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This course is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
- Hey gang, this is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. Now this week, I'm gonna show you how to take a photographic logo and distill it down to nothing but Spot Colors inside Photoshop. So here's the idea, I just got done wrapping up a course called "Creating and Adapting a Logo," in which we, of course, create a logo and then adapt it to a bunch of different environments. For example, this is the print version of the logo. It's a three color job so we have three solid PANTONE inks and nothing more inside Illustrator, but by the end, I decided to take that illustration into Photoshop and add some photographs that were captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Now this thing's gonna look great backlit or on screen, but it's not gonna survive very well in print if we try to render it using CMYK inks, which got me thinking what if we could then turn around and re-introduce those same three PANTONE colors while keeping the photographic nature of the logo, and that is something that you can do in Photoshop even though it's not terribly intuitive. Here, let me show you exactly how it works. All right, here's my original logo, as it appears inside Illustrator.
It contains just two blues and a black. No CYMK, by the way, everything's a solid Spot Color. I selected these colors by pouring over a new PANTONE+ series swatch book, and in the end, I came up with these two colors, PMS 285 over here on the left and PMS 325 on the right. Now let's say it's important to my client to convey two objectives, Safety, because after all, space tourism has its risks, and Prestige, because these elite tourists automatically become recreational astronauts, which is why I chose PMS 285, which is also known as MetLife Blue, as well as 325, which inside PANTONE is known as Pure Turquoise, but how does Pure Turquoise convey Prestige? Well, consider this Tiffany box.
The official Tiffany blue was designed by PANTONE, and while it's not technically part of the Plus series library, it's about as close to PMS 325 as you can get, which is how I came up with the colors in this logo. Now in the end, I decided to up the ante by adding some photographic embellishments inside Photoshop, and again, you can learn all about this process in my course "Creating and Adapting a Logo," which is available every moment of every day here at Lynda.com, but, as you can see, I've taken a lot of liberties with the colors, and these colors aren't necessarily gonna survive very well in print, which is why I decided to reign things in and express all aspects of the logo in my original PANTONE Spot Colors, and I'm gonna show you how that process works right now.
The first thing I'm gonna do is switch back to that embellished version of the logo. Now, to add spot colors inside Photoshop, you have to create extra spot color channels, so I'm gonna switch over to the Channels Panel, which is located right next door to the Layers Panel, and then I'll drop down to this little Page icon, and instead of clicking on it, go ahead and press the Control key, or the Command key on the Mac, and click on it, and that will automatically create a new Spot Channel. To dial in the color for the channel, go ahead and click on the little color swatch right there, and that should take you to the Color Libraries.
Next, make sure that your Book is set to PANTONE+ Solid Coated. We don't want any of the CMYKs or Color Bridge because those are all processed colors, and we want the PANTONE+ Book because it's got the newest colors available. So if you're working along with me, select PANTONE+ Solid Coated, and then just go ahead and dial in 285, and by dial in I mean type those numbers on the keyboard, and then go ahead and click OK, and click OK again in order to create a new, empty Spot Channel.
All right, now we want to do that very same thing a couple of more times, so I'll Control Click on that little Page icon, that's a Command Click on the Mac. Then, click on the color swatch, and this time dial in 325, which is that Tiffany Blue and click OK a couple of times to create that channel, and now we need one more channel to express Black because if we just leave it as an RGB Black, it's gonna separate into CMYK, and then we have four additional plates, which creates registration problems, and it also ups our cost, so instead, drop down to the little Page icon, Control Click it on the PC, Command Click on it on the Mac.
Click on the little color swatch, and then go ahead and drag this guy down, these little sliders, all the way down to the bottom of the stack and you'll see a bunch of different shades of Black. The best Black for this job because it's nice and dark and a little bit cool as well is PANTONE Black 6, which is a combination of a couple of different pigments, black as well as reflex blue, and then, go ahead and click OK, again, a couple of times in order to create that Spot Channel.
All right, now we need to bring over a few elements from the logo itself. So go ahead and click RGB up here at the top of the Channels Panel, and then just go ahead and marquee the text using your Rectangular Marquee Tool. Make sure to select at least the text as well as a bunch of white space around it. Do not, however, select into the planet. And then, go up to the Edit Menu and choose Copy Merged, and that way you're copying everything that you see on screen. Then, switch to the PANTONE Black Channel once again, and this time press Control V, or Command V on the Mac, in order to Paste that text into place, and now if you click off the text to deselect it, and then temporarily hide the composite RGB image, you'll see that you do indeed have your text inside of that PANTONE Black channel.
All right, now we need to grab the deep blue stuff and place it inside the PANTONE 285 Channel, and the bright blue stuff, we need to put in the PANTONE 325 Channel. So go ahead and switch back to the composite RGB image. Then, return to the Layers Panel, and notice these vector masks that are sitting here. They are masking the contents of the top of the planet, and so part of it is this horse head nebula right here, and another portion is this galaxy. They both come from authentic Hubble Telescope images, but we're really interesting in is their masks, so to load them as selection outlines press the Control key, or the Command key on the Mac, and click on one of those vector masks like so, and you will select the top portion of the image.
Then what we want to do is switch over to the Channels Panel and take a look at our Red, Green, and Blue Channels. Now notice the Red Channel is the darkest and that's because there's very little red going on inside of the logo. The Green Channel brightens up a little bit, and the Blue Channel gets very bright indeed. So what we want is some dark information because we need black inside of these Spot Color Channels in order to impart ink. So, go ahead and select that darkish Channel Red, and then go back to the Edit Menu and choose Copy Merged, and then, switch to the PANTONE 285 Channel right there.
