Get the Midas Touch: Create a Gold Text Effect

By Steve Bain

Creating the effect of rich, golden type is very similar to the effect used to create metallic-looking illustration effects. What’s often the challenge for new illustrators is the color scheme needed, and the steps for achieving it. In this tutorial, you’ll learn in nine steps the exact color scheme and fountain fill settings for creating a simple gold effect (see below), and the quickest way to create the effect in CorelDRAW. The step sequence used in this technique is valid using any recent version of CorelDRAW.

The finished result
The finished result

Step 1: Create the Text Object

Using the Text tool, enter the word “Gold” on your page with an uppercase G followed by lower case old. Set the font to a script style font. This example uses MurrayHill Bd BT. This font was used since it’s often the classic choice for type applications found on awards and certificates. Set the type size to 200 points and apply a White fill color and a Black outline color. Once your properties have been applied, Copy (Ctrl+C) your text object to the clipboard for a later step.

Step 2: Trim using a Freehand Curve

Choose the Freehand Pen Tool and create a slightly curved horizontal line by dragging from left to right over top of your text object. Position the curve to overlap the outside edges of the first and last characters (see below). Using the Pick tool, position your new curve vertically centered over your text object. Open the Shaping docker to the Trim command by choosing Arrange > Shaping > Trim. Select the curve and click the Trim button in the docker and use the targeting cursor to choose your text object as the object to be trimmed. This operation uses the curve as the trimming object essentially trimming your text into two parts.

Step 3: Isolate the Upper and Lower Portions

With your text shape still selected, press Ctrl+K to break the shapes apart. Using the Pick tool, select and delete the portions of your characters above the curve, then delete the curve itself (shown in gray). The lower portions of the character shapes remain. Select these portions and press Ctrl+L to combine them to a single curve. Now, Paste (Ctrl+V) the copy of your text back onto your page and send it to the back of the layer by pressing Shift+PageDn (see below). Close the Shaping docker.

Step 4: Apply Convex Shaping

Choose the Shape Tool (F10) and set your view to roughly 500 percent using Property Bar options. Click the object representing the lower portions of your characters. Drag the uppermost line segment of each character portion downward slightly to reshape them while holding the Ctrl key to constrain mouse movement (see below). If needed, convert any straight segments to curves using the Shape Tool Property Bar options. Be sure to reshape only the line segments without affecting the adjacent nodes. By reshaping these paths, you’ll create a subtle illusion of a convex, rounded surface for the final effect.

Step 5: Create a Contour

Choose the Pick Tool and select the text object copy that you pasted earlier into the arrangement. Choose the Interactive Contour Tool. Using Property Bar options, click Outside as the contour direction, enter 0.07 inches as the Offset value and enter 1 in the Contour Steps box. Choose White as the fill color using the Fill Color selector. Using the Pick Tool, right-click the contour object and choose Break Contour Group Apart from the popup menu.

Click a blank space on your page to deselect all objects, click on the contour object again, and press Ctrl+K to break apart the contour object curves. Click each of the outer curve objects and send them to the back layer (Shift+PageDn). After doing this, you’ll notice each of the character shapes has a “negative” space inside it. Select both the negative space inside the uppercase G and it’s outer contour shape and press Ctrl+L to recombine them into a single curve.

Repeat this procedure for each of the characters until each is a separately combined curve representing the contours of your characters (see below). Select all of these objects, Group (Ctrl+G) them together, and send this group to the back of the arrangement (Shift+PageDn). At this point, your object creation operations are complete. Now it’s time to add the gold color scheme.

Step 6: Begin Applying the Color Scheme

Now that all of your objects have been created, positioned and shaped you’re ready to add the gold coloring. To begin, use the Pick Tool to select the object representing the lower portions of your characters and open the Fountain Fill dialog (F11). Choose Linear as the fountain fill style, enter 90 in the Angle box and 15 in the Edge Pad box. With Two Color selected as the Color Blend, create a Gold color using the CMYK color model (C=25, M=50, Y=95, K=0) color as the From color and choose White as the To color. Click OK to apply the fill. Be sure to remove any outline properties (see below).

Step 7: Continue Applying Color

Using the Pick Tool select the object representing the text object copy that you pasted earlier into the arrangement. Open the Fountain Fill dialog (F11) again. Choose Linear as the fountain fill style, enter -90 in the Angle box, and with Two Color selected as the Color Blend, set Orange (C=5, M=40, Y=95, K=0) as the From color and White as the To color. Enter 17 in the Mid-Point box. Click OK to apply the fill. Be sure to remove the outline properties from the text (see below).

Step 8: Add the Final Color

Using the Pick Tool, select the grouped contour objects and open the Fountain Fill dialog (F11) one last time. This time, choose Radial as the fountain fill style and set the Center Offset values to 23 for the Horizontal and -46 for the Vertical offset. Click Custom as the Color Blend and enter the following colors: Position 0=Orange (C=5, M=40, Y=95, K=0); position 50 White, and; position 100 Orange (C=10, M=40, Y=95, K=0). Click OK to apply the fill and remove any outline properties from the text (see below).

Step 9: Add a Drop Shadow

With the outer contour objects still selected, add one final detail to the effect by choosing the Interactive Drop Shadow tool. Click-drag the cursor from the center of the object toward the lower-right until a slight shadow preview appears. Once a default black drop shadow is applied your effect is complete (see below).

As you applied the final fountain fill properties to the outer contour shape, you may have noticed the offset values where very specific. These offset values position the white point of the custom radial fountain fill at key positions to ensure the outer shape of the characters are defined by color. In this exercise, you’ve learned the quickest technique to apply a gold metallic effect to type and you’ve seen one of the more effective color schemes for gold.

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Steve Bain is an award-winning illustrator, graphic designer, and author of nearly a dozen design and illustration books including CorelDRAW The Official Guide.


9 responses to “Get the Midas Touch: Create a Gold Text Effect

  1. Thanks for the great tips, Steve.

  2. hey… there
    Thanks for the tutorial. Really helpful for beginners like me. I’m using CorelDraw 12. I’m not able to cut the text using the curve. When I click the Trim buttom and try to select the text as Target, it shows an alert box indicating its is not a valid selected area. Can you please help?
    Thanks. Regards, Rach

    • Hi Rach,
      A few things you can check:
      Be sure the text object you are targetting is on the same layer as the source object.
      Be sure the Target object is not locked or grouped with other objects.
      Check that you are clicking directly on the outline path of the object with the ‘tip’ of the targetting cursor.

  3. Hi,
    Great tutorial. I’m extremely new to Corel x4 and the computer itself. I’m trying to remove a background from a bitmap and following the instructions in Corel’s user guide but it doesn’t tell me what to do once I’ve selected the background to eliminated. Can you help? Thanks.

  4. The most user friendly series of tutorials! Thanx.

  5. Pingback: 8 Fun Coreldraw Text Tutorials - Design Bark - Design Bark

  6. WOW! This is what i’ve been searching for for the past few months.

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