Adobe InDesign CC - Essential Training

How to create your own RGB & CMYK colors in Adobe InDesign.

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, in this video we're going to look at adding these sexy colors over here to InDesign. We'll look at color in general, its a little bit longish video but its the kind of stuff you need to know if you're going to be getting into InDesign production. So let's go and add some pre-made colors.

Before we go any further, let's just ensure your screen is looking like mine. So at the top here, go to 'Essentials'. If yours say something else, it might say 'Advanced', or something else, click up in this random area at the top here, and click 'Essentials'. I'm pretty sure, on a PC its over here as well. I remember, in an earlier version it was all the way over here, on the left; double check. But find something that looks like that, make sure it's on 'Essentials'. And where it drops down, make sure you click on 'Reset Essentials' as well. It means it just gets it back to square one. This is handy when you're doing something and you accidentally drag this, and it ends up in a weird spot, that's because everything is a bit mixed up, and you get it lost.

So come back to this video, and go to 'Essentials', and go to 'Reset Essentials', and everything comes back to normal. What we'll also do for this course is-- see these double arrows here? I prefer to have this group of tabs always out rather than like little click-able in and out boxes. If you've got a really small screen you might have to keep them all pushed in. For the moment, let's ignore this little thing over here. That's something I've added for us later on.

What we're going to do when we're starting a new job is-- we've created a new page, but one of the first things you do now is create a new 'CC Library'. You might do 'CC Libraries' per client rather than per job. So if you're working at one company, you might have just one. You can see, on my library I've got loads of them. All they are is a place to store things live. As you can see in this case, colors, fonts, images, and the cool thing about it is that it's shared across all the Adobe products. You might be only using InDesign but if you start using Photoshop or Illustrator, this library is in there as well, so you can share these colors across.

So what we're going to do is 'CC Libraries', we're going to use this little drop-down. Yours is probably set to 'My Library'. I've got couple of 'My Library' for some reason, but you've got one. I'm going to create a new library for this course. I'm going to call this one 'Green at Heart'. You do the same. Let's click 'Create'. Its just a nice empty library at the moment, but what it's going to do is, when we add our colors we'll add them to the library at the same time, and when we bring in images, and icons, they'll go in there as well.

So, to add colors-- we're going to add corporate colors. If you are just playing around, and you want to mix up any color, watch this, if I highlight this text here, and just go-- what might happen is, in this case you can see here, that nice little rainbow thing that was here a second ago, now there's black and white, you can switch it up here, this little flat menu, back to 'RGB', and you get that color thing back again. That happens quite a bit while you're working in InDesign, but if you've got no design at the moment and you're randomly picking colors for the client, or yourself, you can just use this 'Eyedropper' down here, and it will randomly pick colors, and that might be great, but say you're working for a client that has specific color needs, so we're going to have to put in their corporate colors. So let's go and do that now.

One of the things we'll look at is 'Swatches', our pre-made colors. Now, InDesign's given you a couple of pre-made ones, here its 'None', so empty box. There's 'Registration', and reasonably complicated, but at our level here, we just never use it. I never use 'Registration'. We'll look at it a little bit more in our advanced class. We'll look at 'Registration' and 'Plates'. Just ignore that one for the moment.

What you want to do is, use 'Black', not 'Registration'. So, 'Black', then there's white, they call it 'Paper' because, you'd imagine, if you're printing-- if I printed this, and I was expecting this to be white, but I put blue paper in my printer, its not going to actually be white it's going to be blue, of the paper. So that's why they're all clever with the word 'Paper' there, and not white, but it means white. Then they went and mixed in some really awful colors. These are there by default, you can delete them, you can select them all, and say "Goodbye, off to the trash can." We'll leave them there for the moment.

