Metallic Effects Without Metallic Inks

Answered by Jay Nelson, Editor and Publisher, Design Tools Monthly

Our customer wants to have a metallic effect on their document, but can't afford a metallic ink. What's the easiest way to produce a metallic effect with CMYK inks?

The easiest way is to use Adobe Illustrator CS3 and InDesign CS3. Illustrator has a library of metallic solid and gradient swatches that you can load from the Options menu of the Swatches panel. To do that, click the little triangle in the upper right of the Swatches panel. From the menu that appears, choose Open Swatch Library> Metal or Open Swatch Library> Gradients> Metals.

InDesign CS3 can load Illustrator's solid Metal library as well: from the Options menu on the Swatches panel, choose Load Swatches. Then navigate to Presets/Swatches inside the Adobe Illustrator folder.

The metallic gradient swatches are a different story, for some reason. To use Illustrator's gradient swatches in InDesign, first drag the swatches onto a objects on a page in Illustrator. Then drag those objects into InDesign. Their gradients will be added to the Swatches panel in InDesign where you can name them if you like.

This question was answered by Jay Nelson, Publisher & Editor, Design Tools Monthly. We love DTM's tips and advice and think you will, too. For a free sample PRINTED issue, contact Design Tools Monthly at 303-543-8400, e-mail, or go to their website:
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