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Using CMYK for commercial output

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Using CMYK for commercial output

In this exercise I'm going to give you a sense of how to dial in your own custom colors using CMYK sliders. Now I'm still working inside this Ton-Po Shapes.ai file, because we are just playing around at this point. I'm going to click on one of these rectangles. I actually don't want all them active, so I'm going to press Ctrl+Shift+A, Command+ Shift+A on the Mac to deselect them. I'm going to switch to the wide arrow tool here, and I'm going to Alt-click or Option-click on this rectangle to select it independently of the rest of the bunch. And then I'm going to Shift-click on this little fill icon up here in the Control palette, and we will see that we have CMYK all set to 0%. So they can vary from 0% to 100%, and they stand for the common process color ink Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, another industry standard, and these are the very inks you imply if you are preparing an illustration for commercial output. And by the way if you are going to commercial output, go to the file menu choose Document Color Mode, and make sure that you are set up for CMYK color RGB is for the Web, it's for presentation graphics, it can't be for inkjet output, and for film output as well, but if you are taking this job, you are giving it to a commercial printer, you are printing in a several hundreds or thousands of copies the CMYK color is the way you want to go, because other wise you wont see accurate colors inside of your illustration.

Using CMYK for commercial output

In this exercise I'm going to give you a sense of how to dial in your own custom colors using CMYK sliders. Now I'm still working inside this Ton-Po Shapes.ai file, because we are just playing around at this point. I'm going to click on one of these rectangles. I actually don't want all them active, so I'm going to press Ctrl+Shift+A, Command+ Shift+A on the Mac to deselect them. I'm going to switch to the wide arrow tool here, and I'm going to Alt-click or Option-click on this rectangle to select it independently of the rest of the bunch. And then I'm going to Shift-click on this little fill icon up here in the Control palette, and we will see that we have CMYK all set to 0%. So they can vary from 0% to 100%, and they stand for the common process color ink Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, another industry standard, and these are the very inks you imply if you are preparing an illustration for commercial output. And by the way if you are going to commercial output, go to the file menu choose Document Color Mode, and make sure that you are set up for CMYK color RGB is for the Web, it's for presentation graphics, it can't be for inkjet output, and for film output as well, but if you are taking this job, you are giving it to a commercial printer, you are printing in a several hundreds or thousands of copies the CMYK color is the way you want to go, because other wise you wont see accurate colors inside of your illustration.

All right, so I'll just escape out of there a couple of times, and then let's Shift-click once again on that fill icon in the Control palette. All right, I want you to see what each one of the inks looks like on it's on. So I'm going to go ahead and assign full on Cyan to this rectangle, and then I'll assign full on Magenta to this guy and I'm going to work fairly quickly here, just so as not to bore you to tears, and finally I'll go ahead and assign black to the last one, and this is black by itself. By the way we will be discussing rich blacks, which are made up of many inks working together in a later exercise. All right, so there they are, the crew themselves, all of the process color inks. So we have Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, here is the idea. Cyan is designed to take white light, so you shine white light on the surface of the page, and you don't have to sit there and shine it, it just comes in from sunlight, or from incandescent lights, or from whatever light source is available inside your building.

It hits the page, and Cyan actually absorbs redness out of the light, so if you have ever heard about the RGB color model, Red, Green, Blue, Cyan is there to absorb Red, and reflect back green and blue, and so it looks Cyan. And Magenta is designed to absorb green, and reflect back red and blue, and so you get Magenta, you get this sort of hot pink color. And then yellow is designed to absorb blue light which is very dark by the way, and reflect back red and green which makes us to form yellow, as we will see in the next exercise. And then black is designed to take care of the fact that these three inks don't really function that wonderfully. Ultimately in inexact science, and in order to really absorb all of the light, you need to add black to the mix as well, otherwise you get this sort of muddy brownish colors, if you were to just go full on Cyan, Magenta and Yellow.

All right, so let's see how these colors mix. I'll just go ahead and switch to the black arrow tool, and click on the central circle, and I'll Shift-click once again on that icon. Now I'll go ahead and turn Cyan up all the way, notice that if we turn yellow up all the way along with it, then we get green, so not so surprising that Cyan and Yellow mix to form Green, given what we have seen so far. If I were to back off of the Cyan, we would get more of a chartreuse color. And then if were to back off of, the yellow will get more sort of a muted turquoise right there. If we were to add Magenta to the mix instead, so take yellow out, and throw in some Magenta, we end up with blue.

So just full on blue, if we make Cyan and Magenta together in 100% each, and then if we were to back off the Magenta value, you can get a sense actually right in there in the slider bar you can see what's going to happen given any slider. So notice we can't see all the colors right now. I can't see orange at all. Because I have too much Cyan mixed in right now. In order to mix in orange, I would have to back off of the Cyan. But anyway, we back off of Magenta, we are going to more for a sort of cobalt-y blue or a sapphire if you prefer.

If I were to back off Cyan just a little bit we will go to a violet color and then if I back up farther we get into our purples. I'll go ahead and take Cyan all the way down, so that we can talk about some of the warmers colors, for example, I have got Magenta all the way up, if I crank yellow all the way up as well, I get a hot red, almost a Scarlet right here. If you want to send it more toward orange, you would back off Magenta. And then of course if you want more of a rose color, something along those lines, you would back off yellow, and you can mix all these colors together if you want to in order to create other color variations like so.

Then if you want a darker color you go ahead and add in black, black is just going to shade whatever you have assigned so far. So it doesn't actually bring in its own additional color from it, it is just a darkening agent. All right, but something to consider, if you are really just trying to darken a color, like let's say you are kind of mix a brownish sort of color using these two sliders, or something along the lines of this orange right here works pretty nicely, and then you look at the black and looks like it's going to make it brownish, but one of the things about black is it also tends to muddy up the color.

If you want to add richness to a color as you darken it, then you want to add the opposing color, so in our case a really great recipe for rich chocolate brown is 100% Cyan, something along the lines of let's say let's go as high as 80% of Magenta here, and then you start bringing in your Cyan to the tune of let us say something like 60%, and you get that nice, rich, buttery brown color right there, and then only then if you want to darken it up you start adding that black. Another thing to bear in mind is when you are going dark with these colors, not to go too high with your total in-coverage, you totally don't want to see all of these values adding up to more than 280%. So in our case we are dangerously close. Notice that we have 90, if you have Cyan and Magenta you have 90, and then plus yellow gives you 190, and I'm just adding in the easiest order. And so 190+80 is 270 so we are just 10% away from an ink that is so dark that it would super saturate the page. That's very possible. It would smear when you print it. So you just have to be watchful of that.

All right, so that's how you make CMYK colors here inside of Illustrator. In the next exercise I'll show you how to work with the other device depended color model, RGB.

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Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

182 video lessons · 38155 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 42m 7s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 2s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
      56s
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      35s
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 14s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 39s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
      55s
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 43s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
      54s
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 38s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 28s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
      55s
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 48s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 30s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
      44s
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 55s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 32s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
      51s
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 1s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 26s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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