How to Create Color Palettes in Adobe Illustrator

How To Create Color Palettes

When working in Adobe Illustrator, I find that shortcuts help streamline my process, and make for a more efficient use of my time. I love discovering useful productivity tips, so I thought I would share one that has helped me stay both consistent in my brand and save production time. Here are three essential tips for working with color palettes in Adobe Illustrator.

Create a Color Palette

There are several resources online to help create unique color palettes, including Design Seeds, Kuler/Adobe Color CC and Pinterest. By far, my favorite tool to use is searching through color inspiration boards on Pinterest! They provide a great starting point for developing your color palette.

To create a color palette in Adobe Illustrator, you will first need to create a color swatch for each specific color. Select the color you want to add to your palette, and then select the “new swatch” tool in the swatches panel. After you have added each of the color swatches, you can select all of them at once (by clicking shift or command + clicking the swatch) and then select the “new color group” button on the swatches panel. Now you have your color palette in its own group!

Save the Color Palette for Future Use

Once you have your color palette established, you might want to save this palette and reference it for future Illustrator projects. This is especially handy if you have a blog or a brand that uses the same specific colors throughout multiple projects. I even have a color group of semi-neutral colors that are great for muted background tints. The possibilities are endless!

To save your new color palette, first edit the swatches in the swatches panel so that it only contains your color palette you want to save. Select “save swatch library” from the swatches panel menu, and you are good to go! You can edit this swatch library anytime you want by choosing File > Open, and locate the swatch file in your library (by default this is located here: Illustrator/Presets/Swatches folder). Edit the swatches, then click save.

To reference your swatches in a new file, you click “swatch libraries menu” from the swatches panel, and then select “user defined.” There, you will find the swatch palette you created in any future Illustrator file.

Convert Color Swatches to Pantone

When working with logo files, or large print runs, you might need to convert your color swatches in Illustrator to Pantone swatches. To do this, simply select the objects you would like to switch to Pantone. Then select “edit” > “edit colors” > “recolor artwork”. Select the swatches icon to limit the colors to a specific Pantone color group, and select the specific Pantone color book to limit your illustration to spot colors. Click “ok” to close the dialogue box and convert the CMYK colors to Pantone colors.

Speaking of shortcuts, Ciera and I are both sharing our favorite keyboard shortcuts over on Brigette Indelicato’s blog!

Jamie is the designer and blogger behind Spruce Rd., an independently run boutique design studio specializing in crafting brand identities and websites for creative entrepreneurs. When not collaborating with awesome people, she can be found whipping up a new dish in the kitchen, or exploring local coffee shops. She loves all things chocolate, Wes Anderson and Rifle Paper Co. 

Amsi Pro Poster Style Font

The impulse to draw Amsi Pro, according to designer Stawix Ruecha, was an encounter with the simple, expressive display faces of the early 20th century — in the German style known as Plakatstil, or Poster Style. The Amsi familiy is an ambitious interpretation of the historical Block Berthold Condensed, extrapolating a dark, condensed display style into a huge family. With three widths and eight weights, from Thin to Heavy, and Italics (actually: oblique romans) for all, it totals 48 styles. The Narrow and Condensed styles are good choices for compact headlines; the middle weights of both the normal and Narrow versions will work well in longer text settings.

Amsi Pro Font Sample by Stawix Ruecha

DIY Wine of the Month & Free Printable

This thoughtful wine of the month printable is a great Mother’s Day gift that gives all year!

Champage and Cards for Mother'sDay

Wine of the Month Free Mother's Day Printable

For Mother’s Day a few years ago my sister and I gave my mom a wine of the month gift. But instead of buying it from an online store, we decided to do it ourselves. I designed the card and tags that go on 12 bottles of wine, one for each month. I thought the design was due for an update so I’m here today with this special free download for you!

Wine of the Month Free Mother's Day Printable Card and Tags

If you live close to your mom, it’s fun to hand deliver the bottle and maybe she’ll even share it with you! It also makes for a great last-minute gift since you can just print at home and grab the first bottle at a store that is convenient to you.

So pretty! DIY Wine of the Month (click through for free printable)

Directions

Download and print the pdfs below (available in both the pink shown here and orange incase your mom isn’t into pink). Trim the cards out and then each month you just pick out a wine for her to enjoy and attach the pretty tag for that month. A gift that gives all year!


Downloads

Pink Wine of the Month Card & Tags

Orange Wine of the Month Card & Tags

I’d love to hear your Mother’s Day plans and see pictures if you use these!



