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Using swatches

From: Print Production Fundamentals

Video: Using swatches

I need to add some color to this business card, so I'm going to create some new swatches. But first, I'm going to get rid of the swatches I'm not using just to make my Swatches panel a little simpler to look at. I go to the Swatches panel menu, choose Select All Unused, click the little trashcan, and say, yes, that's a little easier. Now I've already gone to my printed Pantone fan book and picked the color I want. Now I need to add it to my Swatches panel. So in the lower-left-hand corner of the Swatches panel, I choose Color Books, and notice that Illustrator CS6 is using the PANTONE+ system, that's the newer system.

Using swatches

I need to add some color to this business card, so I'm going to create some new swatches. But first, I'm going to get rid of the swatches I'm not using just to make my Swatches panel a little simpler to look at. I go to the Swatches panel menu, choose Select All Unused, click the little trashcan, and say, yes, that's a little easier. Now I've already gone to my printed Pantone fan book and picked the color I want. Now I need to add it to my Swatches panel. So in the lower-left-hand corner of the Swatches panel, I choose Color Books, and notice that Illustrator CS6 is using the PANTONE+ system, that's the newer system.

Since I want spot colors, I go to PANTONE+ Solid Coated. And a little PANTONE library shows up. It's a little hard to tell what's what with all of these little festive colorful tiles, but luckily I know the number that I want, just 1495, so I can just click in the Find field and type 1495. Now if you were using an earlier version of Illustrator you'd have to activate that Find field by going to the little PANTONE panel menu. But luckily in CS6 it's there all the time. You might notice on the bottom row there is my little 1495 selected.

All I have to do to add it to my Swatches panel is click once on it, and there we go, and I can close my PANTONE chooser. You might notice some subtle differences in the way these little swatch icons look. Some have little white corners, some don't, and our new spot color has a white corner and a spot in it. The white corner means that it's a global swatch. That means if you change the specs for that swatch, every object that uses that swatch changes. I recommend that you always make your swatches global swatches. The ones that don't have a white corner aren't global swatches.

If you change them, objects using them won't change along with them. And then of course my spot color is by default a global swatch, so it has a white corner and then it also has a little spot in the white corner to tell you that it's a spot swatch. So I'm going to select my large rectangle at the bottom of the business card and apply that new orange swatch. Then I'm going to go up to my control panel and get rid of that black stroke. That's much better. Now I have some little gray rectangles at the bottom and I'd like to use the orange there but, I want it to be obvious that they are separate from the main body.

So I'm going to create a tint of my spot color. The spot color is still chosen. I go to my Color Panel and I'm going to choose about 70% for my tint value. It looks like nothing happens, but nothing will happen to your little preview there until you hit either Enter or your Tab key. So you can see that's going to be my new little tint swatch. To add it to the Swatches panel, I just go to the Swatches panel, click the little New Swatch button. I've got a new little tint swatch. So now I can go through here and I can hold down Shift so that it can get all of these little gray rectangles at the same time and apply that tint swatch.

They are subtly different from the background, but you can sort of tell that they're related. Now I want to create a process color. What I like to do is use the PANTONE Bridge Book, which gives you some CMYK values. So that's what I've done here and I'm going to use the values that I wrote down. At the bottom of the Swatches panel I'm going to say make me a New Swatch, and I'm going to give it the values of Cyan 0, Magenta 46, Yellow 46, and Black 86.

It's kind of a dark brown. Again you could just sort of fiddle with the sliders, but keep in mind if you want a better reference, use a printed reference like the PANTONE Color Bridge. Some people like to name their swatches after the values; some people like to name their swatches by something more festive. I'm just going to change the name to brown. And remember I said that all swatches ought to be global; I make sure that that's a global swatch. And when I click OK, because I had that rectangle selected, it automatically fills it with that value. I want to get rid of the black stroke around it, so I'm going to come back up to my control panel and click None.

But what if I really don't like that and it's really kind of ugly. Because it's a global swatch, if I change the swatch it's going to change the color of that shape. To change that swatch I just double- click it, I'm going to come in here and I'm going to reduce that black value make it more of a tan. I should probably change the name, so I'll change the name to tan and click OK. Even though I didn't have that shape selected, the color of it changed because I was using a global swatch. Now what if I want to use these swatches in another project? Well I can just select them and I can go to my Swatches panel menu and I can choose either Save Swatch Library as ASE, which is short for Adobe Swatch Exchange, or I can choose to save it as an AI file.

