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Using spot color swatches

From: Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

Video: Using spot color swatches

Until now the colors that we were using inside of Illustrator are defined as process colors. That means that when they print, they're actually split up on to different printing plates. For example, if you were to go ahead and choose a blue color, for example, like these items that I have right over here. The name of this file is called spot_colors, which you will find in the Chapter 10 of the exercise files. If I were to print this out now on a printing press, not on a color printer that I have in my office. That's what we call a composite proof. When I actually print this on a printing press, this gets separated into four different plates. That's what we call standard process color printing. There are four plates, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. Those are the primary colors used in process color printing.

Using spot color swatches

Until now the colors that we were using inside of Illustrator are defined as process colors. That means that when they print, they're actually split up on to different printing plates. For example, if you were to go ahead and choose a blue color, for example, like these items that I have right over here. The name of this file is called spot_colors, which you will find in the Chapter 10 of the exercise files. If I were to print this out now on a printing press, not on a color printer that I have in my office. That's what we call a composite proof. When I actually print this on a printing press, this gets separated into four different plates. That's what we call standard process color printing. There are four plates, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. Those are the primary colors used in process color printing.

A combination of those colors altogether can represent many viewable colors. For example, if the artwork in my document uses many different colors, I couldn't actually have all those colors existing inside of a printing press. Rather, all those colors get broken down into these four colors. Cyan, which is just kind of light blue. Magenta, which is kind of pink or red kind of color, and then Yellow, and then Black, and in theory combining different mixtures, or percentages of those colors together can help me represent other colors as well. However, there maybe times when you want a very specific color, or there are certain times when the color that you are trying to achieve cannot be created using the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black combinations. It's those times that you create will be called a Spot Color. A Spot Color is when a printer actually goes ahead and mixes a custom ink, and actually loads that particular ink on to the printing press.

Spot Colors are used in a wide variety of workflows, and more over they are not -- designers will specify Spot Colors for company logos, or other corporate identity pieces, to ensure that the company's color is consistent throughout all the printing processes. To give you a better idea of really how Spot Colors work, we will use the new feature inside of Illustrator CS4 called Separations Preview. Go to the Window menu here, and I'll choose over here Separations Preview. I'll bring it up over here, and you can see that the artwork that I have created inside of this particular file, the wet suits that appear across the top here, use regular processed color swatch, which would separate into the primary colors.

The ones on the bottom though, I have actually call it using a Spot Color swatch called Pantone Reflex Blue. We will talk more about Pantone and Color Libraries in the next movie. But let me give you a better idea of what I mean when I say that this color separate on to separate plates. I'm going to go ahead over here in the Separation Preview panel, and click on the Overprint Preview button. That turns on the Separation Preview feature. Now you will notice that over here I have Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, and if I expand this just a little bit more, you will also see that I have the Pantone Reflex Blue color. If I go ahead now, and I turn this off, I'm now previewing the Spot Color plate that will print, called Pantone Reflex Blue, which is this artwork down here.

If I go ahead here, and I turn on the CYMK composite, when I turn it to Reflex Blue, these are the colors that will print as process. But what I could also do is, show you how they breakdown per plate. For example, we know over here if I go to the SWATCHES, and I go ahead and double-click on this particular Swatch, this Swatch is made of 90% Cyan, 50% Magenta, and 25% Black. I'll go ahead and I'll click Cancel here, and let's go ahead and show only the Cyan channel. So now I see that on the printing press, when this runs through the printing press itself, this is the Cyan plate that's going to print. I'm going to go ahead and turn on the Magenta plate. This is the Magenta plate it's going to print. I'll go ahead and turn on the Yellow plate. There is no yellow in this color right now, so the Yellow plate is actually blank and then I also have the Black plate itself. This Separation Preview panel does allow me to ensure that my color separations are going to be correct when I print my file.

But for now, let's just go and take a look at how we create Spot Colors here inside of Illustrator. I close the Separation Preview panel. I'll go here to this particular color swatch, and I'll double-click on it. And I'll see that over here where it says Color Type, I can choose between Process Color or Spot Color. If I choose a Spot Color, what will happen is that, when I create color separations out of Illustrator, any objects that using that color will get separated on to it's own plate. I'll click Cancel here, you can see that this Pantone color if I double-click on it, it's specified as a Spot Color. In fact, that you simply call the Book Color, which is -- because I have loaded this color directly from the Pantone color library. Let me click Cancel here, you will see over here that the icon itself has a real dot inside of that white triangle, which identifies this color is being a spot color swatch.

