How to recolor Swash Artwork in InDesign


In this tutorial, we will use the InDesign Effects Panel to change the color of a black and white piece of swash artwork. This is a great technique if you want to have graphic embellishments match the color palette of an existing layout.
1. Download this graphic and place it into your layout.
2. Give the graphic frame a fill color – you won’t be able to see it yet because the graphic has a white background.

2. Open the Effects Panel РWINDOW menu > EFFECTS. With the white arrow (direct selection tool) click on the content inside the image frame. The Effects menu will now change and show effects for only the Graphic inside the frame. Change the Blend mode to Screen. This will allow the black and gray tones of the graphic to accept color from the graphic frame fill.

3. With the Black Arrow, select the graphic frame (you may need to deselect by clicking out on an empty part of the screen first) then, in the Effects panel, change the blend mode for the entire Object to Multiply, this will make the background disappear (if you need to overlay this graphic overtop an image.)

4. You will notice a fine line around the graphic when this blending mode is applied – to rectify this give the object a 2 pt white stroke.

5. Some other things to consider when using this technique. This is a great way to embellish headlines, drop caps or pull quotes. Make sure the graphic runs underneath whatever text you are highlighting and DOES NOT have text wrap turned on.

You can use a gradient as the fill instead of a solid color – also, change the opacity of the fill to lighten up the overall effect.


Or, you can use this as an overlay on top of images (works best for Black and White photos)

6. If you are preparing artwork for use with this technique, in Photoshop turn your image into black and white by using the Black and White image adjustment and fix the levels as well if you need to boost contrast. The graphic must be on a pure white background and the image should be flattened. Finally, change the image mode to CMYK (this matches the color space in InDesign if you are working in a print environment) Save your file in the TIF or PSD.

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