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This installment of Illustrator Insider Training shows an expert's approach to color choice and control in Illustrator. Mordy Golding guides experienced designers and artists through what he sees are the three stages of applying color to artwork: creation, inspiration, and editing. The course also shows how to build art in a way that allows artists to make changes quickly and how to take advantage of the newer features that have been added to Illustrator over the recent versions.
One of the things that the Recolor Artwork feature inside of Illustrator can do is help you find color matches. Let me explain what I mean by that. Say maybe you have a design in front of you, I have this file right now called matching 1, and let's just take a look right now at just this piece of art work right here. If I select this right now and let's say I want to find all the colors used in this design, I can create a new Swatch group here by clicking on the New Color Group icon, and I will call this one, just Design for now, and if I click OK, I now see all the colors used in that artwork.
Now these colors are all process colors granted they are global process colors, but this would mean I need to print this artwork using process colors. Let's say right now I get a phone call and my client actually wants to use pantone colors to print this. Now I want my artwork to look the same. I just want to find basically the closest matching pantone colors to my existing process colors. Now the way that designers would do this in the past is they'd actually hold up their color book, their pantone color book to the screen and start flipping through the book and try to find colors that match what you're seeing on the screen.
However, now that we understand what Recolor Artwork can do inside of Illustrator, maybe we can have it do all that work for us? So I want to take you to the steps of how you would go about starting out with a process color and then finding the nearest match in the Pantone Library for that. The truth is I don't even need the artwork at this point anymore; I could work specifically with just the Swatch group that I've created. So here is what I am going to do. I am going to double-click on the Folder icon itself here inside of the Swatches panel for this Design group.
Remember, when I do that, I get the Edit Colors dialog box, I basically see all the colors that appear inside of my Color Group that are now mapped onto the overall color wheel, and this is going to be an important thing to understand about what we're about to do. That Color wheel right now is the HSB color wheel that shows me the entire visual spectrum. At least the colors that appear within the HSB gamut. But in your mind, let's try to separate these little circles here from the overall world of color beneath this. You know way we spoke about this analogy where maybe this is why Google maps, where each of these little circles here, I like those little pushpins that identify a certain address on the map, and then the circling here in the background is actually the map itself.
What would happen if I would have left the pushpins the way that they are, but just move the map from behind it and completely delete it and instead swap in a whole different map? The pushpins themselves would now point to new locations. But they themselves have not moved at all. If we can visualize that, we can understand this next step that I am about to do inside of this dialog box. Back in Chapter 4, we spoke about this feature inside of Illustrator called the Color Guide.
It allowed you to choose a color, and then it would recommend other colors that would work well with that color. But we also found out that there was a way for us to limit which colors can be used inside of the Color Guide. We were able to take our own custom libraries, for example, and feed those colors into the color guide to better control what we get out of the Color Guide. That icon that controls that feature in the color guide is also available here inside of the Edit Color dialog box. So, for example, I am going to click on this icon right here.
I am going to see a list of libraries that have access to, but we're dealing here with pantone colors. I want to get my closest conversions here to pantone colors. I am going to go to Color Books and I will choose Pantone solid coated. Take a very close look to what's going to happen now to my color wheel when I choose this option. See how it completely changed, before I had this nice beautiful smooth color, now it looks all chunky. Why did that happen? The answer is, is that by limiting this dialog box or this color wheel to only use pantone colors, I have completely removed the HSB color wheel and I have now slid into it's place, the pantone colors, but because Illustrator uses this same method of describing color, meaning it uses the Color Wheel.
The pantone colors are arranged in a way to closely match the way that HSB Color Wheel worked. Now, my colors themselves, these little dots over here, haven't moved. So now they are simply on top of or pointing to the colors that appear beneath it now however, are no longer RGB colors, they are now Pantone colors. Instead of changing my colors, I've changed how those colors are mapped to some other color model, and I've gotten my closest possible equivalence of my colors.
How do I know that? Well, just come over here right now. I haven't done anything yet, but all I have done is I have just simply changed what the color wheel currently represents. Before the color will represent it, all colors within the gamut, now I have limited that color wheel to only show pantone colors. So I am now going to come over here to this icon here, to create a New Color Group. The colors that appear inside of this Color Group are now the closest match to the colors that I had before. However, these are now all pantone colors, because that's what these colors are now representing.
So if I click OK, what I now have in my document is my original color group, which has its own process colors. But now I have another color group which contains the closest possible matches in the Pantone Library to all those process colors. Now what's interesting about what I just did is, I have actually performed that conversion on multiple colors at once. Notice that I've also done that without damaging any of my artwork, because all I did was now create a new copy of this color group. But let me show you how I might do that though if I wanted to work specifically on Artwork.
I could take let's say this artwork right here, select this item, go to my Recolor Artwork dialog box, go to Edit Colors, change the colors that appear in that color wheel by limiting it to the Pantone solid coated library, and then simply pressing OK. Now all the colors used in this artwork are pantone colors, and they're the closest matches to colors that we used previously which were process colors. For example, I use my direct Selections tool and click on this background right here and I will see that it's currently now filled with Pantone 365.
So with just a few clicks of the mouse, I'm able to find accurate pantone equivalents of my process colors. But I'll tell you; this goes way beyond working with just pantone colors. In the next movie, we will see how to take this concept beyond to the colors that you use every single day.
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