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Organizing colors with Swatch Groups

From: Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

Video: Organizing colors with Swatch Groups

If you take a look at the Swatches panel inside of Illustrator, you'll see that there are some swatches that kind of roam freely here, but there are some swatches that appear very neatly inside of these folders. These folders are actually referred to as Color Groups or Swatch Groups, and they can be very helpful in organizing color within your document. Creating a Color Group is very easy. Right now, I have no artwork selected in my artboard, so I can come right down here to the bottom of the Swatches panel and click on this folder icon with the Plus sign, which allows me to create a new color group.

Organizing colors with Swatch Groups

If you take a look at the Swatches panel inside of Illustrator, you'll see that there are some swatches that kind of roam freely here, but there are some swatches that appear very neatly inside of these folders. These folders are actually referred to as Color Groups or Swatch Groups, and they can be very helpful in organizing color within your document. Creating a Color Group is very easy. Right now, I have no artwork selected in my artboard, so I can come right down here to the bottom of the Swatches panel and click on this folder icon with the Plus sign, which allows me to create a new color group.

When I do so, I'm going to give it a name. Let's say I call this one flowers, and now I'll click OK, and I have a blank folder or an empty group inside of my Swatches panel. To add colors to this Color Group, I can simply take any existing swatch, let's say this one right here, and drag it right on top of the Folder icon. That adds the color into the group. I can add as many as I want to by just dragging them in, and if I want to remove a color from a Color Group, I simply click and drag the swatch out of the group.

One of the really nice things about Color Groups though is how they help you manage color even after you have added those colors to your document. For example, I have three colors here used on these flowers in this document, but I didn't really take the time to define swatches for that, or maybe I opened up this file, which I received from another designer, and they didn't go through the process of defining swatches for it, but I'd really like to use these colors quite often so I want to turn them into swatches. So, what I can do is select these three elements right here on the artboard, and now that I've artwork selected I can click on that same Folder icon right here in the Swatches panel, to create a new Color Group.

But this time, the dialog box that appears has some additional options. Since I have some artwork selected, I can tell Illustrator to create colors from my selected artwork. At the same time, I could also convert Process Colors to Global Colors. I'll call this one flowers too, and now I'm going to click OK, and you can see that I've now created four Global Process colors. True, I only see three fill colors right here, but Illustrator also created a swatch for the black that's used on the strokes of these objects.

Another benefit of using Color Groups is how the colors actually appear inside of the Swatches panel. Notice that over here these colors all run into each other so it's very hard for me to keep them organized. However, it's very easy to organize colors because each group takes up its own row. If a group has more colors, it simply takes up two or three rows, whatever it needs. The truth is is that if you take the time to define these color groups, you're helping Illustrator better understand how you're using those colors.

For example, if certain colors are grouped together within a single group, there must be some kind of relationship between those colors. For example, apparel designers may create something called a Colorway. A single Colorway may contain many other colors inside it. For example, a fabric may be created by using different colored threads inside of it. So, there are a lots of good reasons to take some time to create Color Groups inside of Illustrator. It not only makes things easier for you to understand when working, it also makes it easier for other designers when you hand your work off to them.

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This video is part of

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Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

