Color Me Intrigued: Exploring Color Temperature in Illustrator | Meira Gottlieb | Skillshare

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Color Me Intrigued: Exploring Color Temperature in Illustrator

teacher avatar Meira Gottlieb, Educator & Creative

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. About the Project

    • 3. Color Theory Basics

    • 4. Color Temperature

    • 5. Visual Research, Color Palette, & Type

    • 6. Crafting Your Project in Illustrator - Part 1

    • 7. Crafting Your Project in Illustrator - Part 2

    • 8. Final Thoughts

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About This Class


Come and explore  applying a purposeful use of color and typography to create a poster that expresses a temperature. I’ll review some basic color theory, visual research tools, and a project in Illustrator that is designed around using a relationship between color and typography.

This course is for anyone interested in flexing their design muscles with a fun little poster project. You will need a basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator.

Meet Your Teacher

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Meira Gottlieb

Educator & Creative


Hi, I'm Meira! I am an educator and creative with a passion for graphic design and art history.

I currently work in education, but I have experience as a photographer, web, and graphic designer and now I share that knowledge in the classroom with my students. I am a promoter of life-long learning and the power of design.

I believe knowing the history of art and design gives us a larger visual vocabulary in which to work with. Art and design, much like fashion, is cyclical with the past often being used as inspiration or reworked into the current ethos. Having knowledge of art and design will not only give you a larger visual toolkit in which to work, but also a greater understanding of the visual world around you.