If I choose ASE, I'll just put this on my desktop and click Save and I get a little warning that says I'm not going to include gradients, patterns, or tints. The reason for that is because I can use an ASE file to bring those colors into InDesign and into Photoshop. And they don't understand patterns and so forth. So if I'm just going to use this in Illustrator, maybe instead I'll just save this as an AI, and that means it's something that I can use in any Illustrator file. It won't serve as a reference for my Photoshop or InDesign projects, but it's going to include all my little gradients, all my tints, and all my patterns.

Now you know how to make a spot color, a tint of that spot color, you know how to create a global swatch, and you know how to share swatches either with somebody else or with another project that you're working on.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Print Production Fundamentals
Print Production Fundamentals

68 video lessons · 25327 viewers

Claudia McCue
Author

 
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  1. 2m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 7m 5s
    1. What is print production?
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding roles and responsibilities
      5m 14s
  3. 13m 49s
    1. Communicating with your printer
      3m 49s
    2. What does the printer do with my files?
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of contract proofs
      1m 57s
    4. Handling corrections and alterations
      2m 8s
    5. Attending press checks
      3m 16s
  4. 13m 27s
    1. Choosing the correct type of printing for your project
      3m 15s
    2. The art of letterpress
      1m 33s
    3. Understanding the advantages of sheet-fed printing
      2m 22s
    4. Using a web press for long runs
      1m 39s
    5. Understanding thermography
      1m 38s
    6. Considerations for digital printing
      3m 0s
  5. 15m 11s
    1. What's a process color?
      2m 55s
    2. What's a spot color?
      2m 52s
    3. Exploring how ink behaves on paper
      5m 14s
    4. Comparing monitor vs. press output
      4m 10s
  6. 15m 15s
    1. Building to the correct size
      4m 37s
    2. Folding and trimming
      3m 18s
    3. Setting up for die cutting
      3m 19s
    4. Embossing
      4m 1s
  7. 3m 17s
    1. Choosing an application
      3m 17s
  8. 9m 54s
    1. Understanding font formats
      1m 45s
    2. Using OpenType fonts
      5m 20s
    3. Fonts to avoid
      2m 49s
  9. 13m 52s
    1. Comparing raster vs. vector images
      3m 23s
    2. Understanding color space
      4m 26s
    3. Examining image formats
      6m 3s
  10. 13m 13s
    1. Looking at image resolution
      7m 16s
    2. Masking basics
      5m 57s
  11. 39m 53s
    1. Understanding Illustrator
      2m 34s
    2. Illustrator layout tips
      2m 48s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure
      6m 29s
    4. Using swatches
      5m 22s
    5. Working with effects
      5m 16s
    6. Cautions about some effects
      1m 23s
    7. Importing images
      2m 41s
    8. Exploring fonts
      2m 42s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      3m 2s
    10. Saving as PDF
      4m 36s
    11. Gathering up the pieces
      3m 0s
  12. 57m 8s
    1. InDesign layout basics
      5m 21s
    2. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method one
      7m 19s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method two
      3m 21s
    4. Working with color and gradient swatches
      7m 12s
    5. Making gradients and creating a rich black swatch
      4m 45s
    6. Exploring fonts in InDesign
      2m 54s
    7. Importing graphics
      7m 49s
    8. Copying and pasting graphics
      3m 38s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      2m 21s
    10. Packaging up a print job
      6m 57s
    11. Generating PDFs
      5m 31s
  13. 22m 43s
    1. Using Overprint Preview in InDesign
      3m 3s
    2. Managing swatches in InDesign
      5m 29s
    3. Preflighting in InDesign
      7m 58s
    4. Using the Links panel in Illustrator
      3m 16s
    5. Using blending modes in Illustrator and InDesign
      2m 57s
  14. 35m 35s
    1. Basic forensics in Acrobat
      11m 3s
    2. Using Output Preview
      5m 30s
    3. Dealing with display artifacts
      2m 52s
    4. Using TouchUp tools
      8m 17s
    5. Converting colors
      4m 11s
    6. Using preflight profiles
      3m 42s
  15. 3m 27s
    1. Submitting the job
      2m 29s
    2. Being a good print customer
      58s
  16. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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