How to convert Pantone spot colours to CMYK in Adobe Illustrator

Here’s a quick how-to on converting Pantone spot colours to CMYK values in Adobe Illustrator:

  1. Check that your document colour mode is set to CMYK. That’s found under the “File” menu, under “Document Color Mode”
  2. Select all elements you wish to convert. A quick marquee drag will take care of that for you.
  3. Head to the “Edit” menu and select “Edit Colors” – “Convert to CMYK” is the 7th item on that list. Select that and you’re just about done.
  4. Perform a “Save As” so that you don’t overwrite your spot colour version.

Also see: Making tint swatches in Adobe Illustrator

The National Geographic brand is built to last

National Geographic's iconic yellow box

National Geographic (NG) understands branding. And here’s why:

They stick to the basics: Notice the 3 elements that make-up the magazine cover:

  • Signature nameplate (Typography – A condensed Times New Roman)
  • Signature colour (yellow)
  • Signature shape (rectangle)

(Here’s a fourth: Amazing photography)

NG has leveraged their signature yellow border across multiple global publications, their television channel, the web and as the central graphic for the NG Society’s logo. It’s everywhere. It also helps that they’ve maintained this icon for the better part of the 20th century, and of course,  into the early decades of this century.

Longevity and consistency will do a lot for a brand. they’re the keys to establishing successful brand recall.

Start-ups with a long-term vision and patience will win the day.

Branding made simple [Part 5]

This is the fifth in a series of Branding posts drawn from my “Branding Made Simple” presentation at The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (Manitoba) Design for Business luncheon series. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


It’s hard to deny the results of countless clinical tests that support colour theory as it relates to psychology and emotional response. These differ according to culture and region. The colour red may conjure up particular emotions to Canadians, yet may elicit completely different responses from Austrians, Somalis or the Swedes (for example). Some common colour meaning right here in Canada are:

Red = Passion, Anger and Love. Red walls are often used in restaurants to evoke hunger.
Blue = Knowledge, Tranquility, Calm. Teal Walls in hospitals are meant to be calming.
Green = Fertility, Money, Healing, Success and Growth.

Continue reading Branding made simple [Part 5]