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A Complete Guide to Color in Adobe Illustrator

Lesson 1 of 15

Intro from Jason


A Complete Guide to Color in Adobe Illustrator

Lesson 1 of 15

Intro from Jason


Lesson Info

Intro from Jason

Hi, I'm Jason, and I'm here to show you color and illustrator. Whether you're a seasoned user or just a beginner, an illustrator, we're gonna walk you through all the different aspects and all the different features that illustrator has to offer on color. Starting off with the swatches panel. How to understand the swatches panel. Create your own swatches. Go into the color picker to pick colors using hue, saturation, brightness, RGB or C N y que. Then we get into the color panel where we can explore color even further. So depending on whether you're creating something for a website or a logo or a graphic or for film or mobile, we're gonna talk about the different types of color modes and how we adjust for those and how we build color swatches to fit our artwork. Then we're going to go on to more intriguing things, like the Adobe color themes panel on how you can research themes and how you can edit those themes as well as going into the Adobe color Guide panel. And the guide allows you...

to go through and mixed colors differently and see different versions of those colors. We even get you to go online to colored adobe com where we can do even mawr exploration. We can edit colors their online, and we can also upload images to sample colors from those images as well. A sample colors to make greedy INTs from those images, saving that to our creative Cloud library. We talk about libraries on how we can store colors for use in illustrator or using these same colors that we've chosen to use them another adobe applications and also share them with our friends and co workers or anybody else that may be working on this project with us. We'll also show you how to explore colors from different types of color themes, using the adobe color commas well, moving on to other interesting things like radiance. We show you how to make an edit. Grady INTs and create some very interesting techniques and looks with these type of Grady INTs. I'm also going to show you best practices for being able to build your own palettes of color. But also talk about accessibility and accessibility is something that's really important these days to make sure that the artwork that you build is going to be accessible and compliant. We also get into more technical things like blend modes and opacity and not to leave the print people out. We're also gonna talk about spot colors and how those work as well. So this pretty much covers the entire gamut of color and illustrator from the simple to the very interesting complex and also probably answer a lot of questions that you may have on why certain things work the way they dio and illustrator. And this will also help to expand the color that we create an illustrator beyond just illustrator by being able to put these into our libraries and share them beyond. So come along with me. We're gonna have a great journey of color here, and I hope you enjoy it.

Class Description


  • Understand color modes.
  • Create colors, save them to your library and export for use in other applications.
  • Explore color harmonies and color themes.
  • Use the recolor artwork feature to create alternate artwork colors.
  • Create tints, opacity and blending modes.


Intro to Color in Adobe illustrator is for those who are looking for a deeper and broader knowledge of color in illustrator. This class takes you from the very basics of creating swatches and picking colors by using the color picker, to being able to set up color modes for web, mobile or print projects. Using the Color Picker and Color panels, this class will explain different color modes such as RGB, CMYK and HSB as well as how to apply these color modes in your work.

The series expands to using the Adobe Color themes and Color Guide to search, edit and create new sets of color swatches to best suit your projects. Adobe color website and additional options for creating color swatches, as well as using images to inspire your color palette.

More advanced features of color include the Recolor artwork, mapping spot colors to existing colors as well as an overview of spot colors, blend modes and opacity. Color accessibility is explained to adjust artwork for color blindness. Blend modes and opacity as well as spot colors round out this course. A few tips and best practices are included for how to set up a color palette for specific projects and to share, save and export these color palettes for other projects.


  • Beginners who are learning illustrator basics
  • Artists and creators who want to explore color harmonies and color themes
  • Advanced users who want to master color creating, editing and management


Adobe Illustrator CC 2021


An Adobe® Certified Expert and Adobe® Certified Instructor, Jason Hoppe has accrued more than 17 years’ experience in high-end production training, photo retouching, color correction, and creative workflow management. In fact, Jason has been performing high-end electronic production since the industry’s inception. Also during this time, Jason has taught prepress and electronic design to hundreds of Seattle-based creative professionals and aspiring designers in a variety of settings, including one-on-one tutoring, classroom instruction, live webcasting, and large group training. He currently teaches the Adobe® Creative Suite at The School of Visual Concepts, Luminous Works and Seattle Central College and was the founding Instructor at CreativeLive.


  1. Intro from Jason
  2. Intro to Color in Illustrator

    Overview of RGB and CMYK color modes. File setup and color mode options, converting color modes, RGB, CMYK, HSB, Hex colors.

  3. Swatches Panel

    Swatches panel overview, color modes, swatch creation, panel options, default colors, global colors and built-in libraries, remove and replace colors. Apply colors to fill and stroke, shortcuts and tricks

  4. Color Panel

    Explore color creation using the color panel, color picker, creating tints and shades, understanding out of gamut colors. Access RGB, CMYK, HSB, Lab and HEX colors for swatch creation.

  5. Eye Dropper Tool

    Sampling colors from artwork or images, add sampled color to the Swatches panel. Tips and tricks on how to sample colors and add them to the Swatches panel

  6. Color Themes Panel

    Create,, explore and edit color themes, add colors to the swatches panel, explore basic color harmony rules. Explore more options at and sample colors from images and create gradients from artwork or images and add these colors to the Library Panel.

  7. Color Guide Panel

    Setting panel options, base colors, explore color harmonies. Set tints and shades, warm and cool colors and vivid and muted color ranges. Add selected colors to the Swatches panel.

  8. Gradients Panel

    Create and edit gradients, apply colors, change color stops. Explore linear, radial and freeform gradients. Apply gradients on strokes.

  9. Recolor Artwork

    Edit color and color sets, recolor artwork based on the color rules, change artwork colors based on applied swatches

  10. Color Blend Modes and Opacity

    Explore blend modes on how colors can be combined. Practical applications of blend modes and opacity.

  11. Spot Colors

    Understand what spot colors are and how and why they are used. Access the Pantone Matching System (PMS) color library in the Swatches panel to choose spot colors. Convert process colors to the matching spot color using the Recolor Artwork panel.

  12. CC Libraries Panel

    Creative Cloud Libraries panel overview to save colors, graphics or artwork for use in other Illustrator files or other Adobe Applications. Add content to the library and access the library in any Adobe Application or via the web at

  13. Color Modes, Proofing Colors and Accessibility

    Set color modes; RGB or CMYK. Convert colors in a file to either color mode. Work on files that are to be used for both print and web and see how to proof colors on screen to see what the color result will be in the end use. Set up colors for Accessibility, specifically for color blindness.

  14. Import and Export Colors

    Best practices for creating a color palette, importing the colors used in the file into the Swatches Panel. Export colors as and Adobe Swatch Exchange file (.ASE) for use in other Illustrator files and other Adobe Applications.

  15. Outro from Jason


Paula Ayers

Well taught and super useful. Will be looking at his other classes.