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Colour shifted in iPad vs MacPro/MacBook Pro 17

Aug 28, 2012 8:31 PM

Tags: #cmyk #ipad #macbook_pro_17 #indesign_cs6 #ai_cmyk #high_quality_print_pdf #macpro_12core #mac_osx_mountain_lion

I had created CMYK file in Adobe Illustrator CS6 for business card/logo, etc. I placed the Ai file into InDesign CS6 business card document (two pages).

 

Then output the InDesign business card document as high quality print PDF. Just out of my curious, I opened the CMYK print file on my iPad 2, and noticed quickly that the colour shifted sightly on iPad 2 as opposed on MacBook Pro 17 unibody and Mac Pro - 12 core.

 

I suspect that it has a lot to do with CMYK color management setting on InDesign's preflight export to PDF?

 

Just tell me what exactly did I do wrong? Am I assuming the color shift is because of CMYK is not interpreted properly on iPad, only RGB, correct?

 

Thanks for some help and feedback. And please confirm this if I am assume wrong or right. And tell me why I think wrong. Or if I am right, or both ways? So I can troubleshoot in the right approach.

 

Look forward to hear some perspective. Have a good one.

Best, Brian

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2012 4:12 AM   in reply to CaramelMacchiato

    I suspect it has a lot more to do with color management, or lack therof, in the various viewers on those devices and whther or not the screens are all calibrated and profiled.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2012 5:24 AM   in reply to CaramelMacchiato

    (1) There is no color management available on any mobile device I'm aware of.

     

    (2) Anything intended for viewing on screen should stay in RGB because that's the native color space of monitors, tablet screens, etc.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2012 6:25 AM   in reply to CaramelMacchiato

    I would expect an accurate display onthe clibrated monitors, but the other devices are not really intended for more than casual viewing, and I wouldn't expect any more color consistency on them than you would see from set to set in a large array of TV sets at the electronic store.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2012 6:29 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Forgot to add that you cannot EVER control what users see on their screens, so there's not much reason to worry about it. Color management is really a concept aimed at getting consistent and reilable output from calibrated and profiled monitors onto a printed page (and even that will look different under different lighting conditions).

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Aug 29, 2012 12:35 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    There is a difference in the way a PDF displays in a browser on an OS with color management and an iOS device where there's none.

     

    Dov pointed out awhile back that PDFs in a desktop browser are fully color managed, so a PDF/X-4 with the same CMYK image saved with different embedded profiles will display correctly.

     

    Here the same CMYK image with US Sheetfed and US SWOP displays differently—at least on OSX browsers. When I look at the same PDF on a iOS device the two images clearly are not displayed via the profiles and look the same:

     

    http://www.zenodesign.com/forum/X-4.pdf

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Aug 29, 2012 3:04 PM   in reply to CaramelMacchiato

    There are some iOS calibration work arounds out there but I can't imagine they work that well (calibration and profiling for CM are not the same) and you certainly can't depend on them being present on a client's device:

     

    http://spyder.datacolor.com/portfolio-view/spyder-gallery/

     

    My understanding is there's no ColorSync equivalent on iOS so a screen/device profile can't be defined. Without that hook there's no way to convert CMYK (or different RGB spaces for that matter) into the device's native RGB space. CM would be up to Apple not Adobe.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2012 3:03 PM   in reply to CaramelMacchiato

    I simply meant that if you take a dozen different devices, even the same brands, and put them next to each other with your PDF displayed, you are likely to see the same variation in color as you would in the TV display at the store, where some sets will be washed out, some oversaturated, some too dark, some too light, and one or two that might look pretty good. You can't even predict what the color will look like on a particular brand of smart phone or tablet beyond some range of values.

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Aug 29, 2012 3:34 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    All of Apple's desktop displays and laptops ship with a monitor profile that's a pretty good representation of the factory settings—I'm guessing most current display manufacturers are doing the same.

     

    If you walk around an Apple store the advantage of ColorSync/monitor profiling can be seen in the consistency of the displays. So if you were to display the PDF I posted on all of an Apple store's desktop displays there would be differences, but they would be slight relative to the TV showroom analogy because the PDF is color managed.

