11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 28, 2013 7:49 AM by Peter Spier

    Print colors in InDesign vs. Ilustrator

    LauraM1300

      I have a wedding invitation business and use Illustrator for most of my design work, but do all of my envelopes that require a mail merge in InDesign, but I'm having some major color issues.  All of the settings appear to be the same between the two programs, but when I print the colors are terribly different.  The worst offendors seem to be in the brown/gray range.  For example, if text in Illustrator is set to 80% black, in order to get it print the same color in InDesign I may have to change it to 60%.  In the picture attached, the bottom address was in Illustrator, the top was InDesign.

       

      I'm running Illustrator in CMYK mode, the color values are always identical.  When I print both are in in Composit CMYK mode, graphics are postScript Language Level 3, I let Illustrator/InDesign determine colors, printer profiles are sRGB IEC6166-2.1, rendering intent relative colorimetric.

       

      I don't have any official training in either program and feel like I have enough knowledge to know how to design things, but I have no idea where to even start with the print settings and colors.

       

      Can anyone help?

       

      Thanks!
      LauraIMG_0841.JPG

        • 1. Re: Print colors in InDesign vs. Ilustrator
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          I'm wondering why you are sending CMYK numbers to an RGB printer, though I don't think that should cause the difference in color between the two applications.

           

          Have you checked the separations preview in both to verify the colors really are the same? Are the color settings synched through Bridge?

          • 2. Re: Print colors in InDesign vs. Ilustrator
            LauraM1300 Level 1

            See - that's where I don't know what I'm doing.  I have no idea what profiles to use or what the differences are.  I think I am using whatever the default was on my printer.  I'm using a Ricoh Aficio SP 3431DN.

             

            The colors are not synched through bridge.  I don't run through bridge at all. 

             

            I'm not sure how to check the separateions preview - where can I find that?

             

            Thanks for the help - I really appreciate it!!
            Laura

            • 3. Re: Print colors in InDesign vs. Ilustrator
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              OK. If your color settings across the Suite are not sychronized, all bets are off as far as color consistency. Open Bridge, Edit > Creative Suite Color Settings.... and choose a set that's appropriate. I prefer North America Prepress to North America General Purpose, if you don't have a better choice (and if you have real profiles for your printer, a custom settings file would be a better choice -- but that'a bit more than we can talk about in this thread, I think). Perhaps the best thing would be to see waht you already have set in Illustrator (Edit > Color Settings...) and use that. What's important here is that everything is set the same in both applications.

               

              You may recieve color warnings when opening older files after you do this, and you probably want to assign the new  profiles in the dialog if it comes up.

               

              As far as separations preview, in Illustrator it's pretty useless as all it does is allow you to look at each color plate individually, so you should check the color numbers by selecting an object and opening the Color panel, but in ID you can go to Window > Output > Separations Preview and turn it on in the panel, then you can read the numbers directly anywhere by moving the mouse around on your page.

               

              I can't find any reference for a Ricoh SP 3431DN, so I suspect you might have a typo in the model number. If there is a Postscript driver available for this printer, you should be using it as it will accept the CMYK colors. PCL drivers must convert your colors to RGB before converting back to CMYK in the printer.

              • 4. Re: Print colors in InDesign vs. Ilustrator
                LauraM1300 Level 1

                Thanks!

                 

                I actually don't have bridge at all.  I have individual licenses to Illustrator and InDesign.

                 

                When I go to the color settings in Illustrator I am in North America General Purpose 2

                RG: sRGB IEC6 1966-2.1

                CMYK: US Web Coted (SWOP) v2

                RGB: Preserve Embedded Profiles

                CMYK: Preserve Numbers

                 

                They are identical in InDesign.

                 

                I checked the Output separations and they are the same in both files.

                 

                This is my printer:

                http://www.ricoh-usa.com/products/product_details.aspx?cid=25&scid=21&pid=1764&ptm=specifi cations&tsn=canada#pdtfeatures

                 

                I do have a postscript driver that I use and run the same post script settings on both programs.

                 

                I'm almost wondering if I need to set both programs to "let post script printer decide colors" rather than let InDesign or Illustrator?

                 

                Thanks!
                laura

                • 5. Re: Print colors in InDesign vs. Ilustrator
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  Waht happens if you save both files a s PDF and print that?

                  • 6. Re: Print colors in InDesign vs. Ilustrator
                    LauraM1300 Level 1

                    That did get them to print the same color which I'm assuming means there's a print setting between InDesign and Illustrator that is different hey?

                     

                    I did also try using "let post script printer determine the colors" and that makes them nearly identical.  Not perfect, but pretty close.

                    • 7. Re: Print colors in InDesign vs. Ilustrator
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      ID is not known for its native printing ability and it doesn't get along well with all printer drivers (HP being at the top of the list, but Ricoh is mentioned a lot, too). I don't know if this is an ID?Printer issue, or you have some different setting (this is all text, right?), but the usual workaround for print problems in ID is to make the PDF and print that.

                      • 8. Re: Print colors in InDesign vs. Ilustrator
                        LauraM1300 Level 1

                        It not all just text, I do have graphics from time to time. 

                         

                        Bummer that it's an issue!  I contacted the designers with the parent company that I work with and they didn't have a solution either. 

                         

                        I'd rather not convert to PDF because that also prints a different color than Illustrator, but at least if I know that trick works and I know I'll need to use InDesign for a project I can plan around that a bit.  I've been pulling my hair out trying to figure out what setting I hd different.  It's really maddening!

                         

                        Thanks for the help!

                        • 9. Re: Print colors in InDesign vs. Ilustrator
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          I thought you said they printed the same when saved as PDF?

                          • 10. Re: Print colors in InDesign vs. Ilustrator
                            LauraM1300 Level 1

                            If I export both to PDFs they print the same as each other, but not the same as the AI files. 90% of what I print is from AI so I am trying to match those colors.

                            • 11. Re: Print colors in InDesign vs. Ilustrator
                              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                              That probably means you are doing some sort of color conversion during the export/save to PDF process. Check your settings and be sure they say No Color Conversion for both applications, then check again.