I did a test with Adobe Color Theme and saved a swatch. Here's a comparison:
Yes, clearly the previews of these swatches look differently. However, if you view the swatches in the Create tab of Adobe Color Themes, these colors are defined as CMYK values. And the Swatches in InDesign have the same CMYK values. So there is no color conversion happening.
You're viewing these colors on your monitor (using RGB). I'd look at a CMYK printed swatch book to see how these colors would be printed, and not count on how they are viewed on your monitor.
This has come up before, for some reason the Color Theme panel is not color managed—I'm guessing because it originates as a web app. You can make your color selections as Lab, add them to the Swatches panel, convert the swatches to CMYK, and the color appearance will be unchanged.
Also, if you look carefully at the Swatches panel you can see that it responds to the document's assigned color profile, while the Color Themes panel does not. Changing the document's assigned CMYK profile changes the appearance of these CMYK swatches. US Sheetfed is on the left, ISO Newsprint on the right. The ISO Newsprint profile shows the expected loss in color saturation when the same values are printed on newsprint.
Thank you that was a very good thought! You've helped me to uncover another piece of the puzzle. For me there is colour conversion happening. In the attached image you can see that the values change. The selected dark green/teal colour is C=81 M=38 Y=55 K=16 but when in the My Themes panel I put this colour theme into the swatches, the "same" colour now has C=57 M=0 Y=4 K=55. So no wonder that they look so different!
Many thanks for passing me onto the right thread. I thought I couldn't possibly be the only person to notice this! It also seems to me to be a huge, glaring, and sloppy problem which really ought to be fixed by Adobe pronto.
Anyways, the workaround of setting the colour theme to LAB, putting it into the swatches, and then using the swatch panel to convert to CMYK seems successful. There are some slight value changes between the Theme and the Swatches, but we're only talking a change of 1 or 2 and so the colours appear to stay true now. Total pain to have to do this extra little step every time. =)
Thank you so much both of you for taking the time to read my post and respond to it. You've been very helpful and I don't feel like I'm going slightly mad any more!
There are some slight value changes between the Theme and the Swatches, but we're only talking a change of 1 or 2 and so the colours appear to stay true now. Total pain to have to do this extra little step every time. =)
a huge, glaring, and sloppy problem which really ought to be fixed by Adobe pronto.
You can batch change the color mode of swatches if you select all of the swatches and double click them. Or, you can simply leave the Lab values and let the conversion to the correct CMYK space happen when you export to PDF.
I'm guessing the fix won't be coming soon. The original Kuler app had the same color management problem. It's hard to see how they will fix it and keep Color Themes as a cloud based web app.
When you convert the Lab swatches the CMYK values you get will depend on the document's assigned profile, so if you make two document's with different profiles assigned you'll get different CMYK values when you convert the Lab values. Here is US SWOP vs US SNAP
The selected dark green/teal colour is C=81 M=38 Y=55 K=16 but when in the My Themes panel I put this colour theme into the swatches, the "same" colour now has C=57 M=0 Y=4 K=55.
I'm getting the same behavior Steve describes, when I save a theme to the swatches panel the CMYK values don't change (the saved swatches in the Swatches panel are not affected by an edit to the theme in the Color Themes panel)