Showcase and discover digital art at yex

Follow Design Stacks

Subscribe to our free newsletter to get all our latest tutorials and articles delivered directly to your inbox!

PageMaker Colour


Apart from the management of text and graphics, the designer’s third tool for grabbing, keeping and controlling the reader’s interest is colour. Of course full colour opens up the full armoury, but there’s still a lot we can do within our two-colour budget. In fact even if the budget doesn’t stretch this far, there’s still a lot that can be done with single-colour printing. For example, rather than black and white, the publication could be printed in a coloured ink or on coloured paper. In both cases though you should bear in mind that black and white offers the most contrast and so the easiest read – in other words avoid lime green on fluorescent yellow.

Colours are most easily defined with the New command at the bottom of the Colours palette (Ctrl + J). However, as onscreen hues are never absolutely accurate and cannot show the important difference between printing on coated (glossy) or uncoated (matt) stock, the colour should actually be chosen from a swatch book. Almost certainly this will mean choosing from the thousand or so approved Pantone colours. These can then be simulated within PageMaker by selecting from the relevant drop-down library list.

Eventually I chose a blue, Pantone 3015. The advantage of a strong colour like this is that it can be used solid for text, for example, to highlight the category headings and dates. It also offers enough contrast to enable white dropped out from it – as in the bars on the top of each spread – to effectively act as another colour. Finally it produces attractive and practical tints. The fact that black text remains very readable over a 20% tint means that I can break up the main spread with a central coloured panel and also add colour to the back panel. By turning the main cover image into a duotone, mixing blue into the black, we really are making the most of the two colours available to us.