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Adobe Illustrator CC - Advanced Training

How to use the Color Guide in Adobe Illustrator

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, in this tutorial we're going to look at Illustrator's Color Guide. Basically what it does is, we've got all these icons, right? We've set one of the background colors. We want to use this consistently. And we want to find colors that either complement it or just kind of work well together. We're going to do something like this where Color Guide helped us pick all of these colors and made sure they all kind of work together in color theory. All right, let's go check that out now. 

First up, open up '' from your 'Exercise Files'. It doesn't really matter what file you're using. And what we want to do is, these background colors. We just want to get a consistent color group together. And the Color Guide can be helpful for this. I don't use the Color Guide very often. I feel like there'd be people out there that will though, so I'll give you kind of an understanding of it so that you might be like, "Man, that's the thing, that's the ticket." First of all, have nothing selected, and pick a foreground color. I've double clicked my 'Fill', and I'm just going to pick anything. I'll pick a color, then open up 'Window', and go to 'Color Guide'. You might have to click on this depending on how you kind of got started. You might have to click on this to activate it to make it work. 

Basically what it's done is, depending on what you used last it's gone and picked some Harmony Rules. It just means how it interacts with the Color Wheel. In my case I'm using this one that says 'Right Complement'. Yours might be starting off from say, Triad. It gives you kind of the colors, use the Triad methodology for the colors. What we're not too worried about is what these things are called. You're just looking at colors and going "I like the way that this interacts with my base color." 

So go through, have a look. I'm going to use 'Right Complement'; I like that one. These colors, you just go through and say, "I want you, and I want you, and you." You're just kind of going through and saying "Do I want to use these colors?" I guess it adds consistency to a group of inconsistent objects, like icons. What I imagine it being really useful for is maybe picking, say a Skin Tone. Then it gives you, down the bottom here, not just the colors, but tints of that color. Really useful maybe if you're using a Wacom tablet and drawing, and wanting to pick kind of versions and tints of that same color. 

If you want to get super nerdy about it you can click on this Color Wheel here, and it will show you-- we're using, this drop down here, we're using Right Complement, and it shows you on the Color Wheel what's actually happening. Say the Triad which we talked about, it shows you kind of how it's working, right? There's kind of three way triangle on this Color Wheel. That's going to be it for this one, just because I don't use it very often, but I really feel it should be in this course. There'll be somebody out there going, "That solves a lot of problems." 

All right, I hope that was useful. Let's get into the next video.