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Are there blending modes in Illustrator?

Last updated on December 10, 2022 @ 1:49 pm

In Illustrator, there are six blending modes: Normal, Darken, Lighten, Contrast, Inversion, and Component. Each of these modes works a little differently, so it’s important to know which one to use for which effect. You can find them in the “Appearance” section under the “Properties” tab on the right menu. Just select the “Opacity” option and click on the drop-down menu.

NOTE: You can also find this in the “Transparency” window.

Normal is the default blending mode, and it simply blends the colors together.

The Darken mode compares the two colors. As the name implies, it results in darker colors. Its other categories include Multiply and Color Burn. Multiply is one of the most popular blending modes and is widely used for darkening images or creating shadows.

PRO TIP: Be careful when using blending modes in Illustrator as they can cause unexpected results. If you are not sure what a blending mode does, it is best to avoid using it.

Lighten is the opposite of the Darken blending mode. It results in brighter colors. It has Screen and Color Dodge as its subcategories.

On the other hand, the Contrast blending mode is the combination of the Darken and Lighten categories. Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light are its available subcategories in Illustrator.


Another blending mode is Inversion. This mode looks for variations to create a blend between the base and the blend layers. Its subcategories are Difference and Exclusion. The “Difference” blending mode will result in black color when two pixels are quite similar.

Lastly, we have the Component blending mode. This includes Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity in Illustrator. It makes use of primary color component combinations to create blends.

Drew Clemente

Drew Clemente

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