COLORS AND EXPORTING FILES
This part of the tutorial is a little introduction to colors and exporting files. This topic can be really complex so I can only show you a few basics here and I always recommend to talk to your printing company about colors and file types before actually sending anything over to production.
Tip: If you are new to Adobe Illustrator or haven't worked with color swatches yet, make sure to check out these tutorials provided by Adobe:
Change color and strokes
Use and create swatches
In Part 01-04 of this tutorial we worked in RGB color mode. This is the right color mode if you want to use your design on screen. But when you print it in RGB Mode you may get a rude surprise – the colors are not as vibrant as on your screen... So what can we do here? First of all we have to change the document color mode to CMYK, this is short for C=Cyan M=Magenta Y=Yellow K=Key(Black) and defines standard printing colors. (Check out this Wikipedia article if you want to learn more about it: CMYK color model). Click on File –> Document Color Mode and change it to CMYK Color. Go to your color swatches and double click on a swatch to open the options. As you can see the Color Mode changed to CMYK already. The change to CMYK mode could result in paler color values because RGB and CMYK have a different color spectrum. Which simply means 'You cannot print all colors you can generate on your screen'. So it might be possible that your color values need some adjustments.
Tip: If you want to make sure that the colors are exactly like you want when printing it, you need a printing-color-guide like this here for example: Pantone Color Book (There are different guides for different materials)
A color guide shows you the exact translation of your color values selected in your print file.
Adobe Illustrator also allows us to work with 'Spot Colors' like Pantone or HKS for example. These are colors which require an extra printing plate and can't be printed with desktop printers. Nevertheless these printing colors are used for a wide range of materials from paper to textiles and more. The big advantage is a wider range of color values. Spot colors like Pantone can generate more vibrant colors or even metallic colors, which is not possible with CMYK.
Working with spot colors requires a printing-color-guide like mentioned above, because screen colors are varying drastically from the printing result.
Here, I choose the Metallic Pantone Color 871c on my color-guide to be the golden color.
To create this spot color within your document go to Swatch Libraries menu at the bottom left of your color window. This opens different color sets. You can find the Pantone Colors at 'Color Books'. 871c is a metallic color so I choose 'Pantone+ Metallic Coated'.
Note: Coated and Uncoated describes the paper surface.
Enter the name of the color into the search field and add it to the color swatch window by double clicking on the swatch. Now, select the golden part and pick the Pantone color swatch. (As I mentioned earlier, the screen colors vary extremely from the original color value.)
That's it basically ;)
Now, let's have a closer look on how to export our final file. (I returned to my basic colors here). First make sure that your design is placed on our Artboard (more about Artboards here: Work with artboards). Here I deactivate the background layer on the first picture to show the border of my Artboard.
To save your file go to File –> Save As. Before saving you can select the required file type. Different applications require different file types. Here I choose PDF to export for printing.
Some of you were asking how to save a design with transparent background. So let's have a closer look on this. First, deactivate the background layer again as your exported file should have no background ;)
Then choose Export –> Export As...
When you click on Format you can see a big variety of file types. I choose PNG because this format allows me to save images without a background color. This is different from the common format JPG for example which automatically would add a white background to our image. When you click Export it shows you some options for resolution. Make sure to select 'Transparent' before you save it. Now we've created a transparent image with no background color.
You may have already seen the other two options 'Export for screens' and 'Export for Web'. 'Export for screens' is great if you want to export multiple artboards at once and it has some other helpful features.
'Export for Web' – as the name suggests – is used to save our design for web purposes. I use this export option a lot because it allows to resize the image and you can also choose between file types like JPG, PNG and GIF.
Thank you very much for following this tutorial and of course, if you have any questions or feedback, please comment below and I'm happy to help.
Check the other parts of this tutorial here:
PART 01 - ORNATE LOGO DESIGN, GETTING STARTED
PART 02 - ORNATE LOGO DESIGN, ADDING ORNAMENTS
PART 03 - ORNATE LOGO DESIGN, FINE TUNING
PART 04 - ORNATE LOGO DESIGN, FINAL FILE PREPARATION
PART 05 - ORNATE LOGO DESIGN, COLORS AND EXPORTING FILES