Make sure your selection outline remains intact, that's important to register things, and then press Control V, or Command V on the Mac, to place the stars and the nebula inside of the top portion of the planet into place. All right, now I'll click off the image to deselect it, and notice right now, the PANTONE 285 is appearing first, then 325, and then Black. That is actually going to imply an order for the inks. Now, most printers are gonna go ahead and do what they know they should do, which is print the lightest stuff first and the darkest stuff last, but, if you want to make it a little bit of a no-brainer, then go ahead and drag PANTONE 325 up to above 285, because after all 325 is the lightest ink.
Now let's go get the information that belongs in that Channel by switching back to the RGB image, returning to the Layers Panel, and this time you need to twirl open this group called Base Logo down here, and notice that we have a couple of objects, earth and planet. We want to load earth, so go ahead and press the Control key or the Command key on the Mac, and click on the thumbnail for that layer in order to load it up as a selection. Then, return to the Channels Panel and once again click on the Red Channel, which has the darkest info, and then, go up to the Edit Menu and choose Copy Merged, and then finally, go ahead and click on PANTONE 325 here and press Control V, or Command V on the Mac, in order to paste the contents of that Channel.
And now, notice if you turn on all three of these Channels, 325, 285, and Black, that we end up with our three color print job. All right, now we want to add a little more weight to our Channels, so make sure PANTONE 325 is still selected. Then, go up to the Image Menu, choose Adjustments, and Choose Levels, and we have to apply Levels as a static adjustment because you can't apply Adjustment Layers to independent Channels. So go ahead and choose that command, and then I'm gonna click in this black point right there, and I'm gonna press Shift up arrow a total of five times in order to raise that value to 50, and that's it.
Then I'll just go ahead and click OK, and as you can see, that darkens up the brightest of the inks. So it's a little bit subtle, but this is what things looked like before, so we'd end up with a lot of half-toning in there, and here's how things look now, a little bit darker. Now we're gonna darken things up even more inside the PANTONE 285 Channel, so go ahead and click on it, and this time I'll just use the keyboard shortcut for Levels, which is Control L, or Command L on the Mac. I'll go ahead and click inside that black point value, and I'll take it up to 60, and you can see that that's darkening things up considerably.
Now, I'll tab over to the gamma value, and I'll take it up to 1.3, in order to brighten the midtones so that we can see the gas of that nebula. And now, you can go ahead and click OK to accept that change. Now that we're done, we no longer need the RGB information, and you do want to get rid of it, by the way, because if you were to submit this job to a printer right now, it would be very confusing to see a bunch of RGB stuff overprinted with three PANTONE colors.
So we've got to get rid of that RGB info by selecting it, and then dropping down to the little Trash icon at the bottom of the Channels Panel, and you wanna Alt click on it, or on the Mac Option Click, and that will get rid of all the RGB info without bringing up an error message, and of course, I also want to turn on my text. Now notice, if I switch back to my Layers Panel, it's all gone. You just do not have Layers in the Multichannel world of Spot Colors. Also notice up here in the Image Menu, if you go to Mode you'll see a check mark in front of Multichannel.
We are no longer working in an RGB or even a CMYK image, which is a very good thing, by the way. Now of course, at this point, we want to protect our original Layers, so go up to the File Menu and choose the Save As command. Do not choose Save, choose Save As, and then go ahead and give the image a different name, I called mine Pantone Spots.psd. You do want to save the image as a native Photoshop document, unless you're working with a very old version of QuarkXPress or something along those lines, in which case you're better off with DCS 2.0, but for most work you do these days, a native PSD document is fine.
It's great for Illustrator, it's great for InDesign, and so forth. Make sure that Spot Colors check box is turned on, that's very important, and then go ahead and Save. In my case, I would be doing so over my original image, but I forgot that it's still open. Now, couple more things you might want to do. I'm gonna go ahead and switch over to the Channels Panel. Notice, if I switch back to Illustrator, the turquoise of the earth down here looks a little bit brighter than it does inside Photoshop, and that's not because the colors are displaying differently in the two programs, they're displaying the same way, it's because I've got a little bit of gradient action, as well as this burst down here.
So what I could do is switch out the ink for a different PANTONE color, and to do that, you just double click on the thumbnail for that PANTONE 325 Channel, and then click on the color swatch right here, and now what I'm gonna do is click on the down pointing arrow head and that's gonna take me to the next group of colors, including the second guy that's analogous, PANTONE 3252, and notice as soon as I click on it things will brighten up down here in the image window. And we now have, in my opinion, a better looking effect.
At which point, I'll go ahead and click OK a couple of times to accept that change. And now the last thing you might wanna do is print this file as a PDF document, complete with separations. And that, friends, is how you convert all elements of a logo, including these photographic embellishments to PANTONE Spot Colors that will print as independent inks here inside Photoshop. Now, if you're a member of the Lynda.com Online Training Library, and who isn't these days? Then I have a follow-up movie that shows you how to take our three color logo and introduce more colorfulness, not more colors, we'll still be using three inks, but we're gonna create more colorfulness by mixing the inks together.
So you can see here, we've got a band of PANTONE 285 interacting with the 325, and then we've got some Black 6 up here in the PANTONE 285 region. If you're waiting for next week's movie, I'm gonna show you how to print separations to a PDF file from Photoshop so that you can hand that file off to a commercial printer and know that everything's gonna work out perfectly. Deke's Techniques each and every week. Keep watching!
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