I'm trying to convert the this graphic so I'll adopt the colors displayed after choosing the "color" blending mode.

The graphic looks like this before setting the blending mode: graphic without blending mode set

Now I want it to like this: graphic with the overlay and "color" blending mode The blue overlay is set to blend with the graphic below.

The Problem: I would like to convert the graphic below to use colors, like it does while the overlay with the blanding mode on top (or the other way: graphic over the overlay). Without converting it into a pixel image, because I need to change the objects in red to still be red. I assume it would take more time to cut them out, and place them on top, than to convert them. I know the "recolor artwork" tool but maybe not as good to know how...

Thank you all for reading in advance!

I SHOULD ADD: I first transformed the vector to grayscale, so it's monochrome. Forgot to type it above

  • You are using Illustrator... the objects are on layers.. you can individually select objects and change their colors, or set blending modes per object rather than on an entire layer or group.
    – Scott
    May 22, 2017 at 16:50
  • I'll still effect the object below.. Unless its grouped I looks different.. :/
    – daniel
    May 22, 2017 at 17:21
  • 1
    But you can pull the red objects out of the group.
    – Scott
    May 22, 2017 at 17:32

2 Answers 2


Here's a method without employing transparency (blending modes).... It may seem long and involved, but really it takes 30 seconds (or less) once you get familiar with it. It took me much, much, longer to write this answer than it did to set up then change the colors in the artwork below.

  • Ensure you have a swatch in the Swatches Panel for your background color. (It can help make further, or different, color changes if the swatch is a Global swatch, but that's not absolutely mandatory.)

enter image description here

  • Select the group

  • Choose Edit > Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork

  • Highlight the Assign tab if it isn't already active

    I didn't see any actual black objects in your art (just a dark grey), but I may have missed them. If you want black objects to change rather than remaining black, there's an extra step to take...

    • Click the little Color Options Button in the middle of the Recolor Artwork dialog box:
      enter image description here
    • That will open the Color Reduction Options dialog window.
    • Uncheck "Black" under the Preserve options
      enter image description here
    • Click OK, then proceed with the rest of the steps
  • Now, set the Colors to 2
  • You'll see the bars below combine.
  • Double-click the little color box to the right of the grey bar, the Color Picker will open
  • Click the Color Swatches button and pick the swatch for the background color
  • Click OK then OK again

You'll have the same blue tint on all the grey objects, without any blending modes or transparency and it will leave the red untouched (as in my self-portrait below).

Be aware this actually changes the color of objects So if you want to retain the grey version... do this on a copy of the file.

enter image description here

Now, if you used a Global Swatch here's some additional magic... if you want to change the blue to anything else, or even just "tweak" the blue a bit... double-click the swatch in the Swatches Panel and change the color there... everything using that swatch will also change.


You can run the transparency flatterer (object → Flatten Transparency...) it does this. Unfortunately it has a tendency to break your objects in unexpected ways. Still it does what you ask, so at least you get to know the colors evem though you may end up needing to rebuild your effect stacks.

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