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Issues when creating a swatch collection for a project.

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I have been testing the procedure for creating a collection of swatches for a project, and have come across some issues that I think could be improved.

For the purpose of this exercise, I am working in CMYK, and I need a collection of swatches that include both CMYK mixes for global colours and some Pantone spot colours too. I accept that I may be missing something basic, and if that is the case then please correct me.

When starting a new project for a customer, I usually start by building a collection of swatches using the client's colours as dictated by the branding.

Job 1: Build a set of CMYK swatches. Let's start with a simple set of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and a Rich Black too.

  1. In the SWATCHES palette I choose Add Global Colour.
  2. I get the Global Colour dialogue with the HSL colour wheel.
  3. Problem 1: If I am working in CMYK, then the HSL colour wheel is of little use to me. I'm working with INK (or toner if you want), so I want the CMYK sliders presented as the default.
  4. I now choose CMYK Sliders and dial in my first colour. In this case its C:100 M:0 Y:0 K:0. I name it Cyan and click Add.
  5. Problem 2: The Global Colour dialogue closes when I click Add. However I haven't finished yet. It would be helpful if the dialogue were left open, so I could add more colours.
  6. OK, I now want another colour, so I go to Add Global Colour again. Once again I get the Global Colour dialogue, and once again I am presented with the HSL Colour Wheel.
  7. Problem 3: I can forgive that fact that, when I add the first Global Colour, I am presented with the HSL colour wheel. However having made the choice to use the CMYK sliders in step 4 above, I expect this preference to be persistent within a session at least. (Maybe there is a preference that I have not found yet?)
  8. OK, so I go through this sequence to add each of my CMYK swatches, and now I have a few global colours in my Document swatches panel. Now I need some spot colours.

Job 2: Add some Pantone spot colours to the document swatches.

  1. I choose the Pantone+ Solid Coated-V2 library from the drop down in the Swatches panel, and I type 7421 in the search box. Sure enough, I am presented with PANTONE 7421 C, which is what I want.
  2. I double click the swatch. I now expect this spot colour to be added to my set of Document swatches. Why do I expect it to work this way? Because that is exactly how it works with Affinity Designer. With Designer, you just call up the spot colours you want, double click, and they are added to the Document swatches.
  3. Problem 4: With Publisher, double clicking a spot colour doesn't seem to add the swatch to the Document swatches as is the case with Designer. Instead I have to double click the spot colour to make it the current fill, and then click the "Add current fill to palette" button. Tedious.
  4. Problem 5: Assuming that Designer exhibits the correct behaviour, whereby double clicking a spot colour adds it to the set Document swatches, there is another issue. The spot colour is added as "Global Colour nn" and not PANTONE 7421 C. I expect spot colours to be named as such in the Swatches palette. As it is I have to rename them, which is a drag.
  5. And finally, lets assume I want to make a 50% tint of PANTONE 7421 C. First I need to make a copy of the swatch, then I need to set the tint. So I right click my PANTONE 7421 C swatch and select Make Copy from the pop-up menu. Now Publisher crashes.
  6. Problem 6: When I try and make a copy of the swatch, Publisher throws an Unhandled Exception error. (See error message below). Ooops!


OK, that's about it for my adventures is swatch land. I have some questions if anyone can help me:

  1. When adding a CMYK swatch, I get a "Spot" check box in the Add Global Colour dialogue. What is this for?
  2. There is also an "Overprint" check box. This implies that overprint is a swatch attribute, and not an object attribute. So if I have two objects with the same fill in a document, and I want one of them to overprint, how is this achieved?
  3. Is there a built in safeguard to prevent setting a white swatch to overprint? Or maybe something in Pre-flight? This is always a killer. (Designer creates artwork. An object is filled with a colour and is set to overprint. Just before going to press, the customer says "Actually, I would like that object to be white." Designer changes the fill, but forgets to remove the overprint attribute. Result: Object disappears when printed. Designer gets fired, or has to pay for the re-print!)
  4. If I want to make a tint of a spot colour, I can right click a copy of the colour and choose Edit Fill. I can then use the T slider to make my tint. However, I also get a Noise slider? What does this do, and when would I use it? I am used to adding noise in raster effects such a glows and shadows, but I don't understand its relevance for a tint of an ink.



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