Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Illustration by Don Barnett

Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

Video: Best workflow color settings

In this exercise I'm going to introduce you to my recommended color settings here inside of Illustrator. In the next exercise I'll show you how to apply those recommended color settings to all of the Adobe applications, all the applications in the Creative Suite, that is to say from the Bridge. This goes to the notion of color management. Adobe just rocks. A few years ago they came up with this thing called the Adobe Color Engine, so that they could maintain consistent color between all of their various applications. Prior to that, all the applications displayed color differently.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 42m 8s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 3s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 6s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 35s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 44s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 39s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 29s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 44s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 31s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 56s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 33s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 2s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 27s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
16h 48m Beginner Feb 06, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Creating continuous arcs and looping spirals
  • Building with geometric shapes
  • Selecting, placing, and scaling type
  • Creating spine curves with round corners
  • Using the new Blob brush to quickly draw and merge paths
  • Working with flattener and raster effects
  • Saving illustrations for the web
Deke McClelland

Best workflow color settings

In this exercise I'm going to introduce you to my recommended color settings here inside of Illustrator. In the next exercise I'll show you how to apply those recommended color settings to all of the Adobe applications, all the applications in the Creative Suite, that is to say from the Bridge. This goes to the notion of color management. Adobe just rocks. A few years ago they came up with this thing called the Adobe Color Engine, so that they could maintain consistent color between all of their various applications. Prior to that, all the applications displayed color differently.

If I were to grab the rectangle tool, for example, draw a big rectangle and let's say I'll go over here and I'll fill it with a shade of purple or something along those lines, like this violet right here. And then I were to go to the Edit menu and copy it, and then I were to switch over to Photoshop and paste it, In the old days, this big violet rectangle would either look sort of more purplish, that is more magenta, or would end up looking blue. That would frequently happen, it would just turn blue in a different program and that's because in the old days, all the programs generated color differently.

Thanks to the Adobe Color Engine, they now all generate to color the same. So you are assuming that you set up your color consistently between the gaps, you are guaranteed that you are going to see that exact same shade of violet. In fact, in all the Creative Suite applications support the Adobe Color Engine. You are also going to get better color when you print your illustration. Thanks to this Adobe Color Engine. So, it's already setup fine by default, as it turns out, if you don't do anything to it, it's running well and all the applications are synchronized. However, it's not setup as good as it could be. You could be getting better color out of Illustrator, if you just follow these simple steps.

First of all, let's get rid of that big violet rectangle. That's kind of mucking up there, and I'm going to go ahead and hide that palette for now. Then I want you to go up to the Edit menu and I want you to choose the Color Settings command or you can press Ctrl+ Shift+K, that's Command+Shift+K on the Mac, and it brings up this fairly large Color Settings dialog box right here. I want you to make it larger still, by turning on Advanced Mode. It's going to actually redraw the dialog box. And now let's just kind of work through these options in order, starting with RGB.

By default RGB is set to SRGB, which is a great color space for consumers. The idea is you are just mom and pop, you got a computer, your monitor is 6-years-old, it doesn't really display a big wide range of RGB colors in the first place and your printing to, whatever Intel printer, you send your image, you open a photographic image in program X and you hint Print, the SRGB image is conveyed to the printer. The printer knows it's packed for SRGB and goes ahead and performs his conversion to its inks on a fly automatically.

The problem is that SRGB is a pretty rinky-dink space. It's kind of a worst-case scenario, RGB space. Presumably, you have professional aspirations. You at least want your work to look as professional as possible. So, you don't want to be working within a rinky-dink space. It's basically what comes down to. You want a richer array of RGB colors available to you, which is why you would work with this space instead. Adobe RGB. There is one caveat: don't worry about Apple RGP. This is not a Mac, PC thing. Adobe RGB is cross platform and it's better than Apple RGB. It uses a darker gamma. There are a few other reasons it has higher saturation colors and a bigger dynamic range than Apple RGB. Then this is-- we've got right here Pro Photo RGB. This is my caveat.

If your primary mission in life is not being a graphic artist. In other words, you are not primarily using Illustrator and using Photoshop on it's side, you are primarily using Photoshop and using Illustrator on the side and you are working with 16 bit per channel images and you can check out my Photoshop CS4, 1on1 series, in order to find out about those. But you are using high bit depth images, in that case, then you would want to work with ProPhoto RGB, but only if you are working with very, very intense high bit depth images. If you are working with 8 bit per channel images, which is most standard way to work, then Adobe RGB is your better bet. And, if you are primarily an Illustrator user or an InDesign user, what have you, before your Photoshop user, this is the better way to go as well All right so I'm going to select Adobe RGB because when in doubt, that's the best space. Next is CMYK all right, CMYK is a totally printer specific space and you only need to worry about it if you are commercially reproducing your illustrations. So in other words you are sending them out to a commercial print house in order to print out few thousand copies or something along those lines.