So now we understand that there are several types of swatches inside of Illustrator. Regular Color Swatches, Global Color Swatches, and now Spot Color Swatches. By the way, if you are unsure about whether to use Process or Spot Color Swatches in your artwork, it's best to speak directly to your printer, who will be happy to help you.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 48506 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 59s
    1. Welcome
      59s
  2. 33m 17s
    1. Why use Illustrator?
      2m 22s
    2. What are vector graphics?
      8m 4s
    3. Understanding paths
      4m 13s
    4. Fill and Stroke attributes
      5m 32s
    5. Selections and stacking order
      8m 31s
    6. Isolation mode
      4m 35s
  3. 23m 43s
    1. The Welcome screen
      1m 11s
    2. New Document Profiles
      4m 36s
    3. Using multiple artboards
      7m 17s
    4. Libraries and content
      3m 52s
    5. Illustrator templates
      2m 56s
    6. Adding XMP metadata
      3m 51s
  4. 43m 55s
    1. Exploring panels
      4m 18s
    2. Using the Control panel
      5m 25s
    3. Navigating within a document
      5m 27s
    4. Using rulers and guides
      5m 23s
    5. Using grids
      2m 12s
    6. Utilizing the bounding box
      3m 3s
    7. Using Smart Guides
      4m 59s
    8. The Hide Edges command
      3m 31s
    9. Preview and Outline modes
      2m 18s
    10. Using workspaces
      7m 19s
  5. 38m 3s
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 9s
    2. Drawing closed-path primitives
      7m 15s
    3. Drawing open-path primitives
      5m 5s
    4. Simple drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 28s
    5. Advanced drawing with the Pen tool
      10m 33s
    6. Drawing with the Pencil tool
      6m 33s
  6. 46m 37s
    1. Editing anchor points
      13m 7s
    2. Creating compound shapes
      5m 55s
    3. Utilizing Pathfinder functions
      5m 11s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      5m 37s
    5. Outlining strokes
      3m 24s
    6. Simplifying paths
      5m 41s
    7. Using Offset Path
      2m 43s
    8. Dividing an object into a grid
      1m 41s
    9. Cleaning up errant paths
      3m 18s
  7. 35m 23s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 4s
    2. Creating area text
      4m 19s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      6m 27s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 4s
    5. Creating text threads
      5m 28s
    6. Creating text on open paths
      5m 18s
    7. Creating text on closed paths
      3m 57s
    8. Converting text to outlines
      1m 46s
  8. 20m 15s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      7m 53s
    2. Using the Magic Wand and Lasso tools
      6m 34s
    3. Selecting objects by attribute
      2m 38s
    4. Saving and reusing selections
      3m 10s
  9. 40m 35s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      6m 48s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      3m 26s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      7m 6s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      8m 9s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 48s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      6m 51s
    7. Copying appearances
      3m 27s
  10. 37m 15s
    1. Defining groups
      7m 2s
    2. Editing groups
      5m 28s
    3. Working with layers
      8m 10s
    4. Layer and object hierarchy
      6m 57s
    5. Creating template layers
      2m 3s
    6. Object, group, and layer attributes
      7m 35s
  11. 44m 4s
    1. Applying colors
      3m 18s
    2. Creating solid color swatches
      4m 48s
    3. Creating global process swatches
      5m 1s
    4. Using spot color swatches
      4m 27s
    5. Creating swatch groups and libraries
      6m 50s
    6. Working with linear gradient fills
      6m 34s
    7. Working with radial gradient fills
      2m 19s
    8. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      4m 51s
    9. Defining simple patterns
      5m 56s
  12. 22m 43s
    1. Moving and copying objects
      2m 1s
    2. Scaling objects
      4m 49s
    3. Rotating objects
      3m 14s
    4. Reflecting and skewing objects
      2m 27s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 9s
    6. Aligning objects
      5m 15s
    7. Distributing objects
      2m 48s
  13. 25m 13s
    1. Using a pressure-sensitive tablet
      1m 38s
    2. Using the Calligraphic brush
      6m 10s
    3. Using the Scatter brush
      4m 0s
    4. Using the Art brush
      2m 26s
    5. Using the Pattern brush
      3m 21s
    6. Using the Paintbrush tool
      1m 41s
    7. Using the Blob Brush tool
      3m 42s
    8. Using the Eraser tool
      2m 15s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Using symbols
      3m 9s
    2. Defining your own symbols
      2m 1s
    3. Editing symbols
      4m 4s
    4. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      2m 32s
    5. Using the Symbolism toolset
      4m 50s
  15. 35m 37s
    1. Minding your resolution settings
      6m 15s
    2. Applying basic 3D extrusions
      6m 43s
    3. Applying basic 3D revolves
      2m 31s
    4. Basic artwork mapping
      5m 9s
    5. Using the Stylize effects
      5m 35s
    6. Using the Scribble effect
      5m 43s
    7. Using the Warp effect
      3m 41s
  16. 21m 37s
    1. Placing images
      4m 51s
    2. Using the Links panel
      2m 47s
    3. The Edit Original workflow
      2m 0s
    4. Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
      5m 29s
    5. Rasterizing artwork
      1m 55s
    6. Cropping images with a mask
      4m 35s
  17. 10m 35s
    1. Saving your Illustrator document
      8m 18s
    2. Printing your Illustrator document
      2m 17s
  18. 6m 25s
    1. Exporting files for use in QuarkXPress
      1m 8s
    2. Exporting files for use in InDesign
      39s
    3. Exporting files for use in Word/Excel/PowerPoint
      45s
    4. Exporting files for use in Photoshop
      1m 25s
    5. Exporting files for use in Flash
      1m 15s
    6. Exporting files for use in After Effects
      19s
    7. Migrating from FreeHand
      54s
  19. 2m 23s
    1. Finding additional help
      2m 0s
    2. Goodbye
      23s

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