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In many cases when you're dealing with branding, especially logos and letterheads and things like that, you're going to run across the need to create something called a spot color swatch. This is a swatch that's used to reproduce a color exactly as it's supposed to appear each and every time. Famous brands utilize their own special swatches all the time, stuff like Coca-Cola red, Pepsi blue; they're iconic colors that you instantly recognize and they wouldn't have you use any other color but that specified color.
Now I'm going to show you how to create your own spot color swatches here inside of Illustrator. It's actually really simple. Once you have your colors like you like them, in this case I have this purple, the orange and the gray, I'm going to add those to my Swatches Library and then I'm going to turn them into spot colors. I'm going to go up to my Window menu and I'm going to bring back up my Swatches panel, because I temporarily closed it. Once I get the Swatches panel back out on screen I can then start adding my swatches. I'm going to go into isolation mode for a moment so I get a hold of these individually. I'll double-click and then I'll select this gray color here.
Once I have that done, I'm going to hit the New Swatch button. It gives me a Swatch Name and it indicates here that this is a grayscale color. I'm going to change this to a Spot Color. The name is indicating to me exactly what level of gray it actually is. In this case I'm just going to call this Logo Grey, and I'll hit OK. You'll notice as soon as I do that a new swatch is added and also there is a small dot in the bottom right-hand corner of that white triangle. This indicates that it's a spot color, because it's given it a little spot.
Same holds true for this A right here. I can create a new swatch, change it from a Process Color to a Spot Color, you'll notice as soon as you change from Process Color to Spot Color, Global automatically becomes checked and is grayed out so you cannot turn it off. That's because spot colors are meant to be true all the way through, you're not supposed to be able to change them independently or anything. If anything is using the spot color throughout the document or that spot color is updated at any time, the global aspect is applied.
Once I have that set, I'll name this Logo Orange, hit OK. Finally, I'll take this light purple color, create a new swatch, I'll go ahead and call it Logo Purple, and change it to a Spot Color, again Global is applied, and I'll hit OK. Now for the text at the bottom, you'll notice it's currently still using the process value for this. I need to go ahead and switch that over to this Logo Grey, because this is going to be a three color spot logo.
So everything needs to be using one of these three colors. Since the text is utilizing the same level of grey as this R, I can go ahead and apply the spot color right there. Remember these are global, so at anytime during the branding process if we happened to come in and make a change to this orange color in the middle, I can just come to the spot color, double- click to edit it, let's say we needed to make it just a little bit more orange. I'll drag the Magenta slider up a little bit, let's move this over, hit Preview and you can see that it makes that change for me. Let's back that down just a little and hit OK.
So now, anytime I need to share my company colors with somebody I can then just take these three swatches, export them, and send them to the person and they'll have the exact same representation of my branding as I do. That's the beauty of spot colors and a great way to keep your message consistent across all printed products.
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