Then you would want to communicate with your commercial printer you want to talk to him presumably they can give you some specifications, only if you can't you just basically can't find out any information, would you want to stick with U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 its a decent default space but still there is no way of knowing whether it's going to work with your commercial print house unless you communicate with them. So that's going to be dependent upon your commercial printer talk to them. Let's move down here to Color Management Policies we definitely want RGB is set to Preserve Embedded Profiles. So that we are preserving all embed profiles when we are brining RGB images into Illustrator and that kind of thing. More important is what we are going to do with CMYK here, and it really depends how you work.

If you are doing a lot of linking if you are linking one illustration into another illustration, so in other words you are kind of using Illustrator as a copying application then you might want to stick with Preserved Numbers Ignore Linked Profiles and it will just go ahead and preserve that CMYK data inside the file. But what I prefer to do is set this to Preserve Embedded Profiles. So that under all circumstances we are working from the profile information that's included inside of the illustration. I'm going to set it to this but you can leave it set to this as well if you are doing a lot of linking.

All right I'm going to choose this command and again when in doubt this is the better way to work. And all three these check boxes need to be off, otherwise Illustrator is going to be griping at you all of the time when it runs into profile mismatches. You don't want that. Engine, definitely Adobe ACE because otherwise your only other choice is a platform specific color engine; you are going to see something different Mac here. You don't want that. You want Adobe's Color Engine, so that you get cross- platform support. By the way it's better than the Microsoft ICM, it's just the better designed color engine.

Then Intent. Relative Color Metric is fine if you're mostly a vector person. If you spend most of your time in Illustrator and/or InDesign, those kinds of applications. If you spend your most of your time by the way inside of a web application or Photoshop then Perceptual is the best way to go. And here is the idea when using Relative Color Metric and Illustrator has to perform a profile modifications and it has to covert an illustration from one profile to another profile then its going to basically just try to find the nearest colors. Its going to see oh here is the shade of red we need to find a near shade of red inside of another color space and its going to do its best just to do a match, a direct match, but you might have problems in your photographic transitions.

So if you are working with photographs you might see sharp transitions in cloud regions and sky regions anywhere where there is a gradient essentially. And if that's your bigger concern is how do your gradients look, how do your soft transitions look, how do your photographs look, how do your web graphics look? Then Perceptual is your better bet. So I'm going to go with the Perceptual because that tends to be the larger audience here so I'm going to go ahead and switch it to Perceptual but once again if you are only vector Relative Color Metric is your better bet and also if you are specking CMYK colors and you have client who is very fussy about those Relative Color Metric is you better bet as well. But gradients Perceptual.

All right, and then Use Black Point Compensation leave that turned on these are my recommend settings. Again the when- in-doubt settings, I already gave you a few caveats here and there. You can either follow my advice or ignore it, but now what you do. Now you will save off to your changes you click on Save and you are going to go into this Settings folder here don't change that. Just go ahead, and name this what I call it and I have been calling it this for years is Best Workflow. So that's what I recommended you call this well as Best Workflow or if you are not so sure its best you can call it 1on1 workflow or something along those lines.

I am just going to call Best Workflow, click Save and that's it my friends oh by the way I'll tell you one more thing in case you don't like my descriptions of these various options notice that here in the Description field, if you hover over one of these guys you will get a description of it. So you can read Adobe descriptions if you like. All right then I'm going to click OK and we have now set up Illustrator to best Display color. I do want to make one more point though I'm going to go up to the Edit menu and I'm going to choose Color Settings once again, and notice that this little guy is use to say synchronized is now broken. All the applications were synchronized with each other. Now I have broken these synchronizations, so that whole purple rectangle thing, what I copied here in Illustrator and pasted in the Photoshop, that's now broken.

Now I'll get a different color out of Photoshop because Photoshop now expect the same way. If you working with multiple programs inside the Creative Suite, you need to synchronize all the programs from the Bridge and I'm going to show you how to do that in the next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: Adobe Bridge CS4 is not previewing files in the same way for me as it is in the tutorial. All I am seeing is a low-quality thumbnail of the image, not previews of each artboard.  Why is there a difference between the tutorial and what I am seeing?
A: There is a different view in the tutorial because the author used a beta version of Bridge during the recording. The final release of Bridge CS4 displays thumbnails as you describe.
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.

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 Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

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


You have completed Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.

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

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 ?

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 page and choose Site preferences from 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.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about 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

Sign up and receive emails about 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.