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My colors change in print when i save AI file to pdf - HELP!!!!

Apr 10, 2012 7:19 AM

Tags: #illustrator #problem #cs5 #color #adobe #text

I am running cs5 on a macbook pro. I have designed wedding invites and when I save the file as pdf to send to print, the pdf shows the correct colors but when it is printed it changes it completely. What am I doing wrong, am I saving the pdf wrong? I can print the pdf on three different printers and the same thing happens.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2012 7:36 AM   in reply to jpendergast123

    Printing is different from viewing on screen. Unless your system is color calibrated and you are using color profiles correctly you cannot even get near a soft proof. But even with correctly set up color management, printing is still different.


    So: is your system set up correctly? Which printer are you using? How exactly did you create the PDF? Does the PDF only show the same colors or are the values correct (check with Acrobat)?

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    Apr 10, 2012 7:47 AM   in reply to jpendergast123

    Need more information to be able to provide you any answer.


    If the colors are significatnly different, you may have made an RGB pdf (eg: smallest file size). Also in Illustrator make sure in Illustrator file >> Document Color Mode >> is set to CMYK.


    If your colors are slightly off, then your monitor may not be calibrated correctly, or you may be attaching a color profile that is.


    Can you give us the cmyk values of a color and tell us what is wrong with it, along with what PDF preset you used? Use high quality print or PDF-X.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2012 8:19 AM   in reply to jpendergast123

    jpendergast123 wrote:








    thos are the values and look like the same values when the pdf is on screen, but when it prints it prints as a Navy blue

    Naturally these values will display differently on every device if they are not color managed. For example, my monitor will display them in one way and yours in another because monitors are physically different from each other and this affects the color. It is not possible to change the physical differences on the different devices to make them the same. Consistent color is achieved by Color Management and you need to learn about it if you want to be in control of your colors when using different devices. The fact that you liked the printed colors in the past was a lucky shot that may not repeat every time.


    People who achieve the intended colors on a different device without color management use the output device as a reference and not their monitors.

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    Apr 10, 2012 12:32 PM   in reply to jpendergast123

    I believe you meant 86.9 cyan, considering that your color should be a dark plum, nto reflex blue, magenta is 13% higher than cyan adn no matter what printer you send that to should look more warm than cool.


    Do you acidentally have a fill or stroke set to overprint, and have some extra cyan underneath? Do a view >> overprint preview


    Screen shot 2012-04-10 at 2.27.03 PM.png


    Or did someone flip the numbers

    Screen shot 2012-04-10 at 2.23.26 PM.png


    What is worng with the 75%K, shoudl be a dark neutral grey, or doses it have a blue cast?

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