I'm not sure if illustrator supports just changing the background color of one artboard but what I am looking to do is have one black background artboard and leave the other five or six artboards in my project white or transparent.

What i'm trying to do here is make a white version of our corporate logo. It's hard to do that on white or transparent background. I already have a large "corporate branding" project that has all other logo variations so I would like to keep everything together however to do that I need at least one black artboard.

I found the usual way of changing the color of all artboards and it got me wondering if I could just do one. I guess if this isn't supported I'll just lock a big rectangle as a lower layer and draw on top of that so I can see my white text.


2 Answers 2


Sorry you can't.

But you can draw a box on it's own layer and lock it. Then double click the layer thumbnail and uncheck "Print" for the layer options. That will ensure the layer won't print. layer options

Or you can turn on the transparency grid in the View Menu.

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    It's a pity that Illustrator has never made a non-printable "Artboard Color" selection since most designers aren't bound by white paper. With today's printers ability to print white, it's truly a necessity. Given that, I use the method that Scott uses and title it "Background" or "Paper" and unclick the "Print" box. Since the layer can have anything on it, you can place patterns or use any colors you want. When printing or saving as eps, you will get the result you want. When printing white though, it has to be a spot color per printer's instructions and specs. Mar 11, 2015 at 2:28

If you turn on the transparency grid - you can set both colors to black in the preferences. This allows the white to be white over a black background - rather than 'invisible' - which is how it looks if you choose black for the art board.

Unfortunately for individual art board colors - Scott's 'box' method is the way to do it. Unfortunate because I do this a lot as well.

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