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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.
Sometimes you have the artwork that you want, but you don't necessarily have the colors that you want, there can be many reasons why this happens. First of all, you may have bought some kind of stock artwork from a web site like istockphoto, for example, that have a tremendous amount of vector-based artwork which looks great. However, maybe you want to change some of the colors, maybe you have a certain library of corporate colors, or you are working on a certain project that already has a defined palette of colors and you want that artwork to fit well and to match with those colors.
Or here's another example, maybe you are an apparel designer or a fashion designer, you have a design that really was great last year, now you want to use that same design again this year, however, this year's colors are different than last year's colors. So now you need to take your design, you want to keep it the same, but you just need to update all of the colors to be this year's colors, or I've an example like what I am looking at right now on my screen called matching2.ai, it's a lovely file that has many different gift cards. I hired a designer to design all these different gift cards for me.
However, at the same time my designer was working on this, I had a completely different department that was focused on choosing colors to use, so now I have my corporate colors. I get my artwork, and I now simply want all this artwork to only use the corporate colors. Do I have to now start selecting all these colors and making color changes? Wouldn't it be great if I can do all of that with just one click of a mouse? Let's see how to do that, I am going to make this a little bit small, let me zoom out, so I can move it up to the upper left-hand corner and this will allow me to have more room for my Recolor Artwork dialog.
I am going to press Command+A to select all of my artwork. Again, the goal here is to keep my artwork the same, but simply swap out the existing colors, for colors that I already have approval for. In this example, I want to use my existing Hansel & Petal corporate colors, instead of the colors that are being used here. Now I don't want to rethink the design around color either, so what I really want is I want Illustrator to look at the colors that are now inside of this file and keep them as close as possible to the original, but just use the colors that match closest to it from my approved library.
For example, in the previous movie we saw we could take an existing artwork and convert it to its closest possible match in the Pantone Library, But now, I am going to click on the color chip wheel with my artwork selected. This brings up my Recolor Artwork dialog box. Let's switch over here to the Edit view, because again, it just allows us to see clearly what's happening. I have all of the colors that appear inside of my artwork now mapped onto my color wheel, but I am going to back to this icon here to limit the color wheel to only use colors within my approved library.
If I scroll down this list here, remember that where it says, User Defined, I already have my HANSEL_CORPORATE colors saved as a library file. If I choose that option, I am now loading in only colors that exist in my library of Hansel & Petal Corporate colors. So as where my wheel of color was nice and smooth before, now it's really segmented into just a few colors. Just to see exactly what's happening here, I am going to uncheck the Recolor Artwork button, this was before, this is after, these are my original colors in the artwork and these are their closest possible matches, the colors that do exist inside of my library.
So now I can click OK, and with one click of the mouse, I'm able to take existing artwork and convert them to colors that I'm now allowed to use. Again, if I am fashion designer and I have last year's design, now I just want to update it to use this year's colors, I would open up the old file, select all my artwork, open up the Recolor Artwork dialog box, limit the Recolor Artwork feature, to use only this years or this season's colors, and then simply click OK. Illustrator handles everything else for me.
Now there is one thing to note, the only way to actually do this is to work with library files that you've already saved, so if you haven't already done so, you might want to go back to Chapter 3 and revisit the concept of creating and managing your own color libraries.
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