mask by opening the Transparency palette located on the right hand side of the screen (located directly underneath the Gradient button.) In the Transparency palette, click on the the options button located in the upper right hand corner and select Make Opacity Mask. You should now see a faded reflection.


 
Transparency Opacity
Make your reflection look more realistic by toning down the opacity. In the Transparency palette again, change the Opacity to a lower percentage. I used 40%.

Your reflection is done! You can now add it to your brochure printing or web design for a very realistic reflective impression. Keep in mind that this technique is easiest to use with a logo that has no text descenders (such as lower case p, g, or j), but with a few adjustments you can make it work for text with descenders as well.

 

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