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How to Work with the Adobe Illustrator Color Guide Panel

Learn how to work with the Adobe Illustrator color guide panel from expert Will "Focus" Dubois in this Howcast video.


This is how we work with the color guide panel in Adobe Illustrator. When you're in Adobe Illustrator, a lot of the times you want to adjust your colors, and maybe you want to adjust them according to certain aspects or characteristics of a color. So let's say we pick out a color right now. Let's say we pick out something yellow, goldish. I'm going to click OK. Now if you go to Window and you go down to Color Guide, that's if it's not selected, you'll notice that in your right hand panel area, you'll have the Color Guide window. Now when you click the color, you'll notice that underneath it you have some options. Now these options are currently shades and tints.

So the color you currently have is the color in the middle. The color to the farthest left is the darkest shade of that actual color. And the color to the farthest right is the lightest tint. So shades and tints. But if you go into the drop down option box, you can select, instead of shades and tints, you can go to warm or cool. And of course, you know, cooler is more of a bluish hue, and warmer is more of a red hue. So your color will be in the middle, but to the left in the warm area it adds more red. So you'll notice that it begins to appear orange.

And if it goes to the right, to the blue, it begins to appear more blue. They add more blue to it to become cool. So we click in our drop down option again, and we have vivid and muted. Anybody who knows vivid and muted, it just means saturated or unsaturated. So it's going to look murky, or it's going to look really colorful. It's how much of the actual color you have in it. So we go here, and we have yellow. The more vivid we go, we'll actually notice that it gets more yellow to the right. And if we go more muted, it's more murky, more washed-out, more white to the left. And these are your options. So you have Show Tints and Shades, Show Warm and Cool, and Show Vivid and Muted. Now if you want to click Color Guide Options, you'll notice that you can change the amount of steps. Now the steps mean how many steps on each side of your color you're going to have options for.

So in the muted/vivid and the tints and shades, you'll notice that if you increase this and we pay attention to our Color Guide, the more we add, the more colors will come on the right and left side according to the steps number of our main color that we selected. And underneath, in variation, we can change how the variation of those colors is in terms of how muted or how vivid it actually goes. So if you look, as we drag this slider, you'll notice that the less variation, the more consistent the actual color looks, and they're aren't really that many differences between each one. But the more we go, as you notice, we'll change it, it will actually show more of a muted tone and more of the vivid tone. And that's how you work with Color Guide in Adobe Illustrator.

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