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Tip of the Week: Easy Fake Duotones

This InDesign tip on creating easy fake duotones was sent to Tip of the Week email subscribers on January 18, 2018.

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Are the colors in a placed image clashing with other elements of your layout? Distracting from the text?

Applying a duotone effect to an image can keep an image from calling too much attention to itself, while helping it to blend harmoniously with the rest of the page. And creating duotone effects with process colors is easy. All you need is a little blend mode trick.

Select the image frame with the Selection tool, and apply a fill color.

Double-click the graphic to select it (instead of the frame). In the Effects panel, set the blend mode to Luminosity. This blends the detail of the placed image with the color fill of the frame.

You can also experiment with different tints to desaturate the effect.

Note that when you’re using a CMYK swatch for the fill, the amount of black does not affect the effect since all the light/dark information comes from the graphic with the Luminosity mode applied to it.

Mike Rankin

Mike Rankin

Editor in Chief of, InDesign Magazine, and Author of LinkedIn Learning courses on InDesign, Illustrator, GIMP, Inkscape, and Adobe Dimension.
Mike Rankin

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