New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Print Production Fundamentals
Illustration by John Hersey

Working with color and gradient swatches


From:

Print Production Fundamentals

with Claudia McCue

Video: Working with color and gradient swatches

I need to add some color to this document; it's not finished yet. And now the art director has determined the colors that he'd like to see in this document. So I need to add some swatches, but first, I am going to see what swatches I already have. When I go to the Swatches panel, I see that I have an orange and a blue and they're specified as RGB colors, and I can tell because I see these little RGB flags. I like to make them CMYK just to be sure. All I have to do is double-click on a swatch that brings up the Swatch Options, I can change the color mode to CMYK and I am good to go.
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
Print Production Fundamentals
4h 26m Beginner Jun 29, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join author Claudia McCue on a journey that introduces the printing process and reveals the keys to designing a document that prints as well as it looks onscreen. This course takes you on the floors of two commercial print houses (BurdgeCooper and Lithographix), to better understand the life cycle of a print job and observe printing presses in action. Along the way, discover how to better communicate with your printer, choose the correct paper, inks, colors, and fonts for your project, and how to correctly lay out your documents in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. This course is designed to help you and your printer produce a professionally finished print job, whether it's a business card, brochure, or multipage magazine.

lynda.com thanks the BurdgeCooper and Lithographix printing companies for access to their facilities and permission to film on site. Learn more at www.burdgecooper.com and www.lithographix.com.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the importance of contact proofs
  • Handling corrections and alterations
  • Choosing from offset, letterpress, thermographic, or digital printing options
  • Understanding how the inks, colors, and paper interact
  • Building a document at the correct size
  • Folding and trimming
  • Choosing fonts
  • Working in Illustrator with swatches, effects, and more
  • Laying out a document in InDesign
  • Generating a final PDF
  • Troubleshooting print issues
  • Preflighting your print job in Acrobat
  • Submitting files to the printer
Subjects:
Design Print Production Design Skills
Software:
Acrobat Illustrator InDesign Photoshop
Author:
Claudia McCue

Working with color and gradient swatches

I need to add some color to this document; it's not finished yet. And now the art director has determined the colors that he'd like to see in this document. So I need to add some swatches, but first, I am going to see what swatches I already have. When I go to the Swatches panel, I see that I have an orange and a blue and they're specified as RGB colors, and I can tell because I see these little RGB flags. I like to make them CMYK just to be sure. All I have to do is double-click on a swatch that brings up the Swatch Options, I can change the color mode to CMYK and I am good to go.

Same thing with the blue; double-click, change to CMYK, and I'm good to go. Now I need to add the spot color that the art director has specified. That's PMS 2587. So in the Swatches panel, go to the Panel menu, choose New Color Swatch, and here is where I pick my color book, if you will, under Color Mode. Notice that InDesign CS6 is using the new Pantone plus system. So Pantone plus Solid Coated, those are my spot colors and I know that the color I need is 2587, and I can click OK, and there's my new swatch.

So I am going to select this big empty frame back here and fill it with 2587. Now I have some text I can't read because it kind of competes with that purple. I'm going to select this text frame, and here's a little control you might have overlooked in the Swatches panel, see that little T that lets you sort of select the text in that text frame by remote control. And then click on the T, now when I choose a color, it's going to be applied to the text, not to the frame. But that only works in text frames that aren't threaded together, so these two frames are threaded together so when I choose this and try to do the same trick, the little T is grayed out.

So I'll have to switch to my Type tool, select all the text and apply the paper color that way. Paper, by the way, just means no ink prints here. It's not like opaque white. Now I think maybe it would look nice if we had a gradient back there instead of the solid purple. So I am going to create a gradient and to make things a little bit easier, I am going to drag the Swatches panel loose, and I am going to grab my Gradient panel and drag that loose because I am going to sort of be referring to my Swatches panel as I work in the Gradient panel.

First of all, I'd like to have a tint. I'd like to have that Pantone go from full strength to a lighter version of the Pantone. With the Pantone color selected, I go to the Swatches panel, choose New Tint Swatch, and notice that everything else is grayed out that says no you've got your basic color, all you can do is pick a tint of it, and I think I'll go for 50%. Now if I were making multiple tints, I would click Add, then make another value, then click Add again, but I'm just making the one, so I don't have to click Add, I just click OK.

