Day 4: Go InDesign Pro in 5 Days!

Useful links:

Pink and Blue Swatch Palette:

C=24 M=19 Y=9 K=0
C=85 M=83 Y=0 K=0
C=94 M=100 Y=34 K=34
C=0 M=90 Y=51 K=0
C=0 M=30 Y=17 K=0

Discover more tips about using colour in Adobe InDesign:

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The transcript from today’s video is below:

Hello everyone! It’s Thursday, it’s nearly the weekend, it’s time to have some creative fun with color!

In this Go Pro video, we’re going to harness the transformative power of color in InDesign, and transform your business card design from dull to positively vibrant.

Of course, you can adapt the colors of your card to match your own business branding, but here I’ll show you how you can create CMYK swatches for printing, and apply these using the Swatches panel in InDesign.

Alright, let’s do it!

OK, so in our business card document, let’s go to Window ⋗ Color and Swatches.

You can see that already I’ve been busy creating lots of lovely color swatches to experiment with on the card design, and you certainly don’t need as many as this to create a lovely design, this is only because I’m always changing my mind when it comes to color.

For this design, you will need about five colors you can apply to the different shapes we created in the earlier tutorial.

The swatches I’ve used here are listed below the video, so if you want to use the same palette you can add these in InDesign and use them too.

Right, let’s look at how to create a color swatch in InDesign.

From the Swatches panel, choose New Colour Swatch from the top-right drop-down menu.

For the Color Type, let’s set this to Process. And when you’re creating anything for print, you want the Mode to be set to CMYK.

I’m going to create a pale dusky purple swatch for the background of the card. So for that, adjust the levels below to Cyan 24%, Magenta 19%, Yellow 9% and Black, otherwise known as Key in CMYK, to 0.

Click Add and then Done.

And you can repeat this process to create more CMYK swatches, so you can get creative with your own color ideas, or try out the palette below the video for the colors I’m using here.

Let’s add some background color first. So click on the bottom layer, Background Color, and select the Rectangle Tool, or hit M on the keyboard.

Drag across the page, and from the Swatches panel set the Fill Color of the shape to the pale dusky swatch.

OK. Let’s Edit ⋗ Copy that rectangle, and down to Page 2, and Edit ⋗ Paste in Place, and set the Fill of this to a different color, such as this purply-blue swatch.

Back up to the front of our card.

And you can unlock the Waves layer and start applying your swatches to the shapes we created earlier.

That same purple-blue for the first wave at the top. Dark ink blue for the central wave.

Then hot pink for this one, and a paler pink below, to create a nice graduation of colour.

Select and copy the wave shape across the center of the card, and then head on down to the reverse side and Edit ⋗ Paste in Place.


Hmm, OK, one last thing on the color front. We need the text to pop.

So unlock the top Text layer, select the text frame on Page 1, and from the Swatches panel click on the little T icon to switch over to Font Color.

You can set this to [Paper] which is white, or something similar, for nice contrast against the background.

Alright, let’s do the same for the text frames on the other page.


OK guys, your business card artwork is pretty much finished, great job!

So if you want to have a little play around with creating and applying color swatches to the card that would be really fun, and you can see I’ve been doing just that with some other palette options for the card. So I’d really encourage you to take a look on Pinterest for example, to pick up some colour inspiration, and try creating swatches to give your card a unique twist.

It’s Friday tomorrow, whoop whoop! In the last instalment of Go InDesign Pro in 5 Days we’re going to look at how you can get the artwork you’ve created into the real world, through exporting your document as a print-ready file.

So thanks again for joining me, keep motivated, keep creative and check your inbox tomorrow for Friday’s tutorial.

In the meantime, check out the link below the video for more info on how to understand colour in graphic design and how to create color swatches and color palettes in InDesign.

See you tomorrow!