So what we want to do is mix our own colors. Now, you're going to have to find out what your corporate colors are. You might be working at a company, and they've got a corporate manual and it lists up their colors. You might have to ask the marketing department what they are, or their designer who's working there, or working with you. You're going to have to figure out what these colors are. Now to create a swatch, go into this fly out menu here, in the 'Swatches' panel. There's one at the top here that says 'New Color Swatch'. Sometimes, I've been on my 'Type' tool and I've got text selected, and its freaking out a little bit, so what I can do is, just go back to my 'Arrow', and I've clicked off in the background now, I can go through and get a new 'Color Swatch'. I'll pretend I did that on purpose to show you a lesson but really, I just got lost.

Let's click on this top one here, it says 'Name with Color Value'. If you leave that on, you're going to have colors like this which aren't very useful. They're the actual code for them, especially when you're dealing with a client say like me, I work for hundreds of companies. So if I type in green, it could be green from any company. So I'm going to 'untick' this, and I'm working for the 'Green at Heart'. I'm just putting an acronym in there. If you're working with Disney, put in 'Disney Green'. I'm working with 'Green at Heart Red'. And what we're going to do is the 'Color Mode'.

Now we're going to be using 'RGB' in this class. You might look at your corporate manual, and they use 'CMYK'. The times we've used each of them, 'RGB' is probably the most common. Especially if you're going to be designing something that's going to be viewed on a screen. So 'RGB' is Red, Green, and Blue and that's what your screen uses to display colors. 'CMYK' is what your printer uses to display colors. And you'll notice its a lot less, because if you've ever printed something from your laptop, and it looks awesome, and then it prints out on the printer, just a little bit washed out, its because of 'CMYK'. 'RGB', luckily has a bigger color field. It also has light coming out of it, luminance because your laptop screen is all bright, and its got lights and it's all going to achieve those colors like the Toxic green, or a Madonna pink, on 'RGB'.

When you use 'CMYK', it's when you're going to a commercial printer, or an offset printer. And that happens-- depends on what you're working on. If you're doing stuff, and it's going to be printed in the office, send a 'RGB'. Office printers love 'RGB'. Even if they're laser color printers, they like 'RGB' more, and if you're getting like 10,000 printed, at a large printing house they'll expect 'CMYK'. They look very similar in terms of their colors but the codes are slightly different. We're going to use 'RGB'. And here are the 'RGB' colors that I've got.

So we're going to list all these out. I'm going to put in '255' for the first one, then '99', and then '88'. You see, its still at pink, but if I click out here, one of the other ones, it changes to my swatch. And what I want to do is, I'm going to add it to my library at the same time, 'Green at Heart'. You might have a different one, lots of different ones, but I'm going to add it to my 'Green at Heart' at the same time. If you're confused by libraries, and you just hate them, you don't want to use them, you can 'untick' this. Let's click 'Add' rather than 'OK'. Why? Just means it keeps this open.

So I can add more colors. This one's going to be 'Green at Heart Yellow'. And add another one. '255', I'm 'tab'bing down, I'll click in the next box, '145'. Actually don't click anything, because its pink, not yellow. I think I'll add '2' at the front of this one. So ignore their notes over here. It should be '255', '255', '145'. I am going to click 'Add'. You can see there, it appears in my 'Library', it also appears down here in my swatches, both places.

So what I want to do now is pause and go through, and add these. I'm going to get Tayla, our wonderful editor to go through and speed this up, so I'm going to insert mine. See you then. Here we are, and when you're finished, click 'Add', or 'OK'. Either way, it closes it down. Now we need to click 'OK', so its finished.

Now, couple of things. You might have clicked 'OK' by accident, how do you get back in there? You just go back into this flat menu, and say 'New Color Swatch'. If, like me, you've spelt one wrong, I've left the green off it, you can just double click it, and it opens up, click 'OK'. If you forgot to tick the box at the bottom you can select on these guys. See this little cloud kind of icon here? This will add it to the swatches over here. So that's the end of this super-duper, long color nerd fest. I realize we're a bit into this course and we still just have a blank page. But that's okay.

So that's it for this video. We're going to move on to stealing colors from logos. Just in case you don't know what the corporate spec is, I'm going to show you a sneaky trick to go and do that. So let's go do that in the next video.