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In Illustrator CS5 Essential Training, author Mordy Golding explains the core concepts and techniques that apply to any workflow in Illustrator, whether designing for print, the web, or assets for other applications. This course includes a detailed explanation of the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. Also demonstrated are techniques for combining and cleaning up paths, organizing paths into groups and layers, text editing, working with color, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
In concept, the Color Guide is great. It allows you to select a color in your Swatches panel and instantly generate many different variations of that color, all that work well inside of your design. However, many times the designer is forced to work within certain limitations of what colors they can use. For example, right now, I'm working inside of a CMYK document. If I think about the world or the Web or the screen, where RGB offers me far more colors to work with, especially bright colors, it doesn't really help me if the Color Guide suggests a really bright color that I can't achieve in a CMYK workflow. Or maybe I'm working in some kind of a Web-safe workflow where I only want to use one of the 216 Web-safe Colors.
Or maybe I'm creating some kind of design that's going to be printed via screen printing on a T-shirt, and in that case I need to only use spot colors, and I want to use colors from the Pantone Color Library. How can I get a Color Guide to work for me in those cases? Well that brings us to what I believe is one of the most powerful parts of the Color Guide: the ability to limit which color ranges it can work with. You see right now, by default, the Color Guide is using the entire RGB Color Spectrum to make color suggestions.
So when I click on colors here inside of my Swatches panel, it's looking at the entire RGB Spectrum and making color suggestions. However, maybe I want to work specifically with Pantone colors. So these colors here are not the ones that I can use. It has a really long tooltip that reads, Limits the color group to colors in a swatch library. When I click on this, it may look like I'm just opening up some kind of a library like we did before, for example, Color Books > PANTONE solid coated.
But what's really happening is I'm loading this entire library into the Color Guide and at the same time telling the Color Guide to only make suggestions from this library, not from anywhere else. So if I know choose PANTONE solid coated, notice that all the suggestions that are coming from the Color Guide are now already Pantone Colors. If I know I want to use only Web-safe colors, I can click on the same icon, and at the bottom choose Web.
Since I see it says Web over here, I know that any color that I click on here, will set that as the base color in the Color Guide, but any suggested colors will all be Web safe colors. This is an incredibly powerful feature because, for example, I might take some colors that I've defined for a certain season, maybe again, as an Apparel Designer I have some Spring Fashion Colors, or I have some Fall Fashion Colors, and I only want to draw colors from that specific library. Well, I can load that Custom library right up here inside of the Color Guide, and now all of the colors that it suggests will only be from the library that I choose.
This means that the Color Guide now becomes my true partner in helping me choose the right colors for my design.
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