This was brought to my attention by a friend at EBSCO Media.
The scenario: You’ve created a dieline in Adobe Illustrator, which uses the manually created global spot color “Dieline.” It’s set to, say, a fluorescent green for easy identification.
Place the AI file in InDesign; the dieline spot color is added to the Swatches panel. So far, so good.
Select the dieline art and choose Edit Original.
In Illustrator, change the spec for the dieline spot color to, say, red, and save the file.
Return to InDesign. Although the Links panel shows that the link is updated, the swatch appearance and the artwork appearance have not changed.
The only way to fix this is to delete the artwork, then delete the swatch and and re-import the artwork.
NOTE: Sometimes it DOES work as it should (i.e., updating the link DOES change the appearance of the artwork and swatch.) But most of the time, it doesn’t.
And…If you use a genuine PANTONE spot color from one of the sanctioned color books, it behaves as it should: change to another PANTONE color in Illustrator, and InDesign will update the swatch and the placed artwork.
Since you’d probably be using the homegrown-spot approach only when you’re creating components such as dielines and varnish plates, the actual color really isn’t important: It’s only important that a plate is generated. But it’s still odd that either InDesign ignores the change, or Illustrator doesn’t successfully communicate it. Guess it’s Just One of Those Things.