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1. Introduction: Hi. I'm era. Or is Mr Enzo Mia? Miss G and I have a digital art teacher designing freedom. My hash is going to teach you a little bit about color theory. Color temperature and purposeful used the color and topography with in a project. So come join me and have a little fun creating on exploring color. 2. About the Project: Hello and welcome. Teoh Color Me Intrigued, Exploring color temperature in Illustrator So this class is centered around learning a little bit about color theory in conjunction with doing a project where you use color theory to make a poster so common explorer applying a purposeful use of color typography to create a poster that expresses a temperature, I'll review some basic color theory, visual research tools and a project illustrator that is designed around using relationship between color and typography. This course is for anyone interested in flexing their design muscles. You will need a basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator, so this project is called color, temperature and text Poster. And it's about how can you make a poster why typography and colors show a temperature so you're gonna explore a combination of text, color and shapes. And there's a project template that's included. So this is a project that I use with my own students, and it's a great way to explore. Using a color palette and a font palette and the relationship between color and typography in a constrained manner, we're gonna pick a temperature word. Let cool or hot or ice cold's gonna create a color palette with 3 to 5 colors. You're gonna create your poster, and my constraints are you shapes. Use the pen tool, etcetera, but no photographs. Try to great create at least two versions because the interest process of design is really important. We're learning about how to perfect your originality, your process and all of that, and then upload your final J peg of the best poster to the project gallery to show off your goods. 3. Color Theory Basics: So let's start with some color theory basics, and it's going to get emotional here. And that's because the emotional power of color is considerable and congrats. Lee affect the way your design it's received by the viewer. Colors can communicate in ways that words just can't, and this is very, very hard to explain. But this is also the nature of color, and I could pose the question to you. Could you describe the color blue to a blind person? No. And that's because color can be very subjective. And that's why we have color theory. So color theory. Color theory creates a logical structure for color, which includes the color wheel color, harmony and the context for how colors air used. Color is subjective, as I said before, and that's why it is called a theory. And that's a very important to remember ABS. You use color so the color wheel or color circle is an abstract, illustrative organization off color hues around a circle that shows relationships between primary colors, secondary colors, tertiary colors and so on and so forth. So here you can see we have a wheel of primary, secondary and tertiary colors and primary colors are red, yellow and blue. All other colors could be made from the combination of these three, along with a without tints of black and white. Does this seem impossible? Maybe, but it's totally true. So here are some examples you might remember this from when you were a little mixing yellow and red paint together. Get orange, mixing blue and yellow to get green and mixing red and blue to get purple. Purple, orange and green are known as the secondary colors, and these are the colors that are created by those primary colors we just talked about. But what happens when you mix these colors? Well, then you get tertiary colors, and this includes yellow, orange, yellow, green, blue, green, blue, violet, fred, violent and red orange. Thes are a combination of both primary and secondary colors, and you can start to see our triangles are getting more and more complex. So one really big thing about color, whether you're working with paint or on a computer, is learning how to combine colors together to create a mood. So learning how to combine colors to make new ones is key to creating a certain kind of mood in design. One thing to think about is warm colors and cool colors, so this just shows you divide between warm colors and cool colors, and again we can think of warm colors representing passion, happiness, enthusiam, power and energy. Cool colors can represent calm, stability, professionalism, trustworthiness. Now this is all very subjective, and you just have to keep that in mind. And the tints and shades of the color you use can also affect how we perceive them. Now. Palette of cool colors such as blues, greens, greys and purples can convey a sense of the chillier side of nature sky earth plants and low temperatures. And this something to keep in mind for your project, whereas warm colors such as reds, yellows and oranges can convey a fiery emotion, and these can express both anger and joy and heat. So here's some basic rules for color harmony, and when you build your color palettes, this is something to think about. Number one is complementary colors. These sit directly across from each other on the color wheel and can be used to exaggerate contrast, such as red and green or orange and blue analogous colors. And this is a pairing of one color with two colors on either side of it on the color wheel , and it's often found in nature, and it is thought to be pleasing to the eye. Try add colors. Pairs three colors together that are situated ah, 120 degrees from each other on the color will. And here you can see the anatomy of a color swatch. We have the hue, the tint, tone and shade and Hughes are the 12 purist colors of the color wheel, the primary secondary and tertiary colors. There's many methods of modifying the original Hughes, and these air, called tinting, toning and shading tinting is mixing with white to lighten the color so you can think of pastels. Toning is mixing with black to dark in color, and just remember this can muddy a color. Shades is mixing with gray to mute or turned down a color, so there are a couple other additional color harmonies, which you'll actually see if you look at one of the resource is that I provide. And these are combat colors, which is a variation of complementary color scheme and its uses to analogous colors adjacent to its complement and monochromatic colors. And these are all the colors, the tins, tones and shades of a single human. You can see that in the example here. So next we're gonna actually talk about color temperature. 