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FREELessons: 13Length: 1.3 hours

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3.2 Spot Colors

Here we will be learning about spot colors, and why they are important to us.

1 lesson, 01:43


2.Adobe Illustrator Program Overview
3 lessons, 21:49

Color Models

Color Panel

Color Harmonies

3.Shapes and Lines
2 lessons, 12:03

Global Colors

Spot Colors

4.Manipulate Shapes and Lines
3 lessons, 21:07

Swatch Groups

Replace and Merge

Custom Libraries

5.Colors and Effects
3 lessons, 18:06

Recolor With the Artwork Panel

Putting the Recolor Panel to Work

Process Color to Spot Color

1 lesson, 01:14


3.2 Spot Colors

Hi my name is Simona, and welcome to Tuts+. You are watching the course Mastering Color in Adobe Illustrator CC, and this is lesson Spot Colors. In this lesson we will be learning about spot colors and why they are important to us. So let's get started. Let's open up Adobe Illustrator CC and the source file called Lesson 3.2 in your source file folder. I created a marquee sign with text and light bulbs to our tent, a background representing the sky, and the ground where the tents are placed on. Now we already learned about global colors and how we can easily turn our artwork into a brand new color set. So what is this talk about spot colors anyways? Maybe you have heard of color separations and that process colors from Illustrator can be separated into different individual plates when printing an art work. These plates are usually CMYK plates. But what if we want a color that has a specific process, like a metallic color, or Pantone colors? In this case, we can use spot colors so they will identified, and extra printing plates can be made. Now there is one other way to use spot colors, for example, for varnishes. You probably have seen this before in business cards or greeting cards. A varnish is a glossy or a matte finish to a particular area of an artwork and in order to get it applied right, we can create spot colors to identify the area. So let me demonstrate how this can be done. For example, I would like to have the marquee sign and the trees varnished with a glossy finish. We can go following way about it. First, let's create a new color swatch in our Swatches panel. And then in the dialog box we'll call it gloss varnish and we set the Color Type to Spot Color instead of Process Color. See the tick for Global colors is already checked? Illustrator automatically makes spot colors into global colors as well, and the reason we want to call it gloss varnish, is that the printer knows that this is not the color to be printed but used as a varnish, and the plan will get made to it accordingly. Now one small tip here, let's choose a color that we are not using in our artwork. For example, 100% magenta. After that we click OK. Now when we look at the swatch panel, we can see that the new swatches here, with the name gloss varnish, and the small triangle here with a dot in it. Now this tells me that this is not only a global color but also a spot color. Now we don't want to lose the color of the marquee sign and the trees. So we will just have to create a new layer in the Layers panel, and then we'll call it gloss varnish, and then we will make a copy of the marquee shape and the trees on to it. Then we select the shape, and then we fill it with the gloss varnish spot color. Now this is a good way to do it, since if we needed to show the artwork to the client, and you don't want to show the magenta shapes that identify the gloss varnish, we can just hide the layer and then show the artwork to the client. And we don't lose the work we've just done. But when we go to print separations, and we can do this by clicking print, and in the dialog box, we click Output, and then, we select the Mode to be Separations, we can see here that not only do we have CMYK, but also, this spot color called gloss varnish. One more thing before we wrap up this lesson. We need to set the shapes with gloss varnish spot color, to Overprint in our Attributes panel. We want to do this because the way that separations are created, is that the colors that appear stacked on top of other colors will always knock out the colors beneath it, so all we need to do is set those objects to Overprint in our Attributes panel. Now, there are more applications for spot colors, not just for logos that use a specific Pantone colors. But we can also use spot colors for T-shirt designs. Many T-shirts are printing using the silkscreen techniques. And for each color a screen will be made and therefore we choose spot colors so the separations can be done properly. And now we are at the end of this lesson about spot colors and how to make them. Remember spot colors like Pantones, metallic colors and special inks and varnishes are always identified as spot colors. Sometimes we can even see spot colors for die lines or fault lines. So let's move on to the next lesson and learn more about the Swatches panel and swatch groups in detail.

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