So I now have my two endpoint colors in place. When I click below this little gradient ramp, things kind of wake up. So these little guides are called stops and it shows where the color breaks. So I wanted to go from the full strength purple on the left to that 50% on the right. So I choose the left stop and then click on that solid Pantone. Oh! What happens? Nothing. Well, there's a little trick; you have to use a keyboard shortcut and start again. Click on the little stop. You can't just click on the swatch; you have to Alt+click or Option+click on it.

So when I Alt+click or Option+click, now I've populated that stop with that full strength Pantone. Click on the little orange stop, Alt+click or Option+click the 50% tint and now I've got that. So let's see how that looks back here in this large frame, not bad, but maybe I want to change the breakpoints. So if I drag this little diamond on the top, you'll see that I can keep it solid purple longer, then it makes a more abrupt change to the lighter purple. I can move it back this way and it stays the lighter purple longer. You have granular control over where the colors break that's why this little guy is here, little breakpoint indicator.

If I think I am going to use this gradient again though, I've to save it as a gradient swatch. Since it's active that's very easy to do. I just go to the Swatches panel menu, choose New Gradient Swatch, and it already understands the settings, and I am just going to call this 2587 gradient and click OK. Now I'm official, it always good to make things swatches. You can make sort of informal color, but if you are going to keep track of all your colors, you really need to make them into swatches. I am going to reset my Advanced workspace to kind of clean house.

I am going to change this word Roux to use that nice tint. So I can go up here in my control panel. I can choose that 50% Pantone, but for the word graphic, I want to use a color that I don't really have yet. I really like the red in this guy's shirt. So with that text selected, I can go over to my Tool panel, get my eyedropper, and I can pick up that red. I don't have to go Photoshop and get an eyedropper there and write down the values, I can draw it right here InDesign. So I am going to vacuum up that red and then I deselect.

You can see that now the graphic matches his image. Isn't that great? One little thing I might need to change though it turns out he's an RGB image and I don't have that color anywhere in my Swatches panel. So as long as I still have a bit of that text selected, you'll notice that my fill color is red. So I have a hold of that color. I can now add it as a swatch. So in the Swatches panel menu, I just choose New Color Swatch; it vacuums up those values and that's when I find out that it's RGB. That's okay. I can change it to CMYK and I'm good to go.

What if I have other projects that are related to this and I want use these swatches over and over again. Well, there's a way that you can trade swatches called ASE, Adobe Swatch Exchange. And the reason it is called exchange is because you can take that little swatch file and you can use it in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. But there are things in Illustrator that Photoshop doesn't understand and that InDesign doesn't understand. For example, patterns in Illustrator; InDesign doesn't have anything like that. So some things can't be stored in an ASE.

So if I were to go to my panel menu and choose Save Swatches, it's grayed out because I don't have anything selected, which tells you something else. You can pick and choose which swatches you want to include. I know that it's not going to include the gradient but I just want to show you the alert that shows up. So I am going to click and then Shift -click so that I have all my little homemade swatches, and now when I choose Save Swatches that's an option. This is when I get the little warning that says, yes, but I'm not going to create gradients or tints or mixed inks.

So the only thing I am going to get is my orange, my blue, my purple, and my red, but that's okay that will get me started. So when I click OK, it says where do you want to save this, and I am going to save it on my desktop and now how can I invoke that? If I go to another document, I am not going to worry about the settings; I am going to clean out my Swatches panel just so we can see this for a fresh start. Then when I choose Load Swatches and I go and find that little ASE file, when I click Open, there is the orange, the blue, the purple, and the red, but I lost my gradient and I lost my tint.

Still though, it gives me a good head start and it means that I'll have consistency in my swatches as I begin other projects.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Print Production Fundamentals.


Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: The exercise files provided aren't working in my version of InDesign (CS4/CS5). What should I use?
A: This course was recorded using InDesign CS6. For InDesign users working with CS4 or CS5, IDML files are provided.
 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Print Production Fundamentals.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.