Free Mother's Day Printable

Not sure which wines to choose? Gloria Ferrer has great options for white, red, and sparkling, as seen here! The sparkling wines of Gloria Ferrer are a perfect match for any occasion and are arguably the most social beverage. Their wines have earned over 400 gold medals and 50 90+ scores in the last 5 years. Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards is Carneros’ original sparkling wine house, owned and founded by the Ferrer family of Spain. Named for José Ferrer’s wife, Gloria, the winery opened in 1986 in the breezy, now-famous region in southernmost Sonoma County.

They are also having a really fun Spring “Be Glorious” Photo Contest! The theme through May 15th is Mother’s Day, so go share your photo and enter for a chance to win an “all about Mom package”!

P.S. Need more gift ideas? Check out My Favorite Gift Ideas for the Wine Lover

This design is © Ciera Holzenthal. All rights reserved. It may not be copied, resold, made available for download, given away or redistributed elsewhere without my written permission. Please link directly to this page if you would like to share these downloads with others. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

How To Mock Up Your Work With Free Templates

As a designer, I’m a visual thinker, but that doesn’t mean that my clients are. Sometimes they need help actually visualizing the end result. This is where mocking up my work comes in handy. When sending a design to a client, presentation is always crucial. Mockups are also great for showcasing final work in your portfolio like I have done herehere and here. This is great when you can’t get around to photographing your work.

Stationery Mockup

This process doesn’t have to be difficult or too time consuming. You could always build your mockup files from scratch, but there is not always time for that, so I like to use pre made templates. Remember my post Free and Affordable Stock Photo? Well, I have a new favorite resource to add to that list called GraphicStock! To find mockups like these over on GraphicStock search words like tablet, screen, corporate templates and mockup. Once you find a mock you like, just download and paste your own designs in!

iPhone iPad Mac Screen Mockups

Purchasing individual photos and elements can work for the most part, but if you need multiple resources each month, that can really add up. GraphicStock is great since you can get a year of unlimited downloads for one set price! With a library of over 250,000 graphics, icons and vectors, the possibilities for creative output are endless. And the good news, there is a 7-day free trial, where you can have access to the library of images to discover how easy it is to find necessary graphics and designs for your next project.

Stationery Mockup

Features to love:

• Unrestricted usage rights for personal or commercial projects
• Keep what you download and maintain usage rights forever
• Start a 7 day free trial – download up to 140 graphics from the library during your trial

Plus to make this even more fun it’s time for a giveaway!!! One lucky winner is going to win a free 1-year account to GraphicStock (valued at $588!), how cool is that?

1. Sign up for the 7-day free trial
2. Visit GraphicStock website and locate an image you would like to use on an innovative project of your own
3. Comment here, sharing a link to the image that you would like to base a project around

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you find you don’t get any use out of GraphicStock, be sure to cancel your account before the end of your 7-day trial to avoid subscription charges.

Now, get creating!

Hollyhock Messy Calligraphy Font by Angie Makes

Meet Hollyhock, a modern and messy calligraphy font with wild, tall letterforms that refuse to be tamed. Inspired by calligraphy the breaks the rules and hollyhocks that grow rebelliously where they please. This calligraphy inspired font is just begging to get used over and over this spring, don’t you think?!

This font includes two full sets of capital letters… a set that is tall, energetic, and wild as well as a set a bit more tame and subdued. Open type features in this font include contextual alternates, fractions, ordinals, discretionary ligatures, and swashes. Use contextual alternates to add subtle swashes to the beginnings and ends of your letters. Use your open type swashes panel to use the many and various doodles, swirls, and swashes to manually add flare and flavor to your text. Or, install the separate Hollyhock Ornaments font to access the swashes and doodles more easily.

Hollyhock Type Sample by Angie Makes

P.S. I love all fonts by Angie Makes – she also designs gorgeous stock graphic elements.

New Orleans Film Society Gala Invitation

I’m so excited to share this project that I’ve been working on for the past few months! I’ve had the pleasure of working with the New Orleans Film Society to design their invitation suite for this year’s gala. This year is extra special since they are celebrating 25 years of bringing great cinema to the New Orleans community! They wanted the design to be modern, bright and fun so I presented a few directions, then once the final theme was decided on, I produced a save the date, invitation suite, web graphics, signage and also an evite. The event is this Saturday if you are in the area and want to attend grab a ticket here!

Fundraising Gala Invitation and Evite SuiteFundraising Gala Invitation DesignFundraising Gala Invitation Evite