Colorways and Affinity Suite Global Colors

Colorways and Affinity Suite Global Colors
In this tutorial, we will learn about colorways and how you can use the Global Colors feature in Affinity Suite for this part of the design process. We will be working in Designer for this tutorial, but the Global Colors feature is available in the other two apps in the Affinity Suite. In this tutorial, you will learn the following.

  • What are Colorways
  • About Global Colors
  • Create and edit Global Colors

What are colorways?
A colorway is a combination of colors for a surface pattern design, such as a planner cover or fabric (see screenshot). Once you complete your design, the colors that you have used will be the first or default colorway. Each variation on that original color combination is a new colorway. Once you have decided on several colorways for your design, it’s easy to switch the original colors for new colors using Global Colors.

About Global Colors
All three apps in the Affinity Suite, Designer, Photo and Publisher, have the Global Colors feature, which works in several color modes (RGB, CMYK, HSL, LAB, Grayscale or Tint). You will work with Global Colors in the Swatches panel. You can set a Global Color for a stroke, fill or a single color in a gradient fill.

Global Colors work much like master pages in Affinity Publisher. When you make changes to a master page, those changes are updated throughout all pages of the document to which that master page has been applied. In the same way, changes to a Global Color will be updated to all design elements with the same Global Color applied.

In the example (see screenshot), we have six bright colors repeated several times throughout the design. When we drew the 31 triangular vector objects on the Canvas for the default design, we set the six colors used in the design as Global Colors. For the second colorway, we needed to change the colors for each of the 31 triangular objects. But we only needed to change the six Global Colors in the Swatches panel and the colors in all 31 vectors were updated.

As businesses usually require several colorways for a single design, you can see how using Global Colors can save you a lot of work and time. So, just how do you create a Global color.

Create a Global Color
  1. In the Swatches panel, open the top right menu and choose Add Global Color (see screenshot).

  2. In the Global Color dialog, set your stroke or fill color and click Add (see screenshot).

The Palette option changes to Document and your first color swatch appears below. Because it is a Global Color, the color swatch will have a small white tab at the bottom left corner.

Edit a Global Color
  1. In the Swatches panel, right-click on the color swatch and choose Edit Fill (see screenshot).

  2. Set the new color for the next colorway.

Screenshots used by permission of Serif (Europe) Ltd. This article is not endorsed by Serif Ltd.

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