So far the best I can think of to do is have three swatches that are actually used in styles and such, and then a folder of all twelve just for reference. For each issue, someone would note the CMYK values of the applicable season in the reference folder and manually edit the active swatches to match. Does anyone have a better idea than that?
When you delete a swatch that is in use you get a prompt to choose a replacement swatch. So if your template had swatches named primary, primary spring, primary summer, etc; and the swatch primary was used, you would be able to delete primary and replace with primary spring. That would global change the instances of primary in the doc.
True, but that would only work once. After deleting Primary Spring to replace it with Primary Summer, Primary Spring would need to be recreated.
Hmm, I guess someone could: (1) duplicate Primary Spring, (2) delete it (reassigning to Summer), and then (3) rename "Primary Spring copy" to "Primary Spring". That's a little non-intuitive, but it would get the job done if they remember how to do it each time. I'll ask the team what they think of that idea. That's apparently as close to a simple solution as it'll get - I'll go ahead and give you the "Correct Answer" star.
Too bad that there isn't a feature in ID for this kind of thing - I suspect it happens a lot.
Rob mentioned an InDesign template that would have all the colors.
This is different that just using a regular InDesign document.
When you use templates you open a specific template and it would already have all the colors, styles, general layout of the magazine, etc, for you to use.
Look into templates, this is exactly what you need for items like quarterly magazines, They are a big time saver!
Good point! I do know about templates (and I'm trying to encourage the team to start using them, but it's a paradigm shift), but I failed to think about this question in terms of using a template. Yeah, that's probably the way to go.