Tagged: color

InDesign color-related keyboard shortcuts

InDesign CS6Most designers know that hitting the X key switches between stroke and fill active states, and the / (slash) key fills the currently selected object with the color None in Adobe InDesign. There are a few other color-related shortcuts that, if you burn into your brain, can save you a good bit of time and mousing around on screen.

  • The , (comma) key will fill or stroke an object with whatever the current color is
  • The . (period) key will fill or stroke an object with the current gradient
  • The D key will fill an object with None and stroke it with black.
  • Hitting Shift + X will reverse the fill and stroke colors of the currently selected object. This is by far the most useful shortcut for me, because I’m constantly applying a color to the stroke when I wanted to apply it to fill

The psychology of color

Color Psychology

There's a reason restaurants use red

Ever wonder why so many restaurants use so much red in their color palette? Have you noticed that the corporate colors of so many large companies includes blue? There’s a reason. This excellent infographic after the jump sheds some light on the subject. (more…)

The forbidden colors

Hidden colors

The eye can't see certain colors. Or can they?

Try to imagine reddish green — not the dull brown you get when you mix the two pigments together, but rather a color that is somewhat like red and somewhat like green. Or, instead, try to picture yellowish blue — not green, but a hue similar to both yellow and blue.

Is your mind drawing a blank? These colors exist, but you most likely can’t see them. These “forbidden colors” are the subject of this interesting article by Natalie Wolchover over at Life’s Little Mysteries. (more…)

Save space and never open the InDesign Swatches panel again

InDesign Swatches panel via Control panelOne unfortunate fact of using Adobe InDesign is the plethora of panels that most designers have to keep open and accessible at all times in order to be productive. It doesn’t leave a lot of space to view your document.

Fortunately, InDesign CS5‘s Control panel includes a full version of the color Swatches panel, so you can save yourself some screen real estate by using it instead of keeping the Swatches panel open on the screen at all times. The bonus of using the Swatches panel this way is that it scoots out of the way automatically when you’re done applying a color swatch to a fill or stroke to your object or text. You also have access to the Swatches panel fly-out menu.

Turn off the color sampling ring in Adobe Photoshop CS5

You may have noticed something new when selecting colors with the eyedropper tool in Photoshop CS5. It’s called the color sampling ring, and it shows you the previously chosen color, as well as the one you’re clicking on in a ring around your cursor. This can be particularly useful if you’re trying to compare colors.

Color sampling ring

Photoshop's color sampling ring in action

However, if you simply don’t like the screen clutter you can turn it off. Just select the eyedropper tool and take a look up in the Control Panel at the top of the screen. You’ll see a checkbox for “Show Sampling Ring” which you can uncheck to make it go away forever.

Working with color in Adobe InDesign

Working with color in Adobe InDesign

Working with color in Adobe InDesign

Callum Chapman has posted a great article on working with color in Adobe InDesign over at spyrestudios. This article is great for designers just getting started or still in school, and covers topics such as:

  • Printing Requirements
  • Color Models: RGB vs CMYK
  • Adding Colors to the Swatches Panel
  • Applying Colors to Objects
  • Creating Strokes
  • Creating and Applying Gradients to Objects
  • Creating a Spot Color

Definitely worth a read. And be sure to check out the rest of the site, because it has some great stuff covering a variety of topics!

Search for images by color

idée inc. has a fantastic image-search tool that looks through over 10 million Creative Commons images on Flickr based on the color of your choosing. Search web images by color You simply click the color palette on the page to select up to 10 colors at a time and the site displays a wall of image thumbnails which use a predominant amount of the color(s) you chose. While clicking a single color yields impressive results, clicking a few more colors displays a new set of thumbnails (extremely quickly) with remarkable results! I find this site to be incredibly useful, and worthy of bookmarking.

Painting color onto a grayscale image

Adding color to a grayscale image is a great effect that offers a lot of visual impact with little effort. Many digital cameras can actually do it automatically. But the results are often less than optimal. Lesa Snider at The Graphic Reporter wrote a brief tutorial a few years ago that illustrates this simple technique that creates a central point of interest in your image. The tutorial involves the use of layers and layer blending modes, as well as the brush tool. Once you master the effect doing it as described in the tutorial, you can move on to using Masks and Channels for more accurate results. One bit of advice though, less is more. In other words, pick and choose the areas of your image you want to draw attention to the most. Colorizing most of the image defeats the purpose of the effect entirely. In the sample image above, I probably would have left the hat, gloves and purse in grayscale, drawing more attention to the purse. But that’s just my opinion.

Quick and easy color management with Pantone ColorMunki

One of the most difficult aspects of graphic design is color management. It’s one of those things you know you should do, but often overwhelms all but the most expert of users. Thankfully, Pantone offers ColorMunki Design, a suite of hardware/software tools for designers and digital photographers to ensure accurate color from design to output. I recently wrote a full review of Pantone ColorMunki for Macworld, where I found that ColorMunki not only makes color calibration of your display and printer easy, but capturing colors from any substrate you can think of a snap! (more…)

Finding the perfect color combo

Looking for color combinations for your next Web project? There are plenty of these Web-based color combo sites out there, with my personal favorite being Adobe’s Kuler. Kuler is great in that it allows you to work with CMYK values, and upon completion, download an Adobe Swatch Exchange document you can import into all your Adobe Creative Suite applications. All the Creative Suite 4 applications have integrated Kuler into the program, so this option will most likely be the default for designers using Adobe products. Perhaps the king of color combo sites is Colourlovers, where there are countless color palettes already built, or you can create your own. You can also click a link next to each color to find photos using that color from iStockphoto. ColorBlender is a fairly straight-forward color combo site which allows you to create and share color palettes, and download files containing your colors for use with other design applications. A unique feature to ColorBlender (though I couldn’t get it to work) is the ability to match the color you create on screen to the closest Pantone color match. ColorCombos has yet another Web-based color combo exploration tool. Simply add a Hex color value into an input box and select the complimentary colors option. Simple! Virtually all color combo sites allow you to create and share your custom color palettes, so whichever one you choose, you probably can’t go wrong.