Fountain Fills

Written by Jeff Harrison
March 18, 2012

We’ve all seen them. While the visual goal is the same, the terminology is quite different between Corel and other programs. Adobe calls these Gradients.

Corel uses the term Fountain Fill. What does this mean? Many years ago, I asked around about why they call it that. On offset printing presses, there’s a printing technique where different colored inks are put next to each other in the same ink fountain.

The oscillating ink rollers move back and forth, causing the colors to blend where they touch – this produces a rainbow effect. In the example below, only 2 printing plates were needed: One for the text, one for everything else.

So now you can see that the name comes from an old-school printing technique.
Note: Photos are from Beast Pieces.

While on the topic, someone asked me how to globally adjust factors such as brightness and hue of overall Fountain Fills. See this post. A massive time saver….

Post Discussion

1 Comment

  1. printer777

    This is very interesting…I have been printing for 32 years now and I have never seen more than 1 color in the fountain at a time. I have always used 4 different units, cyan, magenta, yellow and black. I found this very interesting with the different colors in the same fountain.

    posted by Alex Izatt


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Jeff Harrison

Jeff Harrison is a media "Jack-of-all-trades", familiar with most of the major media applications on the Windows platform. Whether it's 2D/print, 3D, audio, video, or web-related - he's working on mastering everything that comes his way. He's a past Alpha and Beta tester for Corel, and has instructed students from all over the world. He runs the popular site, the #1 place for CorelDRAW macros. Also check out his youtube page, and his gallery at

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