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Recolor Artwork

Most of us have had fun creating nice vector illustrations in Adobe Illustrator. And before the illustration is finished, we’ve all realized that we need to make color revisions or maybe we just want to explore different color options for the project. You’ll inevitably come to the point when you need to start refining your colors. Well Illustrator has a command for that: Recolor Artwork!

The Breakdown

Recolor Artwork is a new command that Adobe implemented a few years ago (2013) that can be used to recolor multiple object selections at once. You can access this command by going to the Edit menu > Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork. When the Recolor Artwork dialog box opens, you’ll see a list of all colors chosen when you made your selection. You can then select each color separately and either use the color guide options to change the colors or you can use the HSB (Hue, Saturation and Brightness) Sliders to recolor each of the selected colors. This can come in very handy when you need to change lots of colors in your project, especially to a specific color theme.

I illustrated an example of this process… Before…

Recolor Artwork Screenshot 1

And After…
To help give you a better picture of the power that this command has.

Recolor Artwork Screenshot 2

There’s also a helpful article about the Recolor Artwork process written here at www.elancreativeco.com.

The Magic Wand Tool, Eyedropper Tool, and Swatches Panel

Besides the Recolor Artwork option, there are a few other tried and true methods of recoloring your vector fills and strokes in Illustrator.

The Magic Wand Tool is useful for selecting all objects with a identical attributes. When this tool is used to select an object, Illustrator will also select all other objects with that same fill color, pattern or gradient, on all layers that are unlocked. Once objects are selected, you can then change their appearances simultaneously by either using the Eyedropper Tool or the Swatches Panel to either “sample” specific appearances or “select and specify” your new color selections respectively. Getting familiar with these recoloring options will definitely help to speed up your workflow and will give you an edge when it comes to getting your colors “just right”.