There are a number of ways to create a color palette for your Illustrator design projects, but if you’re looking for a harmonious palette based on two colors, the Blend Tool takes the cake! With the Blend tool, you can create two identical shapes filled with two different colors, then blend them with a set number of steps to mix new colors based on the two originals. The result? A harmonious swatch family to complement your next project!
To create new colors with the Blend tool, select the Rectangle or Ellipse tool from the Tools panel. Click and drag on the artboard to create a simple shape. Copy and paste the shape so you have two of the same shape. Fill each shape with one of each of the colors that you want to base the palette. Choose Object > Blend > Blend Options to display the Blend Options dialog box. Select Specified Steps from the Spacing pop-up menu, and then enter a number in the Spacing text box indicating how many different colored shapes you want Illustrator to create. A low number from 3-5 is ideal. Click OK.
Next, select the two shapes, choose Object > Blend > Make, and Illustrator will create the designated number of shapes, each with a different color mixed from the original two you started with! To add the colors to your Swatch panel, select the Eyedropper tool, click one of the swatches to make it the foreground color, click the options menu in the Swatches panel and select New Swatch. Finally, click OK in the New Swatch dialog box to add it to the panel. Repeat for each color.
One of the ways to make text set within an Area Type object more legible is to provide some padding between the text and the shape. Also known as inset spacing, this padding provides a margin of resting space for the viewer's eye. To add space between the text and the Area Type object, first select the Area Type object. Choose Type > Area Type Options to display the Area Type Options dialog box. Select the Preview check box, increase the Inset Spacing until the padding is sufficient for your needs, and click OK.
Placeholder text comes in handy when you’re creating design mockups. You don't have to make up the content, and placeholder text uses variable length words and sentences to mimic our standard writing patterns. But inserting placeholder text always required an extra step, until now. New in Illustrator CC 2017, anytime you create a new type object, Illustrator will automatically fill it with placeholder text.
You do have to set the preference for this, as not everyone will enjoy this new feature. Choose Illustrator > Preferences > Type (Edit > Preferences > Type in Windows), select the Fill New Type Objects With Placeholder Text check box, and click OK. Now any time you add a new type object, Illustrator will automatically fill it with placeholder type!
Here are three easy keyboard shortcuts that will save you time when applying strokes and fills. First, if you want to quickly switch between fill and stroke and you don't want to bother with clicking them, simply press "x" to toggle between the two. Second, if you want to apply the last-used solid color or gradient to a selected object, press the comma key for the last-used color or the period key for the last-used gradient. Keep in mind that you can always see what these colors are by looking at the icons in the Toolbox. Finally, you can quickly change the fill or stroke color to None by pressing the forward slash key [/]. This changes whichever attribute is currently selected in the Toolbox, so if stroke is active and you want to change the fill to None, press "x" to toggle over before you press [/].