Illustrator Swatches | How To Use Swatches In Adobe Illustrator

Graphic Design How To

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How To Use Swatches In Adobe Illustrator


Hi, this is Anne for Graphic Design. How To and today I’m going to tell you how to use color swatches in Adobe Illustrator. Alright, let’s get started, OK? So here I am in Illustrator, and I’m going to Create New. I’ll go to Print and I’ll choose Letter and we’ll create And first we’ll pull up our swatches palette. So we’ll go to Window and then Swatches And most likely yours will look like this. If you’re using Essentials, That’s Window > Workspace > Essentials. You’ll have a lot of different colors in here. And if you don’t have a particular plan in mind, this is probably a good starting place. That way you at least have some colors to choose from. I’m going to hit M on my keyboard, which will bring me to the rectangle tool and I’ll just draw a few rectangles by clicking and dragging. I’m on my selection tool and I have one selected. Now I just need to come down here and make sure my fill. Color is in front. And if it’s not, you can just click it. And it’ll be in front. You can also hit X on your keyboard to choose, Which one is active. And now I can just choose a Swatch color, select a different one, choose a different Swatch color and continue on like that. Now, if you don’t really like this yellow, you can come over here. Double, click this and choose a different yellow. I’m gonna make it a little more orangey. We’ll go right up here. And we’ll say, OK, and now I can save this new color to my swatch palette. So I’m going to click that color and just drag it over into swatches. And when you do this, it saves the actual CMYK values. CMYK is used for print. So if you wanted to put this image on Facebook or something like that, you want to choose RGB. So we can go up here to File > Document Color Mode and choose RGB, And then if we drag this color to our swatches, it will automatically come in as an RGB color, which is what we would want for digital. A lot of times when I’m working. This is just way too many colors for me to deal with, and I find it A little cumbersome. So what you can do to get rid of them is just click on one hold SHIFT and then just click the Delete button, Lets. Go ahead and delete all of these two. Even though you delete the swatches here, the colors will still remain in your document, so you’re not changing that at all? And then if you wanted to add this on back, you can either highlight that, and then just click and drag the color over to your swatches. Or you can come down here and create a new slot. And when you do that, this new swatch window will open Itll. Have your swatch name which you can change? We can just call this green if we want. And these will automatically come in as a process color. If you choose spot color, that is like a Pantone color or a specific color like that. So if you choose this, sometimes your printer will charge you extra because it’s like it has to match that spot. Color exactly. So it takes them more time on their end. So we’ll leave this as process color. And if you choose global here, it’ll add a little triangle to your Swatch itself. So let’s go ahead and do that. You can see it right here. And now, if I have a lot of different versions of this green color and I wanted to change them all at once I could double click this. Change the color, say OK? And they all change at once. So it’s really nice for that. I want to show you another way to delete swatches and that’s coming up here to the flyout and choosing Select All Unused and then deleting those. So now we’re left with only the swatches that are being used in our document. You’ll notice that the orange and the red do not have swatches because earlier we threw them away. So we can re-add them by just clicking on the New Swatch Button, clicking the other one and then clicking on the New Swatch Button again. Now I’m going to CMD A to select everything on my artboard and just delete it. And now, if we come over here to Select All Unused and delete those, we are left with Registration, white black and sometimes grays. Now I’m going to open a vector that I got off of Vecteezycom. If you want to find this vector, the link is in the description. So I’m going to go out to my Finder & Click and drag it right on to my Illustrator icon, And you’ll notice when I brought this in that All of these swatches came back and that’s because whoever worked on this file last had these swatches in their Swatch palette. So I am going to get rid of all of those. I actually have an action set up that will automatically. Select All Unused and delete them. So now I want all of the colors in this image to be in my swatch palette. So what I can do is just CMD A to select everything and then come down here to New Color Group and just click that Itll. Give us some options here – one is. Create From Selected Artwork. Which is everything that I chose. Do we want to convert process to global? I always like working with global colors because they’re so easy to change later And then Include Swatches for Tints. And I do want to do that. So we’ll say OK, and now you can see. We’ve got our whole color palette created for us right here in the Swatche’s palette. So let’s say I wanted to take all of this blue color