4. Color Temperature: So now let's talk about color temperature, which is really important for this particular project. And this is thinking about if a color is warmer, cool and remembering that this may be relative. So remember we talked about warm and cool colors in the previous video can see here again. Here's the color wheel, and we're looking at warm colors on the left, and let's red, orange and yellows and cool colors on the right. And that's purples and blues. So colors on the cool side of the color wheel in general are blue, green, purple and these air considered cool colors and again colors on the warm side of the color wheel, such as yellow, orange, red or considered warm. The temperature of colors is based on its association with certain physiological and psychological feelings rather than the actual temperature. If you touch the red, it's not actually gonna feel hot, but for example, when you think of the color red, you might think warm things such as sun or fire. Or if you think a blue, you might think of cold things like a snow and ice. So try to think of other examples that you can think of when you are actually decide on the word that you're going to be using for your project. So relative temperature if a colors warm or cool again, maybe relative so in relative color temperature, we're comparing colors. Let's use this as an example. We're gonna look at two variations of one hue purple a K violet, and let's look at the purple in the center of the color, the two variations on either side the left when we look at it looks warmer because there's more, red added, whereas on the right, it looks cooler because it's more blue added. In the case of two variations of the same, you one square would be described as cooler if it has more blue, violet or green undertones than another, whereas it could be described as warmer if it has more red, orange or yellow undertones. So again, one of these squares, taken out of context, made on its own, be considered a warmer, cool tone. But when you are having it next to another color, it changes our perception of that color temperature because of our viewing it next to another color. And so this is incredibly important when you're building your color palette. So let's look at another example. Both the rescuers below would be considered warm when speaking of them in terms of colors. But which one is warmer and which one is cooler? So can you see that the square on the left has stronger orange or yellow undertones than the one on the right, which leans more towards violet or blue? So describing one squares color as warmer cooler would be to define its temperature. Relatives of the color of another square you can think about this is if you're let feel tall compared to a small child. But then you stand next to a basketball player and you feel short, So it's all relative. So lastly, let's talk about how temperature effects spatial perception. In addition to the various physiological and psychological effects, warm colors optically generally seemed to advance and expand while cool colors receding. Contract these characteristics, however, our relatives, since the intensity and value of the color, will also affect the spatial action of warm and cool colors. But in general, you can think warm colors advance and expand and cool colors recede and contract, and that's all we're gonna go over right now in terms, off color theory and color temperature. And so now we're ready to start talking about our visual research. 5. Visual Research, Color Palette, & Type: So after you choose your word or phrase, whether it's cool or hot or ice, Cole's whatever it is that you choose, the next step is to do visual research. So visual research is an incredibly important part of the ideation process, and I strongly recommend that you use one of the processes that I go over in this tutorial . So I, for example, love Pinterest love level of print Pinterest he can hear. There's my example board. The more examples, the better. I chose ice cold, so I really looked for some inspiration in the ice and cool and different images like that . But there's other ones as well that you can look for inspiration sites such as Dribble. You can look at other people's be hands projects easily these air other sites, so there's tons of sites out there. There's also Google searches, but my ultimate favor is Pinterest because I like to build a board and then go in from there and pick the ones that I really think will help my project. So for this one, I picked a bunch and this one, really I really likes the colors, and I really liked the shape for this one. I really took inspiration from now you can choose whether or not you want to, then sketch and some people really sketching some people don't. Sometimes I sketch and sometimes I don't end. It's really a personal process. So for this one, I didn't really sketch. I just wants right in and started working in the process. So now when it comes to color and doing your color palette, there's a couple ways you can go. Number one is you can experiment with colors out adobe, which is a great great tool for playing around with colored seven. Go in here and I'm gonna set my base color to like a blue, Um, and here gives me RGB and the hex values. And Aiken again, try out the different kinds of pallets and I can also go in. And I can custom Lee create my palate. So this is something that is really great to do. You can also go in and explore other palettes that people have already created. So I could look for pallets that someone created called ice and see if there's anything that sort of sparks my fancy. I find that you know the color is changeable, but it's nice to sort of set a base. Palop. Before you start working and then change it as your as your going on, I think color again color could be very inspirational. So if you find some really beautiful, cool blues that you want to work with, it might be a good idea to set your palate. So again, what I do is I just take the the hacks value. And then when I go in and I sent my palate than I just go in and I double click and I said it and I actually like to keep a record of what colors I'm using, Um, so I go in and I just change it. So another thing to think about is RGB versus seem like a and it is going to look a little different, whether it's for print horse for screen. So that's also something to keep aware. If so, that's one method. The other method is if you have an image you really love. Like for example, I found this image and I love the colors, and what I like to do is I like to just take my box on and I use my eye dropper, and then I just set the