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How to Shade Fills

How to Shade Fills

Shading can be tricky, but when done right it can add a lot to enhance a logo or design. 

Here are several rules to help make shading successful:

  • Shading can only be done on filled elements, columns do not look right when shaded because their “puffiness” keeps the threads from merging together.
  • Shaded areas must be large enough to allow the thread to graduate the density properly.  Customers ask me for shading on very small lettering or small fill areas.  It does not work well in these examples.
  • Shading must be limited in color range.  You cannot shade a filled area with every color of the rainbow.  Light blue to dark blue, yellow to orange to red, light gray to dark gray, or light green to dark green will work.
  • You must use colors that are bright (saturated) and that go together when you hold them up next to one another.  Viewing the threads in natural sunlight works the best. 
  • Digitize the lighter color first and then the darker color on top of it.  Use the Trapunto fill option for the fills and the edges will come out looking better.
  • The density values change depending on the thread colors of the fills.  White shows differently, for example, than orange.  Slight density adjustments can be edited into the fills.

Once you get values that work for your application and thread type, save the fill portion of the design out under its own name so you can call it up and quickly insert it in a later design.  This is quite a time saver. You could also save it as a custom design under the Custom Shapes feature of DesignShop.

Use three colors if necessary.  For yellow to red it would be best to lay down the yellow first, then the red, and finish the middle area with orange to blend it all together.

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