9 Replies Latest reply on Mar 4, 2016 5:56 AM by rob day

    Color shifts

    peterpica Level 1

      Have a job supplied in 3C, black, PMS548 (dark tealish blue), 185 red. Customer didn't want to pay for 3-spot color printing so agreed to 4/c process. Saved his PDF file to 4/c & had 4-Over do. 548's nearly illegible, i.e., looks just about the same as the black when printed.


      Suggestions? How to avoid (other than changing the 548)?

        • 1. Re: Color shifts
          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          What version of ID are you using and which Pantone library is the 548 coming from? Pantone+ Coated, or the legacy Pantone solid coated (no + after Pantone). How did you make the conversion? Ink Manager?


          Did you actually go to press or are you judging the color via an Acrobat preview?

          • 2. Re: Color shifts
            peterpica Level 1

            Was a supplied PDF with 548C; I edited in Ily (text edits only); resaved as PDF; then have a plugin (Quite-a-Box-of-Tricks) converting all RGBs/Pantones etc. to CYMK for printing at 4-Over.


            Looking at the original supplied file, the 548 almost looks like a rich black to me to begin with.


            • 3. Re: Color shifts
              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Maybe the provided file was from an old legacy library—what you are describing sounds like a CMYK-to-CMYK conversion. What are the CMYK values in the final PDF?


              This is 548C from the latest Pantone+ Coated library, which are Lab values:


              Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 5.34.21 PM.png


              This is InDesign's conversion to US Sheetfed with Black point Compensation:

              Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 5.42.42 PM.png

              • 4. Re: Color shifts
                peterpica Level 1

                Both look the same (to me)... waiting for response from printer...The printed cards look like black, no 'teal' at all.


                Strange. Here's the file as sent to printer; it includes both original PDF as submitted by customer (w/pantones) and 4/c as sent to printer.


                Dropbox - Archive.zip

                • 5. Re: Color shifts
                  Stephen_A_Marsh Adobe Community Professional

                  Pantone+ 548 C = L*21 a*-21 b*-18


                  Your 4C Simulation C = L*22 a*-15 b*-15 (ISO Coated v2/Fogra39)


                  Your 4C Simulation C = L*22 a*-14 b*-15 (GRACoL 2006)


                  The default alternate colour space of the spot colour in your PDF was 100c64m51y43k which is also what your CMYK version used.


                  The current Pantone+ Color Bridge uses a breakdown of 100c21m28y76k.


                  There are of course different CMYK builds that would be close to the same CMYK colour as what you sent to press, such as 74c18m15y77k (L*23 a*-14 b*-14 in ISO Coated v2/Fogra39).


                  I love colour issues! :]

                  • 6. Re: Color shifts
                    peterpica Level 1

                    Thanks Stephen… If you say so… now would you please put that in English? I never understood color and now you’ve just confirmed it.



                    • 7. Re: Color shifts
                      Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Hi Peter,

                      how was the card printed? Offset?
                      What kind of paper was used?
                      How many sheets were printed?

                      Your PDFs are not PDF/X conform, so we cannot know anything about the intended printing conditions.
                      Or the live printing conditions at all.


                      A total amount of ink like 258% on an perhaps uncoated paper would indeed look very dark.


                      Btw. the original PDF seems to be a 2-color job.



                      • 8. Re: Color shifts
                        peterpica Level 1

                        Printed on c/1/s stock at 4-Over. Original was 2/c and I converted to 4/c using Quite-a-Box-o-Tricks.

                        • 9. Re: Color shifts
                          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Have you looked at the color in the Pantone solid swatch book? It has a very dark value and I would expect it to start looking black when you run it as 10pt type.


                          As Uwe points out the conversion to SWOP gives you 258% total ink and that could be exacerbated if the press is actually running at higher densities. If you want the small type to appear green I think you'll have to choose a different color—even if the color was printed as a spot, small type might still look black. In my #3 screen shot the color looks green because I have it as a large field on rich black, but set as small text it's harder to see the difference. Your perception of the color changes depending on the context.


                          548 on the left default black on the right:

                          Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 8.49.36 AM.png


                          The Secrets of Color - The Atlantic