color. And so I like toe. Sometimes I like to go in and just pick out the colors from a specific image, and that's another way you can go in and set your color palette, so there's a bunch of different ways. You can also pick out one of the colors from an image like this one, and then you can go back in and use that as your base and then play around with that. So you know, it's it's really up to you how you want to do that. See the last thing that you want to do when you were here in your project and at what point you do. This is up to you is picking your fonts, and these are a couple of resource is font squirrel, the font hyper of type and my funds that you can find some really good free fonts. My fear, it really is a font school. I really like font squirrel. Let's so if you're looking for some new free fonts that you just want to, like, play around with, uh, these are the different options that you can go through. And you it's nice that they sort of, um, tag some of the fonts with different, no descriptive words you can if you're feeling like your font. That choice that you want to go for is more of a bold font or hand drawn thought. So this is a great way that you could go in and sort of look for a font that has the feeling of your words. So I chose ice cold. So I wanted something really more, um, blocky and, uh, just kind of remind me of a block of ice. So that's why I chose blackout. And remember, not only are the colors conveying your temperature, but also all the elements of your poster, so the type, face and the shape so everything should work together to be conveying this one specific temperature. 6. Crafting Your Project in Illustrator - Part 1: colored adobe and I set my base color. And then I made a custom palette here, and I thought this to me represents ice cold. I used these these cool blue tones because I think of cold as, like, a blue color. So that's why I picked this and I wanted to wait to be one of my colors. So now that I've picked out my colors and set my font, I'm ready to start working. So I'm gonna show you example with a blank line right here, so you'll notice on the template that you have. There is a palettes layer and another layer. What I recommend you do is you work on your, um, your palate, and then you lock that layer. And then what I like to do is make another layer in addition to that other layer and for just the text. So I'll rename its a background and I'll do a layer for text. And I do this because I don't wanna accidentally select my background. Then I have my text ice cold. And if you want to see how, actually just make a text feels selective, neither draw out the field or you can just start typing. And again you had Just select right here, black out and change your size, and you can change all sorts of stuff. You consent, tracking and do all sorts of things here. So then I want to set my the color of my text to be white. So I go in here f f f f f and then you like, Wait a second. It looks like you have some sort of drop shadow going on. This is when you can play with some of the effects. So we go select your text and you go to effect. You can see there's all sorts of things you can do here. One thing that you might want to look at a stylized, and there's a bunch of options here. And what I used his drop shadow here, make sure this color that you're selecting is one of your colors. So this one is, you can tell is from one of my color palettes, and here you can play around with the capacity to offset the blur. So here's my preview. So you can see I had no blur, but I could make it blurry like very soft. Um, or not or whatever. Um, I can change that offset to be really far away. So these are things that you can play with. And then again, member, if you don't see anything, make sure clicking the preview and then click. OK, so that's one thing you can do and remember. You can also add layers of strokes and layers of Phil's to your text as well. So now if you want to do something like I did, where I moved the text around, I added all sorts of things to it. What you can do is click create outlines now. Very importantly, if you add in effect, you need to go object, expand appearance all right, or Rawls. It won't apply the effect, and once you on group it, you'll lose all those effect. So now I go on group and on group, and now this is going to be separate from this. So you have the foreground and the background and again when we were talking about color temperature. Because this is darker color and a colder color, it recedes from the weight. So then what you can do is you can select thes and you can size them and rotate them and do all sorts of things to them. Now, once you've gone in and have made it, you know how I want it made some of the bigger I sort of tosel them up. Um, I rotated some of them and now remember their separate both the foreground in the background, the the drop show and the actual letter are separate. Now, you're like, How did you go in? And you have those drips remember, depending on your word, whether it's ah, hot word, maybe one at flames. If it's cold warm, maybe one at drips is I just use the rectangle tool in the circle, tool the lips and hold down shift to make a circle. I selected those two and then I went to the Pathfinder. And if you don't have a Pathfinder, you think a window half finder is a great, great way to manipulate your shapes but uniting, including do all sorts of things with, um, I click unite and they become one object. And now I can manipulate it more. So I use my direct selection tool here on I can move things. I can make it more drippy. I can change the angles and all sorts of stuff. And then I can select one of these points right here and I can convert it and I can take this one right here and I can convert it. And then I could just go in and I can manipulated a little bit more. So now it looks a little bit more like a drip. So once you size it, how you like it, then you can start going in and adding them to your shape. Remember, hold down the all to make a copy. You can grab on the Horner's and shift to make it bigger or smaller. And that's kind of just how I did to make the drips, and there's all sorts of things you can do. 7. Crafting Your Project in Illustrator - Part 2: So now, after I've done the letters, I'm ready to do the background. Now, your process might be different than my process, but I'm just going to show you how I did it. So again, this was the image that I found inspiration from, and I ended up pulling my color palette from that. And, um, the first step I did was I made my text. I did the little trips. And again, if you have a hot word, maybe you want to make flames