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Custom Color Palettes

Lesson 4 from: FAST CLASS: Design Surface Patterns From Scratch

Bonnie Christine

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Lesson Info

4. Custom Color Palettes

Lesson Info

Custom Color Palettes

Okay so we're gonna go right into color and what I wanna do first is open up this cut there I've pre made some color palettes that are available to you, it's in your course materials if you have gotten any kind access so I'm just gonna grab them here so we can check them out. So it's color is the file and these are the color palettes that I've put together for us to use during the course. I have gotten most all of these from photographs like I showed you in the last segment. These are some that I have used in previous work that I just have fallen in love with. So this is the document. When you open this at home, this is exactly how it will look and they're already loaded over here for you on the right but I want to show you how to save this color palette to where I can then go back to my other document and open up the color palette. Same thing works for if you're making a color palette from a photograph like we went over, you can get them over into your swatches panel and y...

ou save the color palette just like I'm about to show you. So over here on your swatches, you have a flyout menu and you can go down to save, swatch library I believe as ASE and then I'm gonna name this creativelive color palette and hit save, you can you can name it whatever you want, hit OK. Now when I go over to the document that we were just then come over to my flyout menu from the Swatches panel, go to open swatch library. You should know that you have some color palettes that are already saved in Illustrator so you have tons of stuff to get started with if you're not comfortable building your own color palettes or if you're not gonna be using this one you can play with the ones that they already have and you can find those all here but if you've saved one they're under User Defined and now my creative live color palette pops up. So if I select that they will come up in this kind of alternative window here, they don't automatically get loaded in your swatches panel so that is to allow you to basically pick and choose what you want from a larger color palette. So I want all of them. So I'm gonna click and as I click on these, they get added to my swatches panel, see that? Done, once they're over in my swatches panel, I can just hit the X on this and take it away. So you can save as many color palettes as your heart desires. So how do we use these color palettes? There are a couple of different ways we can work. One of the most fun ways is to use, I'm gonna select this butterfly that we made last segment and should be at the top of your toolbar is called the Recolor Artwork tool. So if you have a piece of artwork selected, this will be available to you and you can just select recolor artwork and that is huge let's see. I'm gonna just zoom out here so that we can fit that in our window. Okay so when the recolor artwork tool comes up, all of the color palettes that are in your swatches panel are available to you in this as well. So you can do a couple of things First of all these are all the colors that are showing up in inside the artwork that you have selected. So you can switch these around, see what it looks like when you alternate colors. Like for me these two pink colors, they're really almost identical so I just would rather than be the same, so rather than exiting this and making them the same, I can just drag this color on top of this one and they're the same now. Now when I need it that's permanently saved and now if I hit OK and reopen it, then those colors will be the same. So sometimes it's nice to just reduce the colors that you have in a piece of work so I'm gonna hit OK and then if I open that back up, you can see I only have one pink there now. So down here, you'll find randomly changed color order and if I just start clicking through this, it's gonna give me some new options for colors on this butterfly. (laughing) This is using the existing colors that are already in the butterfly, okay, if I wanna play with a new color palette, that's when I come over here to my color groups, click on this one and it will load all these and I can start going through this. So you can imagine how fun this is, and how addicting it is. So I'll just run through these and see maybe holler if you like one Holler I'm from North Carolina. So the possibilities are endless. You also have, you know this is kind of out of control, it's doing it all for you, and you can gain back some control. If you hit new row down here, it's gonna add all of the colors in the color palette that you're using that aren't showing up currently in in the display so you know, say I like this but I don't really like the orange, I would rather it be the dark all I have to do is click on this and drag it up and drop it on top of the orange and they switch places. Same with any of these up here. You just drag and drop on top of each other and they switch places. How about that. So a couple of other options here are randomly change saturation brightness. I don't do this usually because I tend to be working with hues and saturations that I'm currently happy with but this will like deepen or enrichen the color palette that you're using it'll change it all around. It's not my favorite tool, but you should know it's available to you and if you see go to Edit, we're on the Assign tab, which is what automatically gets opened for the recolor artwork tool but if you go to Edit, then you have the ability to actually change these colors so if I want this orange to be like over here, changes all of them together so you can really mess with the with the hue that you're working with here. They're all linked together now and you can also unlink them by clicking on the chain and that way you can just move one independently from the other. So these are our new colors and you can do that with all your artwork. You were talking a little bit