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Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
When you are working with swatches it's important to know that there are different types of swatches. Let's take a look at some of the swatches that we have created until this point. There is a little bit of a workflow issue when you start to use them. For example, I'm using this document called global_swatches; you can find it inside of Chapter 10 of your exercise files. I have several pieces of artwork in my document and I also have several swatches that I have already created. So I'm going to go ahead and color some of these objects with these particular colors. I'll select these first two wetsuits and color them blue, then I go ahead and I'll select these two over here; may be we will color those red, my favorite color yellow, and then I'll go ahead and select all these here and choose the green color.
So now I have gone ahead and I have changed these colors. Now, let's say I decide at some point that I want those green to be a darker shade of green, maybe I want to create more of a deeper kind of green color. So what I might do is go over to the Swatches panel; and if you are familiar with other applications, like for example, Adobe InDesign or maybe Quark Express, or other drawing applications, you might understand the fact that you can actually edit a swatch and then see those colors change in your file. Well, again, it depends on the kind of swatches that you create inside of Illustrator. Let's take a look. I'm going to double click here on this green swatch; it's called Green, and I'm going to change some of the values here. For example, I'm going to bump up the Cyan to about 95, and what I'll do is I'll add some black in here as well, maybe around 25% black. So now we get a much deeper kind of green. I'm going to go ahead and click OK.
Now, notice that the swatch itself changed in colors, however the artwork that I have on my artboard, that I have colored with that particular swatch, did not update, this is still the brighter green color not the darker green that I have just created here in the Swatches panel. In order for me to actually update the artwork I need to now select those pieces of artwork and reapply the color once again using the swatch. That's why swatches work inside of Illustrator with the default swatch setting. Basically, you have to think of the swatches that exist over here as cans of paint. When you are working with regular traditional paint, you take your paintbrush, you dip that paintbrush into the can of paint and then you paint the object. However, if you were to go ahead now and add some more color and mix a new color in that paint can, that doesn't affect the color of the object that you have painted with it, it only change the color of the paint that's currently inside of the paint can.
So you have to think of swatches basically as these individual cans of paint, but there is no connection between what you have here in the Swatches panel and the artwork that you have already colored on your artboard. So how can you tell Illustrator to actually update the artwork as you update the swatches? Well, that's where a different type of swatch comes into play, something called a global swatch. So I'm going to press Undo twice to return the swatch back to its original bright green color. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to double click over here on the green color, and I'm going to check this button here called Global. I'm going to click OK.
I'm also going to go ahead and do the same thing for the remaining swatches here; open up the yellow swatch, check that one to be Global. Let's go ahead to the red swatch, make that one Global, and again, the blue swatch here, and make that one Global. The first thing that you notice when I go ahead and I check that button that the swatches now look little bit different. Before they were just a solid square of color, now they have like a little white triangle in the lower right hand corner. That identifies these swatches as global process swatches. Let's now reapply the color. I'm going to select these two shapes here and choose that particular swatch. I'm now going to go ahead and choose these two and apply the red swatch. Let's go ahead and select these, apply the yellow one, and here finally apply the green swatch.
So now what I have done is I have created global color swatches inside of Illustrator, and I have now applied the global swatch to these objects. So now without me having to select any objects, if I want to change the shade of green now inside of Illustrator, I could simply come over here and double click on the green swatch, make that same change here; say 95% Cyan, tab down to the black section here and type in 25, click OK, and now you will notice that that change did happen on the artboard. When you create a global swatch inside of Illustrator what you are doing is you are telling Illustrator that there should now be some kind of memorization or link that's been created now between the artwork on your artboard and the swatch in the Swatches panel. Basically now a global swatch allows me to make a change here in the Swatches panel and wherever that color is used inside of your document it gets updated as well. This closely matches the behaviors of seeing Ph) (I've seen in) an applications like InDesign, for example.
From a pure workflow perspective you do want to go ahead and use global swatches throughout a document because that allows you to make changes all at once throughout an entire document. Otherwise you would need to go in and select every object and then you would have to take advantage of some of the selection capabilities inside of Illustrator; for example, Select Same Color or use the Magic Wand tool, so on and so forth, to get at those colors, whereas in Illustrator when you use global swatches, you don't even have to select any artwork at all, simply go ahead and update the swatch and the artwork adjust accordingly. People who are in pre-press production or art production really like the fact of using these global swatches, because it allows them to make changes throughout an entire file with just a few clicks.
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