and change it to something else. And let’s change this to a purple-ish color. We’ll say OK. Now you can see the car and the mountain in the background changed. Everything that was that color changed. And then when you’re creating new objects in your illustration, you can use the same colors by just drawing the object and then clicking on the color you want. So that’s a nice thing about the way the Swatche’s work is that you can create a color palette from something you’ve already created. You can also do this with photos. So I’m going to select all group this and move it over to the right and then we’re going to place a photo. So we’ll go to File > Place and I’m going to choose this 4 sunflowers, photo, click and drag to put it in. There are two ways that you can grab the colors from this. You can use your Eyedropper tool to find different shades that you like, And then pull those into the color palette like this, And you can also click on the image, go up here to Image Trace and choose 16 colors. Now it’s turning this into vector artwork, so it might take a moment. After it’s done, you can come up here to Expand, And now go to your Swatche’s palette and choose New Color Group Folder Well. Keep our same options as last time. And now we’ve got all the colors available from that photo to use or at least most of them. Now you probably have noticed that there are some little buttons here at the bottom of the swatch palette. First we have the Swatch Libraries menu. When you open that, this is just a lot of preset swatches that come loaded with Illustrator. So, for example, if you want to try earth tones, you’ve got a lot of different earth tone. Libraries here. So if we click on one of these, all of those just automatically come into the swatche’s palette. Next we have our color themes panel And this is pulling from Adobe Color. So when using this, you can either create your own color. You can come over here to explore and see other libraries that are available. So if you like this one, you can just click on these three dots and Add to Swatches and they’ll come right over in here where you can use them easily. And then my themes. I don’t have anything saved in here, so there’s. Nothing here right now. This button under here will help you add swatches to your library. And you can use your libraries in other Adobe apps like Photoshop or Indesign With the Swatch Kinds menu. I don’t really use it very often. I usually have Show. All Swatches here. But if you had some gradient swatches in here and you couldn’t find them because you have so many in your palette, you can just filter them like this. Right now I don’t have any in here. But if you did, they would show up right there. We’ll change it back to Show All Swatches Next. We’ve got Swatch Options. We can change our color mode here. And whether we want to use process or spot all these different things. This one is to create a new color group and the other two are just creating new swatches or deleting swatches. All right, I want to quickly show you how to make a pattern Swatch or a gradient Swatch. So to make a pattern Swatch, I’m just going to get my rectangle tool. Hold SHIFT and draw a little square and then I’m going to draw another square behind it. I’m going to change this to no fill. And now I’m going to select both. Pull them over into my swatches panel. And now I have a pattern Swatch. So if I make a big rectangle right now, and then I choose that pattern slot. It just fills it with the pattern. So it’s pretty easy to make. Now, if I wanted to change that square to a circle, I could just pull the pattern. Swatch out! Hit l to get to my circle tool & Draw a little circle in here instead. We’ll delete that one, And I’ll make it black This time. Grab both things. It’s not really centered, but that’s OK And then OPT and drag it back over that old pattern Swatch. Now, when we zoom out that pattern that I created before is updated. Gradient swatches work pretty similarly. I’ll just draw a rectangle. We’ll go to Window > Gradient Ill. Make sure my fill is in front and then I’ll click the gradient bar here. One difference with a gradient Swatch is you cannot pull it over into here or it thinks it’s a pattern Swatch. So I’m going to undo that. The best way to do, it is to just come down here and create a new Swatch. We’ll say, OK, and then whatever shape we draw, we can just apply that gradient swatch to it. The last thing I want to show you is how to save your swatches. So to do this, we have all these in here. We can come over here to the flyout and go to Save Swatch Library as Ase or Ai. You can do either one. This probably depends on what version of Illustrator you’re using. But I’ve usually save them as Ai and they’re fine. So I’m going to save this in a folder. And then if we create a new document, we have all these swatches. But we can easily come over here. The flyout, open our Swatch library and go to Other Library. Get back in the folder. We saved it. In and here are all the swatches that we were using in that last document. Alright, that’s my video for this week. If you liked it and you want to see more videos like this, hit the Subscribe button and you should get a notification every week when I put a new video out, which is Thursdays. I’ll see you next week with another graphic design tutorial. Thank you!