126 video lessons · 83162 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 3m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Illustrator CS5?
      1m 46s
    3. Using the exercise files
      31s
  2. 12m 37s
    1. What are vector graphics?
      6m 3s
    2. Path and appearance
      3m 42s
    3. Stacking
      2m 52s
  3. 32m 6s
    1. The Welcome screen
      2m 23s
    2. Creating files for print
      6m 7s
    3. Creating files for the screen
      2m 55s
    4. Using prebuilt templates
      2m 40s
    5. Adding XMP metadata
      4m 18s
    6. Exploring the panels
      6m 33s
    7. Using the Control panel
      3m 11s
    8. Using workspaces
      3m 59s
  4. 43m 44s
    1. Navigating within a document
      9m 15s
    2. Using rulers and guides
      7m 26s
    3. Using grids
      3m 6s
    4. Using the bounding box
      3m 37s
    5. Using Smart Guides
      5m 56s
    6. The Hide Edges command
      3m 22s
    7. Various preview modes
      3m 47s
    8. Creating custom views
      4m 3s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 12s
  5. 28m 46s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      8m 50s
    2. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 22s
    3. Using the Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    4. Selecting objects by attribute or type
      3m 37s
    5. Saving and reusing selections
      2m 15s
    6. Selecting artwork beneath other objects
      2m 13s
    7. Exploring selection preferences
      4m 1s
  6. 1h 16m
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 52s
    2. Drawing closed path primitives
      11m 38s
    3. Drawing open path primitives
      5m 47s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      3m 43s
    5. Drawing straight paths with the Pen tool
      7m 37s
    6. Drawing curved paths with the Pen tool
      9m 47s
    7. Drawing freeform paths with the Pencil tool
      5m 33s
    8. Smoothing and erasing paths
      3m 8s
    9. Editing anchor points
      7m 21s
    10. Joining and averaging paths
      10m 9s
    11. Simplifying paths
      4m 55s
    12. Using Offset Path
      2m 17s
    13. Cleaning up errant paths
      2m 32s
  7. 48m 26s
    1. The Draw Inside and Draw Behind modes
      7m 34s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 56s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      8m 0s
    4. Using the Shape Builder tool
      10m 28s
    5. Using Pathfinder functions
      8m 6s
    6. Splitting an object into a grid
      1m 16s
    7. Using the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      7m 6s
  8. 49m 5s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 2s
    2. Creating area text
      8m 13s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      7m 44s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 28s
    5. Creating text threads
      8m 25s
    6. Setting text along an open path
      6m 29s
    7. Setting text along a closed path
      6m 24s
    8. Converting text into paths
      3m 20s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Create a logo mark
      11m 26s
    2. Add type to your logo
      7m 29s
  10. 42m 42s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      8m 21s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      4m 42s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      4m 25s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      5m 18s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 42s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      4m 33s
    7. Copying appearances
      4m 51s
    8. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      5m 50s
  11. 34m 0s
    1. Applying color to artwork
      5m 57s
    2. Creating process and global process swatches
      8m 54s
    3. Creating spot color swatches
      3m 19s
    4. Loading PANTONE and other custom color libraries
      4m 49s
    5. Organizing colors with Swatch Groups
      3m 31s
    6. Finding color suggestions with the Color Guide panel
      4m 24s
    7. Loading the Color Guide with user-defined colors
      3m 6s
  12. 50m 23s
    1. Creating gradients with the Gradient panel
      8m 12s
    2. Modifying gradients with the Gradient Annotator
      4m 37s
    3. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      5m 33s
    4. Defining your own custom pattern fills
      9m 13s
    5. Applying basic stroke settings
      5m 22s
    6. Creating strokes with dashed lines
      3m 41s
    7. Adding arrowheads to strokes
      2m 45s
    8. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 35s
    9. Working with width profiles
      2m 36s
    10. Turning strokes into filled paths
      3m 49s
  13. 32m 46s
    1. Creating and editing groups
      8m 18s
    2. Adding attributes to groups
      12m 17s
    3. The importance of using layers
      5m 9s
    4. Using and "reading" the Layers panel
      7m 2s
  14. 12m 13s
    1. Creating and using multiple artboards
      7m 52s
    2. Modifying artboards with the Artboards panel
      2m 2s
    3. Copy and paste options with Artboards
      2m 19s
  15. 31m 10s
    1. Moving and copying artwork
      3m 55s
    2. Scaling or resizing artwork
      6m 47s
    3. Rotating artwork
      2m 44s
    4. Reflecting and skewing artwork
      2m 34s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 15s
    6. Repeating transformations
      3m 39s
    7. Performing individual transforms across multiple objects
      2m 10s
    8. Aligning objects and groups precisely
      4m 27s
    9. Distributing objects and spaces between objects
      2m 39s
  16. 35m 40s
    1. Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator
      5m 14s
    2. Managing images with the Links panel
      4m 49s
    3. Converting pixels to paths with Live Trace
      8m 44s
    4. Making Live Trace adjustments
      6m 9s
    5. Controlling colors in Live Trace
      6m 4s
    6. Using Photoshop and Live Trace together
      4m 40s
  17. 14m 42s
    1. Managing repeating artwork with symbols
      4m 38s
    2. Modifying and replacing symbol instances
      3m 8s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      6m 56s
  18. 16m 57s
    1. Cropping photographs
      1m 59s
    2. Clipping artwork with masks
      3m 22s
    3. Clipping the contents of a layer
      3m 31s
    4. Defining masks with soft edges
      8m 5s
  19. 26m 2s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Moving flat art onto the perspective grid
      9m 28s
  20. 25m 8s
    1. Printing your Illustrator document
      3m 26s
    2. Saving your Illustrator document
      6m 39s
    3. Creating PDF files for clients and printers
      7m 30s
    4. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Microsoft Office
      1m 4s
    5. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Photoshop
      2m 31s
    6. Exporting artwork for use on the web
      3m 3s
    7. Exporting high-resolution raster files
      55s
  21. 2m 18s
    1. Additional Illustrator learning resources
      1m 36s
    2. Goodbye
      42s

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