I am new to textures and overlaying a vector for texturing, and I found these halftone textures from Spoon graphics http://blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/freebies/10-distressed-vector-halftone-patterns-for-illustrator that give me these black swatches.

They are great as they explained for just placing over a vector, however I want to recolor them so they are not just black. I have done this with other textures but when I go to select color I get this:

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How can I recolor this texture swatch? Is this possible?

  • Drag a new pattern swatch to the artboard from the Swatches panel.
  • Select the dragged pattern
  • Ungroup
  • Release the compound path
  • remove the outer rectangle
  • load into the Swatches panel your ordinary swatches
  • select the dots
  • select the fill color that you like
  • drag the colored pattern back to your swatches panel

At first: learn from the user guide how to manage your swatch collections

No need to return the pattern back to the swatches. It can be used "as is", too. (=recolor, use as a brush, make multiples, deform, clip by a clipping path, use as a clipping path etc...)

Check also: In the appearance panel you can select a different blending mode, for example "Hard light" and reduce the opacity. This way you can use the black dots to make the underlying color darker. It's very useful to play a little with different blending modes, if you still have not done it.

  • Everyone had very helpful answers but yours was best, thank you – skyguy Feb 21 '17 at 17:35

Apply your pattern swatch to your artwork and with it selected hit the Recolor Artwork button (or go to Edit → Edit Colors → Recolor Artwork...):

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Select the "New" swatch next to the color you need to change (there's only one in this case) and adjust using the sliders at the bottom. You can bring up the normal color picker by double clicking the "New" swatch, or use the "Edit" tab to visually change using a color wheel etc.:

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Hit OK once you're done; your recolored pattern swatch will automatically be duplicated from the original in the Swatches panel for you to use again:

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  • 2
    I did that but after I hit ok nothing happens. It stays black – skyguy Feb 21 '17 at 16:11
  • Did you have "Recolor Art" checked (bottom left) and did it recolor before you hit OK? – Cai Feb 21 '17 at 16:12
  • 2
    Yes it is checked and no it did not.. – skyguy Feb 21 '17 at 17:33
  • This should be the best answer. Less work and you don't have to create bunch of other patterns with same color. Great job here~!!! – Ganbayar Gansukh Nov 15 '18 at 17:56
  • 1
    For this to work, make sure that under "Recolor Artwork" > "Current Colors", you click the line between the long color swatch and the short swatch under "New" so it changes from a line to an arrow. – joeyyang Sep 4 '19 at 17:33
  • Drag the pattern swatch into your Swatches palette if it isn't already;
  • Double-click the swatch in the palette to enter the pattern editor;
  • Recolor away to your heart's content;
  • Close the pattern editor with the checkmark just below the options bar.
  • 1
    The swatches are already in the swatches panel (the download file already has the swatches, and copy/pasting to a new doc copies the swatches too) so step 1 isn't needed :) – Cai Feb 21 '17 at 14:38
  • @Cai Some swatches, like the ones that come prepackaged with Ai, open in their own dedicated palette. Dragging them to your 'master' Swatches is never a bad idea. – Vincent Feb 21 '17 at 14:56

Double-Click the swatch in the Swatches Panel.

Recolor as you like.....

  • If you want to alter the exiting swatch, and thus any art with that swatch applied....

    • Click the √ Done link in the top left corner of the document window.
  • If you want to create a new swatch with your new colors....

    • Click the + Save a Copy link in the top left corner of the document window:

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