Design DIY: How To Save Your Colour Palette in Illustrator

How to save your colour palette in Illustrator to keep your brand colours consistent and at your finger tips.

Saving colour palettes in Illustrator is a great way to keep your colours consistent and have them ready at your fingertips. This is especially handy when working with your brand. Consistency is key! 

Keep on readin' and I'll show you how to set up your colour palette and save it for easy reference. 


Step One: Choose Your Palette

If you are looking for colour palette inspiration I suggest checking out...

coolers.co

Coolers is a great tool for exploring pre-made palettes and creating your own. Coolers provides you with colour names, colour codes, and different shades of each colour.  

Creating colour palette in illustrator

Coolers is just the tip of the iceberg, there are plenty of other places to find colour inspiration. Check out my post 15 Unique Websites for Colour Inspiration


Step Two: Bringing Your Colours into Illustrator

Once you have your colour palette picked out it's time to bring it into Illustrator. 

  1. Create a new document
     
  2. Copy a colour code from your colour palette and create a circle or square shape in Illustrator. Change the colour of your shape to the colour palette code. Repeat this for each colour. 
     
  3. After you've brought all of your colours into Illustrator open up your swatch palette. You can find it under the Window panel. 

 

Creating a colour palette in Illustrator

 4. Next, create a folder in the swatch panel and name it whatever you like. To create a  folder click the folder icon at the bottom of the panel. I've gone and ahead and named  my folder Forth and Create Blog. 

Create a colour palette using Illustrator

    5. Now it's time to start adding your colours. This is super simple. Simply click the colour in  Illustrator and then click the "new swatch" icon at the bottom of the panel next to the  folder icon. 

    6. Once you've clicked on "new swatch" this window will pop open...

Creating a colour palette in Illustrator

    7. After you've hit the ok button the colour swatch will be added to your swatch panel.  When the swatch is added to the panel it won't directly go into your personalized folder,  you will have to drag and drop it in. 

As you can see below this is my final palette in its folder. 

Creating a colour palette in Illustrator

Step Three: Saving Your Palette for Future Reference

It's important to remember that if you open a new document in Illustrator this palette will no longer be in your swatch panel. Although it's kind of annoying it is super easy to save and load when you need it again. 

In order to save your palette click the small hamburger menu (the three small lines stacked on top of each other) and a drop down menu will appear. 

Creating a colour palette in Illustrator

Click "Save Swatch Library as AI" at the very bottom of the menu. This box should pop up...

Creating a colour palette in Illustrator

Name the file after your swatch folder name so it's easy to remember and relevant to your project. 

Once saved you now have the swatch available to open anytime you need it. To open the swatch in a different document all you have to do is click the same hamburger menu > Open Swatch Library > User Defined > and then pick your colour palette. 

Creating a colour palette in Illustrator

 

Step Four: Create all of the palettes! 

Creating colour palettes is one of my favourite things to do. Using the above tutorial will keep them saved in their own library and ready to use whenever the mood strikes. 


Don't forget to check out my post Coolers is just the tip of the iceberg, there are plenty of other places to find colour inspiration. Check out my post 15 Unique Websites for Colour Inspiration