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The Color Guide is a great tool to use to derive color inspiration inside of Illustrator. But I'll tell you that I had somewhat of a problem with working with the Color Guide. And that's because the color that it suggests, in other words, when I click on any color here in the Swatches panel, the colors that are being suggested to me right here are basically colors that exist in the entire color spectrum or in the case, you have Illustrator, anything within that HSB color wheel. Let's say I'm working in a print document. For example, right here, I'm working in the CMYK document. This may be suggesting colors that are RGB in nature that can never be reproduced in CMYK or maybe I'm working on some kind of cloth pattern here that I can only work with a certain range of colors.
So while in theory it's nice that the Color Guide suggests colors to me, it may be suggesting colors that I may never be able to use. It's almost like walking through a restaurant that has every single type of food appearing on the menu but each time you want to choose one of those items, you are told by the waiter that they don't carry that type of food. So what would really be helpful about the Color Guide is if it suggested colors to me that I knew that I could always use. Well, guess what, you can do just that with the Color Guide panel. In fact, it all lies here in this single, little, tiny icon that appears in the lower left-hand corner of the panel.
This icon allows us to limit the Color Guide to only work within a certain range of specified colors. So like I said before, when I go ahead and I click on a swatch here, the colors that I'm seeing generated here come from the entire HSB color wheel. But if I went out and click on this icon, I can see that I can actually load a specific set of swatches into my Color Guide. I do so in this form of these libraries. For example, let's say, I'm working inside of web design. I know that I only want to work with web-safe colors. By choosing the Web-safe Color panel, now my Color Guide is programmed to only work within that particular palette of colors. You can see over here that right now the word, Web, is displayed. So right now my Color Guide is limited to only working within the web-safe color palette. Now when I choose any of these colors, the colors that are being suggested are all web-safe colors.
Let me give you another example. Say, you working on some kind of project that's working with spot colors. You know that you have to use Pantone colors. Well, you may want to get suggestions of colors to use, but obviously, those colors can only come from the Pantone color library. Again, come down to this icon over here, click on Color Books, choose Pantone maybe Solid Coated here and every single color now that gets suggested by this particular Color Guide will always be Pantone colors. In fact, here is a little secret. Sometimes you may be working with colors and you may find out from a client that you need to process or print that job with just a spot color. I may have actually specified this particular color, which is now made up of 4% magenta and 50% yellow, but how do I find what the nearest Pantone color is for that one color? Well remember, when I click on a swatch here, the Color Guide uses that color as its base color.
So therefore, the first color that appears right here is this actual color, but since I have limited my Color Guide to only work with Pantone colors, this color in the center which is this color right here is the closest Pantone color match to that color. By simply clicking and dragging the swatch now to my Swatches panel, I can now find that the nearest color to that is Pantone 127. Now the Color Guide has a tremendous amount of value to me as a designer. Not only can I have it suggest colors to me that work and that I can be inspired with those colors, I can also feed into the Color Guide the exact range of colors that I want to work with.
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