Color gradients, also known as color ramps and color progressions, are a transition of one or more shades of colors. This technique is very useful for web and graphic designers, and one which you have probably seen or even used! In this article, we will write a quick recap of what the main types of gradients are (including the always-fun rainbow gradients!), and a list of sites where you can find free tools that generate CSS gradients or downloadable gradient images for web and graphic designers.
The basic types of color of gradients:
There are a few gradient options that can really add to your design. A well-executed gradient creates a harmonious, pleasant effect for the viewer:
However, the principle of “less is more” applies heavily to gradients: if your gradient is too intense and uses too many colors, it will break your design and will make it an eyesore:
Angle or Conic Rainbow Gradient
Of course, there are other types gradients that you can apply to your designs. You can mix and match gradient types and colors to create several effects, from simulating skies (including sunrises, sunsets, and clouds)…
A simple white-to-light blue linear gradient can simulate an early morning sky with a few cloudsTo create the illusion of metal textures:
You can easily create gradients on graphic applications like Photoshop and Illustrator. However, there are several websites and tools out there that will help you create gradients and unique color hues to apply to your creative projects. Twitter user and web developer @Mazdadev shares incredible creative resources on his twitter account, including this list of 13 Free Gradient tools for web and graphic designers. You will be able to get the gradients produced in CSS format for your website, or use them directly on other graphic projects. We share them with you below, as well as a few of our favourite gradients found in each of them!
Websites to Generate Free Gradients
WebGradients is a collection of 180 free linear gradients that you can use as content backdrops in any part of your website. It allows you to copy CSS3 cross-browser code and use it within seconds! They have also prepared a .PNG version of each gradient, PLUS packs for Sketch & Photoshop.
This page allows you to create your own gradients and either get the CSS code, or download them in .jpg format. There is a large gallery of existing gradients, to which you can contribute by uploading your own creations!
A collection of gradients using the full range of Tailwind CSS colors. Just copy and paste the class names, CSS, or simply save the gradients as an image. It allows you to customize the pre-set gradients, as well as create additional styles such as mesh and grainy gradients.
A very straightforward gallery of gradients. You can download them as .png files or copy the CSS3 code to your clipboard. It offers a plugin compatible with Sketch App and Figma so you can use the gradients directly in them!
Gradient Hunt is another no-frills page offering you a gallery of pre-made gradients which you can download as a .png. It is open-source, which means you can create gradients and add them to the gallery, too. It offers a Chrome Extension. While it is fully free, you can also purchase a Photoshop plugin with over 500 gradients for $19.99.
CSS Gradient is a free gradient generator that lets you create gradient backgrounds for websites. Besides being a css gradient generator, the site also offers color-related content in their blog. The easy UX allows you to get right into the action and start having fun with gradients.
Another intuitive gradient creator. Add up to 5 colors, move their positions around, change their weight, among other options. Have fun with the random mode – and then download the gradient of your creation as a .png or grab the CSS code that is automatically created.
One of our favorite websites due to the brilliant UX – it simply makes generating a gradient incredibly fun. Chose the gradient direction and the colors, and see the result of your creation! You can also browse through palettes, of which you can take the color HEX code and generate a gradient.
Generate a CSS Color Gradient with 2 or 3 colors. Change directions and copy the CSS code when ready.
This tool generates CSS color gradients, which can be used for backgrounds and UI elements. The UX is not the friendliest, so there’s a learning curve to generate your own. You can also browse through the gradient gallery and find several pre-made ones.
This CSS gradient generator is on the more advanced end. It is a project by Josh W. Comeau, and offers more specific customization options such as color mode and easing curve. Read the accompanying blog post from the author here.
Another brilliantly designed page that will make gradient creation very fun. It offers linear and radial color gradients – and allows you to export their CSS code with colors in HEX or RGB format.
Create linear and radial gradients. Experiment with random color modes and edit gradient directions. Switch between HEX and RGBA modes. Scroll down in the homepage for lengthy information on CSS gradients.
At RGBLatte we love all sorts of gradients. Here are some of our favourite combinations, linking to a few extra pages pages where you can download them as FREE royalty-free images that are ready-to-use in your projects!
Some consider June to be pride month. We think it is always great to celebrate pride, especially since all the colors of the Pride flag look amazing together as Pride rainbow gradients. Find free Pride Rainbow Gradient images on Unsplash.com!
And that’s it for this post! Gradients are absolutely beautiful and can really elevate your web and graphic design projects when used in the right way. Make sure to follow @Mazdadev on Twitter for more amazing lists of resources like this one! Cover image via Webgradients.com
We also invite you to take a look at our free downloads section. Mix and match all the great free resources you’ll find there and become a design pro (without breaking the bank)!