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There will come a time when you're working in Illustrator, especially if you do a lot of client work, that the client simply won't know what color they need for any particular project. In that case, it's up to you to determine exactly what swatches you use for that given project. In this movie I am going to show you how to utilize some of the built-in swatch libraries to hopefully alleviate some of that pain. As you can see here, I've got lots of different shapes here on my artboard. They are all individual and they've all got different colors applied to them already. Well let's say the client didn't really know exactly what they wanted these colors to be.
I might have to use the built-in swatch libraries to find something that I like. In order to access the swatch libraries you are going to have to go over the Swatches panel and find this little stack of books in the bottom left-hand corner. When you hover it, it says Swatch Libraries menu. When you open it up you will see things like Art History, Celebration, Color Books, Color Properties, Corporate, Default Swatches, Earthtone, Foods, et cetera. There are some colors in here that are extremely helpful.
For instance, Color Books, you can come in and actually bring up different Pantone libraries to work with. If you're a graphic designer, this is killer, because you can come in and open all of these different Pantone swatches and apply them instantly to your artwork. If you're not sure what Pantone swatches are, they are basically spot colors that are easily an applyble to any of your artwork inside of Illustrator that you don't have to craft yourself. You can buy Pantone books and reference different colors in the books and they look just the same as they would here in Illustrator, it's fantastic.
Let's go ahead and open up something else inside of Illustrator though. Let's say for instance that the client wants this to look a little bit more organic. Well I've got this library called Earthtones and I can open that up and automatically I get all of these different color groups with Earthtones inside of them. If I hover over them, you'll see once called Earthtone 10, 9, 8 all the way up. They are not really labeled descriptively. And the colors aren't labeled more descriptive either, but you can kind of look at them and see exactly--does it work or does it not? I am going to start using these right now.
I'll double-click to enter isolation mode on this object and I will just start applying colors. So for instance I am going to use this set right here. So I will go in and select this object, apply color, I can then go through and select other objects and apply that swatch accordingly. Apply color, this one, apply the next color and so forth. Once I have applied my colors I can click away from it to see if I like it. If I don't, I can simply apply more. So in this case I'll use this last swatch library here.
The best part about swatch libraries is that they are all in harmony already. They are grouped logistically to look good. So utilizing these is a great way to ensure that your artwork looks consistent across all the different objects that you have. Once I have that done, I can exit isolation mode, and I can also close this swatch library if I want to, and now the artwork that my client wanted to be a little bit more earthy, is just that. So the next time you're stumped on what colors to use for a particular project, dive into the swatch libraries and see what you can find.
You will be amazed at the amount of creativity that it will spark.
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