Adobe Illustrator CC's Improved Kuler Panel - dummies

By Jennifer Smith

If you like using color in your Illustrator CC designs, you’ll love being able to save combinations of colors as themes. You can do this by accessing the Kuler website directly from Adobe Illustrator. To do so, follow these steps:

To follow along with these steps, first create a new document to take advantage of some existing color themes from the Kuler website.

  1. Choose File→New and select Devices for Basic RGB for the Profile.

    If you don’t see the Kuler panel, choose Window→Kuler now. Note that the panel will most likely be empty, unless you have previously used the Kuler website with an Adobe log in.

  2. Click the Launch Kuler Website button as shown in this figure.

    The website launches.


  3. Sign in using your Adobe ID in the upper-right corner.

    After you are signed in, you can save, edit, and create color themes.

  4. Select Most Popular in the column on the left to see the themes that have been downloaded the most. The most popular themes populate the column to the right.

    Keep in mind that you can use the Search text field to search existing color themes as well. Themes can be found by creator, keyword, and title.


  5. Select any one of the Most Popular themes and note that you now have these options: Add to Favorites, Download the theme as an Adobe Swatch Exchange file, or Make Changes to This Theme and View Color Values, as shown in the figure. For this lesson, choose Make Changes to This Theme and View Color Values.

    A window appears in which you can select each color and edit its values. For this lesson, you’ll make a simple change to one of your color values. You can experiment more with the Kuler website on your own, after you have a better idea of how to use it.

    You can also select Create from the column on the left to create your own color theme from scratch.


  6. Select any color and then use the color sliders beneath it to change the value.

  7. Add a name to the Title text field. In this example My Dummies Color Theme was used as the name, as shown in this figure, but you can name your color theme anything you like. Press Save.

    This color theme has been saved under your account. You will now return to Adobe Illustrator to access it.


  8. Return to Adobe Illustrator and locate the Kuler panel.

  9. Click the Refresh (RefreshKuler.png) button.

    Your color theme appears, as shown in this figure.


  10. Select the Panel menu in the upper-right corner to Add to Swatches.

    You can now use your color theme in your own graphics.

This is just an introduction to using Kuler, which offers many other capabilities you will want to explore on your own.