We report on continuously graded anisotropy. During deposition, a compositional gradient is achieved by varying the Cu concentration from Cu-rich (Fe53 Pt47)70 Cu30 to Cu-free Fe53 Pt47. The anisotropy gradient is then realized after annealing using the composition dependence of the low-anisotropy (A1) to high-anisotropy (L 10) ordering temperature. The critical role of the annealing temperature on the resultant anisotropy gradient is investigated. Magnetic measurements support the creation of an anisotropy gradient in properly annealed films which exhibit both a reduced coercivity and moderate thermal stability. These results demonstrate that an anisotropy gradient can be realized, and tailored, in single continuous films without the need for multilayers. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.