about warm ,cooler tints of a color and so say I have this like kind of fuchsia pink selected right now if you come out to the flyout menu for the color panel you can select Invert, it'll give you the invert color. If you select compliment, it'll give you the compliment color. Another thing that is available is under window. Just check your color guide which will bring up your color guide panel and this will give you all kinds of shades and tints to complement the primary color that you're using. So this is tints and shades if you want warms and cools you hit warms and cools and that kind of does this and vivid and muted gives you the more vivid and the more vivid of the color so if you really have a color that you or love working with then you need something that complements it that's cool or warm or more vivid then the color guide is great way to accomplish that. There's so much to learn about color. The other great thing that's available is that if you just double click on the color that you're working on, the color picker comes up, you guys are probably familiar with this through other applications that you just get to drag, drag around and drop but this is great for when you're adding texture, which we're gonna get into a little bit you can just ever so slightly change the color so that it's more it's in the same family but it's a little more subtle. So you can ever so slightly change the color there or you can drastically change the color by going through the color picker. Also just a total side note is that if you're working on the web, these web numbers should look familiar to you and you can plug in exactly like the color that you use on your website to get it in Illustrator right here. Not gonna go into detail about that but if you already work with that way then you should know it's there. The design industry has Pantone colors. I brought mine with me but that are a industry wide standard for color. So years ago, it's relatively new I mean, it's been out for quite a while but you know, years ago people would have to try to communicate a specific color to a mill or printer and you can imagine how hard it is to you know, describe a seafoam green, you know in so many different ways. So people were finding little bits of things and shipping them to mills to try to describe the color that they wanted and it was it was such a problem that it resulted in the Pantone color system so they have color books, it looks like pink chips almost that are available for your industry. So I primarily use the home and decor book but they also have print for just about anything So the way that works is when you purchase a Pantone color book, you can find it on their website Pantone book, you are able to download that color system, you get something that allows you to download that color system into your into your Adobe Illustrator. So I don't have it on this computer but the way you would get to it is by the flyout menu, open swatch library and over here would be whatever it's called, mine's called Pantone cotton. That brings up a new Finder window and you're able to search for the particular color and build out your color palettes that way. So I'm not sure if we'll be able to get it on here for me to show you any more than that but if you're using that in the industry, it is very straightforward and you'll be able to save your Pantone colors for the print or the mill. The next thing I want to show you is a lot of times I'll be working with two colors and neither of them are just right so I want something in between or I just wanna play with this tool (laughing) let me show you about that. I'm gonna draw a square and I think I'll like want two colors that are kind of similar so what if I do like this pink and then I'm just gonna select this box drag and drop it over here holding the Option key and the shift key to keep it in line and drop a copy of it and then change this color to the light pink. I'm gonna use the blend tool to create steps in between the two. So if I select both of these boxes and it can be any shape, circle, star, whatever, then I need to find the blend tool here. Yeah here it is, the blend tools on the bottom and the keyboard shortcut is W so if I click on that, you need to double click on it, which brings up the blend options. You can either have smooth color, I like specified steps, I'll show you kinda what both do and then you can tell how many steps you want in between so this is gonna give me how many hues does it take to get from the dark pink to the light pink and I think eight will be fine so if I hit OK, I'm gonna hit the first color I want to do the blend with and then the second one and it creates eight steps in between. So right now this is kind of like a blend tool illustration but if you expand this illustration, then you have all these squares that you can play with so to do that, you just hit come up to object Expand So you want to, you'll always pretty much always click OK, you'll want to expand the object and the fill and that makes these individual objects, we'll be using the expand to a lot so if I ran over that too fast, we're gonna come back to it. So then you can ungroup this and pull these squares out. If there's a color in here, that is really what you wanted, you can, I'll just show you if you wanted a color palette full of these pink hues, you just select everything come over to new color group, name it if you want, hit OK and now they're in your document and so that means you can use them to recolor any of your artwork I hit Command + H so you can see and then you can scroll through these pink cues. Okay, so I use that all the time when I am really wanting a shade that's just not quite perfect I'll find it between two other shades.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Color Palettes and Pattern Mockups
Design Printables
Desktop and Smartphone Backgrounds
Course Syllabus
Grow Your Blog eBook
Industry Resources and Supplies
Jouney to Becoming a Surface Pattern Designer
Keyboard Shortcuts
Keynote Session 1 A
Keynote Session 1 B
Keynote Session 3
Math Made Easy with Rotate Tool
My Creative Story