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Step 5: Creating a Color Palette

Go back to Step 4: Character Styles

At the Express-News, we have a color palette painstakingly worked out and tweaked by our lead graphic designers. Here it is.

Note the different variations for each color listed. They are all CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) process color values, and they are used according to need. You are welcome to use what we have created here, but you probably should check with your printing supervisor. My suggestion is to create a page like this and print it out using your presses to see what works best for you.

So, let's get started creating a color palette. We'll start with grayscale. Click on the "Swatches" panel. Depending on your settings, you will see a variation of this. Since we created our Grid.ai file from Illustrator's defaults, it's given us a series of default colors.

We're going to create our own set of colors, so let's start by deleting theirs. Select the first red color. Hold down the shift and select the last color (purple). Click on that trash can at the bottom right and throw them away.

1. Change to the Color tab.

2. Select "Grayscale"

3. Make sure the foreground (the solid box on the upper left) is to the front and black (#4 will read 100%)

4. Change the 100% to 4%

5. Create new swatch. The following dialog box comes up.

We're going to change the Swatch Name to something easier to work with. Change it to "4% Gray." Click "OK," then go back to your Swatches menu to see the new swatch. (The "4% Gray" box comes from hovering over the swatch, but Grab won't show the mouse pointer.)

Now let's repeat the procedure, creating swatches for 8, 12, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50 60, 70 and 80 percent black. Then go back to your Swatches panel and change to "Small List View." You'll see all of the new swatches you just created. Select them all, then click on the folder icon at the bottom of the panel to create a Swatch Folder. Call it "Grayscale" and click "OK." All of your swatches will move into this folder.

You've just created your first color group. Now let's add some color. We'll start with the series called "Apricot."

Go back to your Color panel and change the setting to CMYK.

The settings for Apricot 1, as set by our designer are C=2, M=8, Y=9, K=0. Type those numbers into the palette and "Create New Swatch." Call it "Apricot 1."

Repeat the process, using the following values: (You can also use the "Duplicate Swatch" option on the Swatches Panel, then change the CMYK values as needed.

  • Apricot 2: C=4, M=16, Y=18, K=0
  • Apricot 3: C=5, M=35, Y=35, K=0
  • Apricot 4: C=15, M=55, Y=60, K=0
  • Apricot 5: C=20, M=70, Y=80, K=0

Select all five colors you just created and create a Folder Group for them, calling it "Apricot."

Here's the rest of the E-N color palette:

    • Butter 1: C=2, M=2, Y=6, K=0
    • Butter 2: C=4, M=8, Y=20, K=0
    • Butter 3: C=0, M=15, Y=35, K=8
    • Butter 4: C=0, M=27, Y=47, K=12
    • Butter 5: C=0, M=27, Y=47, K=30
    • Denim 1: C=4, M=3, Y=2, K=0
    • Denim 2: C=14, M=7, Y=6, K=0
    • Denim 3: C=25, M=15, Y=11, K=0
    • Denim 4: C=50, M=28, Y=20, K=0
    • Denim 5: C=100, M=60, Y=40, K=0
    • Expresso 0: C=2, M=2, Y=4, K=0
    • Expresso 1: C=5, M=5, Y=11, K=0
    • Expresso 2: C=8, M=8, Y=13, K=0
    • Expresso 3: C=11, M=18, Y=26, K=0
    • Expresso 4: C=25, M=35, Y=45, K=0
    • Expresso 5: C=70, M=80, Y=90, K=0
    • Fern 0: C=5, M=2, Y=5, K=0
    • Fern 1: C=7, M=3, Y=7, K=0
    • Fern 2: C=14, M=6, Y=14, K=0
    • Fern 3: C=28, M=9, Y=28, K=0
    • Fern 4: C=56, M=23, Y=56, K=0
    • Fern 5: C=56, M=23, Y=56, K=50
    • Mouse 1: C=5, M=5, Y=6, K=0
    • Mouse 2: C=10, M=10, Y=12, K=0
    • Mouse 3: C=28, M=28, Y=32, K=0
    • Mouse 4: C=50, M=50, Y=55, K=0
    • Mouse 5: C=70, M=70, Y=80, K=0
    • Orange 1: C=0, M=3, Y=7, K=0
    • Orange 2: C=0, M=7, Y=30, K=0
    • Orange 3: C=0, M=15, Y=55, K=4
    • Orange 4: C=0, M=20, Y=80, K=3
    • Orange 5: C=4, M=30, Y=100, K=15
    • Pewter 0: C=4, M=2, Y=2, K=0
    • Pewter 1: C=6, M=3, Y=3, K=0
    • Pewter 2: C=12, M=7, Y=7, K=0
    • Pewter 3: C=24 M=14, Y=14, K=0
    • Pewter 4: C=48, M=28, Y=28, K=0
    • Pewter 5: C=70, M=42, Y=42, K=0
    • Violet 0: C=5, M=3, Y=3, K=0
    • Violet 1: C=6, M=4, Y=4, K=0
    • Violet 2: C=12, M=12, Y=2, K=0
    • Violet 3: C=24, M=24, Y=6, K=0
    • Violet 4: C=50, M=50, Y=8, K=0
    • Violet 5: C=85, M=85, Y=15, K=0
    • Aqua 1: C=10, M=0, Y=3, K=0
    • Aqua 2: C=20, M=0, Y=7, K=0
    • Aqua 3: C=40, M=0, Y=15, K=0
    • Aqua 4: C=80, M=0, Y=30, K=0
    • Aqua 5: C=80, M=0, Y=30, K=30
    • Green 1: C=3, M=0, Y=12, K=0
    • Green 2: C=5, M=0, Y=30, K=0
    • Green 3: C=10, M=0, Y=60, K=0
    • Green 4: C=25, M=0, Y=100, K=0
    • Green 5: C=60, M=0, Y=100, K=35
    • Naranja 1: C=0, M=3, Y=10, K=0
    • Naranja 2: C=0, M=7, Y=35, K=0
    • Naranja 3: C=0, M=13, Y=100, K=0
    • Naranja 4: C=0, M=25, Y=100, K=0
    • Naranja 5: C=0, M=55, Y=100, K=0
    • Red 1: C=0, M=5, Y=8, K=2
    • Red 1: C=0, M=25, Y=25, K=0
    • Red 1: C=0, M=60, Y=60, K=10
    • Red 1: C=0, M=90, Y=100, K=0
    • Red 1: C=0, M=100, Y=100, K=25 (Headline Red)
    • Blue 1: C=8, M=3, Y=0, K=0
    • Blue 2: C=25, M=7, Y=0, K=0
    • Blue 3: C=50, M=15, Y=0, K=0
    • Blue 4: C=100, M=40, Y=0, K=0
    • Blue 5: C=100, M=50, Y=0, K=25

When all of that is done, switch back to the Swatches Panel and change to "Small Thumbnail View." You should have something that looks like this.

Now - just to be sure that you can load these into any future documents not based on your template, let's export it to an ASE file. Click on that dropdown at the top right-hand corner and select "Save Swatch Library as ASE"

A "Save Swatches as Library" box opens up, pointing at the "Swatches" directory in your Adobe Illustrator installation. Give it a name (like the name of your paper) and save. Now you can import this into other Illustrator documents. It also has the advantage of being importable into Adobe InDesign and Photoshop as well. That is very handy.

Go to Step 6: Graphic Styles

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