or something like that, you could just be creative, so about sort of expressing your creativity. So I really like the idea of, um, my may words being like ice blocks melting on a mountain. And so this is the inspiration they took from. And so what I like to dio is you know, I think I'm just going to work on the mountain. So I put in a background and I love layers. So the backward, and then I'm gonna make another layer for my mountains. So if I am, say, drawing one of the mountains and I use the pen tool, Same drawing, one I'm gonna and I'm going to set my color and again, If you have set colors, it's really nice to also then add them to your color palette and your swatches. So it makes it really easy. You can just drag into here and then you have your swatches. So that's what I usually do, is I? I make my color powder and then I'll drag them into the swatches toe, have them really easy to work with. So nothing you can do is you can actually make a color group folder. And again, I love organizing love, keeping myself organized. So I call this color temp and I make a folder, and then I'm gonna switch on my swatches in for this project. So after I said all my my color swatches now I'm ready Toe to really start working and, you know, play around since I'm taking inspiration from this image right here. Basically, I'm going to go with the idea of these mountains and the ice cold being on the mountains, and I've made a just black in the background, and then I'm gonna build my mountains on top. What I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna go in. I'm just gonna play around with adding my mountains and ah, One other thing that I really, really, um, love to use is my appearance panel. I think this is one of the handiest tools in Illustrator. So say it was just like making my mountains. I love having the ability to, you know, change the opacity of of that layer and the bland mode and all sorts of stuff. So all I go in and I'll play around with that and see what I like. So really, one of the really great things about the appearance panel is gave toe. Add multiple fills in multiple strokes, and now I didn't use it for the mountains, but I just I think it's so handy I actually did use it. Have you seen my final one right here for the drips? What ended up doing is they ended up going in and actually adding a so very light Grady int to the drips and there's lots of ways to do this. Um, and so for that one, you know, what I did is I just set the greedy int too linear and 90 degrees and white fading to the sort of the blue. And I found that just very little change made it much more dimensional. So you can see here in the final one Just so very, very slight ingredient really made it more dimensional. So when I was adding the layers of basically to just a lot of different, um, playing around and changing the A pastie and seeing how that looked so I was just slowly going in and building up some different ideas of mountains and playing around with the different layers, and you know how that could look. And that was kind of my idea. I think one of the best things that I can recommend in anyone's work processes just really playing around and seeing you know what you can do and what you can change and playing with the blunt modes, playing with the Phils colors and really seeing what things look like because you never really know what you're going to get. Once you start working, it's it's a fun process. There's all sorts of experimentation, and then once I'm, like, done with the mountain part and again like I tend if I'm not doing the text like I might move it off the art board just toe make references and really one of my favorite things about using um illustrator is the appearance panel on being ableto, you know, add multiple fills and multiple strokes and the passivity, and not only building up the layers but also building up the layer of a single object. The ones I had, like sort of my background done and again, my process is probably gonna be different than your process. I like to go with the text first and then from there, decide on my background and then move things in what I would do next. It is I would take each one of these objects, and I play around with placing it onto my art board. So it's really all about playing, and you really want to think about your colors. Are your colors conveying whatever the word temperature is? So is this conveying ice, or is it conveying heat, or what is it coming? Are not only the word but the fonts and the color and sort of the layout conveying that particular temperature. So play around with adding textures and fills and capacity and shapes, and also the things because you really it's all about playing around, and you never know what you'll get in the end. And even if I recreated this from scratch every single time, I think every single time I would have something completely different. And that's the fun is that you never know, really know, no matter how completely planned out, you have something in the process of creating something, what it's gonna end up looking like. So again, that's my process. Um, and it's all about finding what your processes and then, you know, playing around and seeing what works. What doesn't work. What do you like looking over it, saying, Oh, does this work? And then when I'm done, you consent kind of say, just recreated the same poster again is one thing I love doing and I think really helps in the creative process is I'll take the Art Borg tool and I will. You just duplicate all my work on the art board, so I just hold down Alz. And so I've just duplicated that my holds are finished. One. So then I'll play around with not only moving things around, but I might also play around with going to edit colors and re coloring the artwork and playing around with, um, you know, switching things up and seeing what happens when I switch some of the colors around. Does it look good? Like, who may be really like this one now, So I really like the edit colors and randomly changing my colors from using my color palette because I think you can get some really cool things happening. So not only do I like to then go in and start playing around with the layout, but I also go in and I'll start playing around with the the colors that I'm actually using . So these are all things that you can do and I think you should do, because you really just want to have fun and you want to create, and you wanna enjoy the process of creating. 8. Final Thoughts: that project. I hope you learned a little something about color. Very color temperature on purpose, Elise. Color in projects. So enjoy. Have fun experiment and have to see you work.