In Adobe Illustrator, in the 'Recolor Artwork' dialog box, what is the difference between 'Scale Tints' and 'Tints and Shades'?

As far as I understand, a tint of a color is white added to it and a shade is black added to it.

Then, why does 'Scale Tints' preserve the spot color and 'Tints and Shades' does not. Im my opinion, both should not preserve the color. Where am I mistaken?

1 Answer 1


I'm having difficulty finding exactly where that setting is in 'Recolor Artwork' but I have an idea about Tints.

Tints can be achieved with spot colours in print by using screens / halftones. What this does is use the same colour of ink but in less concentration - usually a pattern of dots instead of a solid field of colour.

I see what you mean about preserving spot colours. They wouldn't look like the same colour. But a tint can be created without using an additional ink in the printing process by showing some of the white of the paper through the printed area.

I believe that is why Illustrator treats the spot colour as preserved.

Halftones creating tints: Halftones creating tints

  • Thanks, that answers my questions. You can find that setting by clicking on a color under the 'new' column in the 'Recolor Artwork' dialog. This setting specifies the colorization method. Jul 20, 2016 at 15:50

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