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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.
I'd like to share a feature with you inside of Illustrator that has to do with color and that's also very close and dear to my heart. That's because I am one of the people in the population that is classified as being colorblind. I am red-green colorblind, meaning, that I have a very difficult time differentiating between reds and greens. Now about 7% of the population in the United States is colorblind. So that means it's certainly possible that artwork that you create will be perceived quite differently by some other people. In some countries such as Japan, for example, the percentage of colorblind people is even higher, closer to 14%.
Now in reality, if I pick up a newspaper and I see something that looks green to me but really it's red, this really doesn't make that much of a difference. However, if you have green text on a red background, that actually is going to cause a problem, because for some people they won't be able to actually read the text; that's because both those colors will blend into each other. And there won't be enough contrast between the text and the background. Now as you're designing inside of Illustrator, how can you be sure that you use in the correct contrast in your design to ensure that somebody who is colorblind also be able to perceive and read the things that you're creating? What's interesting is that the government in Japan, understanding that such a large percent of the population is colorblind, actually implemented standards where people who create public signage need to ensure that the artwork has enough contrast in it, so it becomes visible and readable to those who are colorblind.
So when you creating artwork inside of Illustrator, you may decide to double-check your artwork and make sure that a person who is colorblind will also be able to read or understand the artwork that you're creating. Back in Illustrator CS4, Adobe Editor Preview functions that you can actually turn your display, so that it looks like the colors that a colorblind person would see. You can actually do that from the View menu. Choose View, go to where it says Proof Setup, and then choose between the two popular different types of color blindness, which is primarily red-green or blue-yellow.
I want to choose the red-green version and you can see now that the colors look very different on the screen. Well, actually to me personally they don't look very different. In fact, the first time that I used this feature, I thought it really wasn't doing anything, but for a person who doesn't suffer from colorblindness, they would see a major shift now, and the difference in how the colors appear on screen. Now all I really wanted to do here is make sure that my artwork has enough contrast in it so that it still becomes legible. I am actually going to go back to the View menu here and I am going to uncheck Proof Colors.
You see, once you've set up which proofing type you want, you can just simply toggle the setting by turning Proof Colors on and off. What I am going to do is I am going to use under the feature here inside of Illustrator to allow me to design and also preview my colors at the same time. Right now, I am working in this document here called giftcards.ai. I am going to go over to my Window menu and I am going to choose this setting here at the top called New Window. This is actually going to create now a second view of my existing file. Notice over here I have something called giftcards.ai, and then I have a colon and this says the number 1, giftcards.ai:1.
This is the first view of that document. And then I have giftcards.ai:2. Now I can toggle back and forth between them but that's not really what we want to use because I am only seeing one at a time. But if I go over here to my bar over here at the top and, by the way, id this does not look exactly the same on your screen as it does on mine you might want to go up to the Window menu and choose to turn on the Application Frame. That's what allows me to have these buttons here at the top. And I want to choose a 2-Up version. This is going to allow me to view both documents at the same time.
It's basically going to split my screen in half. So I am just going to use my spacebar here to reposition the artwork over here, and then I'll click over here and I'll also do the same this way. So I am basely looking at the same document, but I am looking at the same document using two different views. What I'll do over here is I'll click on giftcards.ai:2, the second view and now I'll go to the View menu and I'll turn on the Proof Colors. Now by default, Proof Colors is set to the US Web Coated (SWOP) version 2 setting. So I am going to go back to the View menu here where it says Proof Setup, I am going to change my proofing to be set for Colorblindness.
So now I can work in this document over here where I see all of my colors. But I am also seeing another version of my artwork here being previewed for colorblindness. If I go back to this window right now and I select his background color and I decide to change it, as I change it, I am actually seeing what's different between the two. Remember, it's the same document that if I make changes in either window, it is the same file that I am working on; I am just previewing this file in two different ways. By working in this way I can ensure that the colors that I am using in my design have enough contrast that even someone who is colorblind will still be able to read and see everything in my design.
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