3 Replies Latest reply on Sep 1, 2015 11:17 AM by rob day

    Two identical colors printing differently from InDesign CC 2015.

    kphillips345 Level 1

      Hi all,

       

      I am absolutely stumped by an issue I am having with some files I'm working with. Our customer has specified a blue color that they would like to print the same color across multiple signs. In any case, the blue in one document prints out noticeably differently than the other proofs even though the blue is in every way identical in the supplied InDesign files. I have tried some typical troubleshooting methods I've garnered from experience, but none of my methods so far have explained why they continue to print differently, and I wonder if I'm missing something!

       

      Here is what I have tried thus far to diagnose this issue:

       

      1. Checked to see that both colors are specified the same - they are both an RGB build and have the same values/hexadecimal values in InDesign.

      2. I've pasted the incorrect blue into a new INDD document, saved a PDF with the same settings as the PDF with the correct blue, and printed it to the same printer/through the same RIP software. Still looks different.

      •     That being said, when I paste a square of "correctly printing blue" and "incorrectly printing blue" from each of the customer's files, when I save a PDF and print it, both blues print as the incorrect color.

      3. Checked to see if there are any 'hidden' fills, effects, layer effects like Multiply, etc. or gradient feathers on the solid blue that is printing incorrectly.

      4. Checked that the opacity is 100%, as it is on the correct blue.

      5. Checked to see if any color profiles had been accidentally assigned - no. Both documents, with correct and incorrect blues, are in a working space of sRGB (RGB) and U.S. Web Coated SWOP (CMYK).

      6. PDFs have been saved out with our particular settings, compatible with Acrobat 4, in both cases.

      7. I have tried moving the incorrect solid blue square to the top of the customer's design, as well as onto another layer, to see if there were any other objects on the page that could be affecting the blue below it. Still prints incorrectly compared to the other identical blue.

      8. Checked to see if any overprint features had been turned on/off.

      9. Made sure that both blue objects had their Content fitting set to "Graphic" or "Unassigned" as opposed to "Text Frame." Even when changed to "Graphic" or "Unassigned" the blue prints differently than the others.


      That's what I'd tried so far... could there be some top-secret setting I'm overlooking in InDesign that would be in some way affecting the integrity of this color in my particular document?


      Thanks! 

        • 1. Re: Two identical colors printing differently from InDesign CC 2015.
          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          5. Checked to see if any color profiles had been accidentally assigned - no. Both documents, with correct and incorrect blues, are in a working space of sRGB (RGB) and U.S. Web Coated SWOP (CMYK).

          The Color Setting's working RGB space could be different than the document RGB space, so you have to check the assigned profile via Edit>Assign Profiles or check the source profile in Edit>Convert to Profile.... Color Settings' Working space doesn't tell you anything about the document's profile.

           

          Make sure the document's Transparency Blend Space is RGB—any transparent item on the page whether it's visible or not will invoke the document's blend space.

           

          Also, you can check the actual exported colors of the two PDFs using Acrobat's Object Inspector. Set the Preview to Object Inspector and click on the object and it will give you the actual RGB values and the ICC profile. When you export RGB you always want a profile so if Object Inspector shows DeviceRGB that may be the problem:

           

          Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 3.33.55 PM.png

          • 2. Re: Two identical colors printing differently from InDesign CC 2015.
            kphillips345 Level 1

            Thank you so much for the suggestion Rob! Turns out there was a 30% opacity square of the same color blue on the signs that were printing correctly dropped in on top of it - it was the absence of this on the incorrectly printing sign that was causing the shift in color, maybe in how Adobe Acrobat was interpreting that color in the PDF. I was banging my head off the wall wondering why the 'right' and 'wrong' blues were turning up the same in Object Inspector, etc.

             

            Long story short... always check for hidden objects that aren't 100% opacity. That's all it was.

            • 3. Re: Two identical colors printing differently from InDesign CC 2015.
              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Long story short... always check for hidden objects that aren't 100% opacity. That's all it was.

              You can also set your Transparency Blend Space to RGB. When you leave it at the default CMYK any transparent object forces a conversion into the CMYK blend space.