     

    On the otherhand if you display my PDF on all the store's iPads the color might be consistent but would be significantly off because iOS doesn't know what to do with the  CMYK profiles—same goes for an sRGB or AdobeRGB profiled RGB image.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2012 3:45 PM   in reply to Rob Day

    That may be true on new devices, but ALL displays shift as they age. The differences may not be as extreme as my exaggerated analogy, but the larger point is that you cannot predict or control with any degree of certainly the appearance of color on any display other than the ones you own.

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Aug 29, 2012 3:50 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Here's what iOS does with my PDF/X-4—it's more than a subtle display change problem:

     

    Screen shot 2012-08-29 at 6.46.18 PM.png

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2012 4:05 PM   in reply to Rob Day

    I think you're overthinking what I'm talking about. Sure iOS is going to screw up the color because it isn't color managed, but what I'm saying is that it's even worse -- two uncalibrated and unprofiled displays, even on devices both running the same OS, are more than likely going to look different, perhaps only slightly, or maybe quite a bit. How much different probably depends on the user, too. My eyes are old and were never all that good at fine color distinctions, but I know a pearl sorter who can probably see 50 different shades of white that look identical to me.

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Aug 29, 2012 4:41 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    two uncalibrated and unprofiled displays, even on devices both running the same OS, are more than likely going to look different,

     

    Right I can't control a client's display maintenance, but that doesn't mean it's not maintained. So if you are calibrated and profiled and have a ColorSync enabled OS I can be confident the PDF/X-4 with different color spaces will display correctly because the source profiles are included.

     

    With an iOS device there's no option for accurate color communication—there's no screen profile or ColorSync and that shows in my screen cap.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2012 4:52 PM   in reply to Rob Day

    You sure work with a different class of client than I do. Other than professional printers I work for I can pretty much assume that NONE of my clients have accurately calibrated and profiled their monitors, even in cases where such calibration is possible -- most have no idea it's even possible or how to do it. I would also say that the majority of my clients don't own Macs, so any default color management that might have been available is non-existent. It makes sending soft proofs VERY difficult.

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Aug 29, 2012 6:24 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Right I wouldn't get a sign-off via screen display of a PDF, but I know the display of PDF/X-4 with CMYK will be more accurate on a desktop OS with color management than one without (or an iOS device).

     

    So in the design phase I always send out X-4. The client display may not have a custom calibation, but chances are there is at least a default monitor profile in place that describes the native display profile, which is much better than nothing.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 30, 2012 5:37 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    That's a really good idea. Thanks.

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Aug 30, 2012 7:09 AM   in reply to CaramelMacchiato

    So from now on, two types of PDF, one is for web and the other separate PDF only for printing.

     

    One other note on this, I converted the CMYK image I used in my post 14 example to RGB and placed it with  ProPhotoRGB assigned and  sRGB assigned, then made a PDF/X-4, which correctly displays very different previews on a color managed desktop.

     

    On iOS both versions are very close to sRGB, so it looks like iOS ignores the profiles and displays RGB values as sRGB. If your client is viewing on an iOS device, exporting so that everything is converted to  sRGB  would be better than PDF/X-4:

     

    ProPhotoRGB on the left

     

    Screen shot 2012-08-30 at 9.53.47 AM.png

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Sep 1, 2012 6:20 AM   in reply to CaramelMacchiato

    In the business card project itself has no photo file, just basic graphic design/logo - three colours.

     

    If you want to accurately display spot colors (I'm assuming your 3-c job is spot) they must be defined as Lab by checking Use Standard Lab... in Ink Manager.

     

    As with CMYK, iOS doesn't correctly convert Lab for display. The same 2 RGB images plus 4 Lab defined spot colors exported as PDF/X-4:

     

    Screen shot 2012-09-01 at 8.53.46 AM.png

     

    Everything converted to sRGB

     

    Screen shot 2012-09-01 at 9.04.08 AM.png

     
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