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2.5 How to Format Color in Your Template

Along with typography, color is one of the most striking things that you can change about your proposal template. It's not reinventing the wheel, but a clever switch of color can cast your proposal in a completely new light. So, for example, a punchy red might make a great fit for a tech brand. While more soothing tones of green might suit a proposal put together by a not-for-profit, or an environmental business. So much more so than typography, color has the power to transform the psychological impact of your proposal. So you can see it as a strategy for putting the reader into the right mindset for reading your proposal in a favorable light. But enough about psychology, let's get practical and creative as well. In this lesson, I'll show you how you can change a single accent color in your proposal to lift and transform the whole design. Working still on our InDesign template, let's expand the Swatches panel, which you can find at Window > Color > Swatches. So we've already got a really nice classic set of monochrome-themed swatches in here with a range of grays, blacks, and off whites. If you've got this already, my feeling is there's no need to change it. These are doing the hard work for you. They're adding subtle gradients of color to different elements in your document. They're very inoffensive workhorses, so let them do their bit. The swatch or swatches that you want to look at changing are the accent colors. So you might just have one, as is the case here, or you might have a couple. And it's so, so easy to change this accent color and to experiment with different color combinations. So say, for example, we're not sure about this yellow. We might want something a bit cooler, a bit more modern perhaps. So to switch up the accent color across your whole document, double-click on the accent color swatch in the Swatches panel to open up the swatch options window. From here you can tweak the levels of cyan, magenta, yellow and black to create new colors. And as long as you have the preview box checked, you can instantly see the results live on the document. So try experimenting with different colors, what looks good with the fonts and the photos. What's going to give you enough contrast against the text. Something like a very punchy orange red, like cyan 0, magenta 80, yellow 79 and black 0 could give a nice edge to the document and makes the design look a bit more attention grabbing. Or something more soothing like a pastel blue, like cyan 48, magenta 0, yellow 14 and black 0 could also look really nice. Yeah, I think that looks really good. So when you've decided on your new accent color, just click OK, and you're done, it's that easy. If you want to add additional colors to your proposal, all you need to do is choose new color swatch from the Swatches panel. So if you want to be more experimental with color, such as using a different accent color on each spread, you can do just that. It will just involve manually applying the swatches to elements. If you want to get even more creative with color, you can also create gradient swatches which blend two or more colors together to create a very on trend effect. In the second half of the course, we'll take a more in-depth look about how to do this. But for now we're continuing to adapt our proposal template and tweak little elements to big effect. In the next lesson, we're going to look at how you can edit master pages in your template, which are going to give your page numbers and running headers a completely different look.

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