How to Recolor an Image in Adobe Illustrator

Recoloring images in Adobe Illustrator opens up a world of creative possibilities, allowing you to breathe new life into your designs.

Among the many tools available to designers, Adobe Illustrator stands tall as a versatile powerhouse, offering a myriad of creative possibilities. One such capability that entices designers is the ability to recolor images.

My name is Kerry and in this article, you will learn how to use the Recolor feature in Adobe Illustrator in a few easy steps!

Ready to recolor? Let’s get going! 

How to Use the Recolor Tool in Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator provides a robust set of tools that make it an excellent choice for recoloring an image on their canvas. 

You can follow these simple steps to get started in creating pixel art in Adobe Illustrator:

Step 1: Open a new document in Adobe Illustrator. Then, navigate to File > Place to import the image you want to recolor. 

Step 2: Convert your image to a vector, because you can’t use the recolor tool to change the color of a raster image in Adobe Illustrator.

The easiest way to do this is using Image Trace. Select the image, and click Image Trace on the Properties > Quick Actions panel.

Step 3: With the vectorized image selected, head to the Edit menu, and choose Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork. A dialog box will appear, presenting various recoloring options. 

Step 4: The Color Wheel is the heart of the recoloring process in Adobe Illustrator. You can manually adjust the hue, saturation, and brightness sliders to achieve your desired color effect. 

Alternatively, you can experiment with pre-made color swatches by clicking on the Edit button next to the Color Groups option. This will open a panel with an extensive library of predefined color combinations that you can apply to your image.

Once you’ve applied the initial color scheme, take advantage of the various adjustment options available. By adjusting the sliders in the Color Harmony section, you can control the balance and distribution of colors within the image. 

Once you’re satisfied with your recolored image, you can save/export your file. Go to File > Save As, and choose a file format suitable for your needs, such as JPEG or PNG

Benefits of Using the Recoloring Feature in Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator’s image recoloring feature offers designers an incredible range of creative possibilities. From ensuring brand consistency to adapting visuals for different contexts, the benefits of recoloring an image are undeniable. 

By harnessing the power of color, designers can guide attention, evoke emotions, and rejuvenate their designs. Embrace the transformative capabilities of Adobe Illustrator, and let your imagination run wild as you unlock the full potential of recoloring. 

Brand Consistency

One of the primary reasons designers opt for recoloring an image in Adobe Illustrator is to achieve brand consistency. Whether working on a logo, marketing collateral, or a website, maintaining the brand’s identity is crucial. 

Recoloring an image allows designers to align visuals with brand colors, ensuring a cohesive and unified presence across various platforms. With a few clicks, a designer can harmonize an image with the brand’s color palette, reinforcing brand recognition and creating a lasting impact.


In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, versatility is key. An image that works perfectly in one context may appear out of place in another. Recoloring an image in Adobe Illustrator grants designers the flexibility to adapt visuals to different environments and design needs. 

By experimenting with various color schemes, designers can tailor images to match different backgrounds, layouts, or themes. This adaptability ensures that the visuals remain captivating and effective, regardless of the medium or platform.

Reinventing and Refreshing

Recoloring an image breathes new life into existing designs, allowing designers to revitalize their work. Instead of starting from scratch, designers can experiment with different color palettes to give a fresh perspective and transform the overall mood of an image. 

This process opens up endless possibilities for creativity, enabling designers to add depth, vibrancy, or a touch of elegance to their compositions.

Final Thoughts

One of the benefits of recoloring an image digitally is that you can play around with various designs without feeling like you are going to ruin your artwork! Remember to experiment, unleash your imagination, and enjoy the journey of exploring the endless recoloring options Adobe Illustrator has to offer. Happy designing!

We would love to hear from you! Do you have any tips or strategies for using this technique in Adobe Illustrator? Comment down below with any tricks to recoloring images or additional questions that you might still have about this topic!

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