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Creating spot colors

From: Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

Video: Creating spot colors

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.

Creating spot colors

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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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 72401 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 15s
    1. What is Illustrator?
      1m 15s
  2. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
  3. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding vector graphics
      5m 0s
    2. Setting preferences
      9m 24s
    3. Touring the interface
      9m 41s
    4. Exploring the panels
      6m 54s
    5. Working with the Control panel
      4m 25s
    6. Creating and saving workspaces
      6m 1s
  4. 43m 42s
    1. Creating files for print
      4m 42s
    2. Creating files for the web
      3m 36s
    3. Managing multiple documents
      3m 25s
    4. Navigating within a document
      5m 21s
    5. Using rulers, guides, and grids
      6m 59s
    6. Changing units of measurement
      1m 50s
    7. Using preview modes
      3m 10s
    8. Creating and using custom views
      3m 12s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 43s
    10. Creating and using artboards
      7m 44s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Setting your selection preferences
      5m 57s
    2. Using the Direct Selection and Group Selection tools
      4m 6s
    3. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 45s
    4. Using the Lasso tool
      4m 9s
    5. Selecting objects by attribute
      6m 48s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 7s
    7. Using isolation mode
      4m 48s
    8. Resizing your artwork
      3m 55s
    9. Rotating objects
      2m 10s
    10. Distorting and transforming objects
      6m 26s
    11. Repeating transformations
      5m 6s
    12. Reflecting and skewing objects
      4m 54s
    13. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 38s
  6. 29m 27s
    1. RGB vs. CMYK
      1m 46s
    2. Adjusting Illustrator color settings
      5m 10s
    3. Process vs. global swatches
      5m 6s
    4. Creating spot colors
      3m 40s
    5. Using the swatch groups
      2m 33s
    6. Working with color libraries
      3m 17s
    7. Importing swatches
      4m 4s
    8. Using the Color Guide panel
      3m 51s
  7. 57m 36s
    1. Understanding fills and strokes
      4m 18s
    2. Working with fills
      4m 58s
    3. Working with strokes
      8m 46s
    4. Creating dashes and arrows
      8m 1s
    5. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 3s
    6. Using width profiles
      3m 31s
    7. Outlining strokes
      3m 51s
    8. Creating and editing gradients
      5m 45s
    9. Applying gradients to strokes
      3m 8s
    10. Applying and editing pattern fills
      4m 52s
    11. Creating your own pattern fill
      6m 23s
  8. 20m 20s
    1. Understanding paths
      2m 41s
    2. Understanding anchor points
      4m 20s
    3. Working with open and closed paths
      5m 28s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Scissors tool and the Knife tool
      3m 42s
  9. 37m 56s
    1. Understanding drawing modes
      4m 23s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 15s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      4m 11s
    4. Working with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 32s
    5. Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      5m 26s
    6. Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
      7m 8s
    7. Smoothing and erasing paths
      5m 1s
  10. 35m 53s
    1. Exploring the Pen tool
      2m 39s
    2. Drawing straight lines
      5m 12s
    3. Drawing simple curves
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
      6m 10s
    5. Converting corners and curves
      1m 46s
    6. Your keyboard is your friend
      2m 14s
    7. Tracing artwork with the Pen tool
      12m 29s
  11. 35m 33s
    1. Adjusting your type settings
      4m 10s
    2. Creating point and area text
      3m 36s
    3. Basic text editing
      2m 14s
    4. Creating threaded text
      4m 59s
    5. Using the type panels
      9m 48s
    6. Creating text on a path
      5m 11s
    7. Converting text into paths
      1m 43s
    8. Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
  12. 27m 25s
    1. Exploring the Appearance panel
      4m 44s
    2. Explaining attribute stacking order
      1m 40s
    3. Applying multiple fills
      3m 1s
    4. Applying multiple strokes
      4m 20s
    5. Adjusting appearance with live effects
      4m 46s
    6. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      8m 54s
  13. 20m 44s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 18s
    2. Creating and editing layers
      3m 27s
    3. Targeting objects in the Layers panel
      3m 3s
    4. Working with sublayers
      3m 0s
    5. Hiding, locking, and deleting layers
      4m 14s
    6. Using the Layers panel menu
      2m 42s
  14. 46m 0s
    1. Placing images into Illustrator
      2m 53s
    2. Working with the Links panel
      6m 5s
    3. Embedding images into Illustrator
      3m 12s
    4. Cropping images with a mask
      5m 8s
    5. Exploring the Image Trace panel
      12m 14s
    6. Tracing photographs
      8m 6s
    7. Tracing line art
      4m 33s
    8. Converting pixels to paths
      3m 49s
  15. 19m 21s
    1. What are symbols?
      2m 45s
    2. Using prebuilt symbols
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      4m 19s
    4. Creating new symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Breaking the symbol link
      3m 19s
    6. Redefining symbols
      2m 5s
  16. 12m 9s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      4m 29s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      3m 49s
    3. Applying artwork to the grid
      3m 51s
  17. 35m 7s
    1. Printing your artwork
      6m 16s
    2. Saving your artwork
      2m 2s
    3. Saving in legacy formats
      3m 0s
    4. Saving templates
      4m 18s
    5. Creating PDF files
      5m 23s
    6. Saving for the web
      4m 46s
    7. Creating high-res bitmap images
      3m 58s
    8. Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign
      5m 24s
  18. 56s
    1. Next steps
      56s

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