Illustrator to PDF colour issue!!

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by silence, May 3, 2006.

  1. silence macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2005

    Hoping someone can help with a very annoying problem i can't get my head around.. :mad:

    When saving an Illustrator CS2 artwork as PDF, the black parts I used in Illustrator become really really light. I mean, the artwork still looks "black", but the embedded images placed from Photoshop (also black) now contrasts a lot because of the faded black from illustrator...

    Are you still with me? :confused:

    I'm using CMYK black, so K is at 100%.. for both Photoshp and Illustrator. However when saving as PDF, the illustrator black fades out, and the Photoshop black stays strong.. so i end up with a really ugly piece of work.

    Is there some sort of colour conversion process that takes place when saving as PDF?? Can i change this setting..?

    Please help!!
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    How exactly are you saving as PDF? What PDF settings are you using? Not one of 'ebook' type ones where it forces everything to a flavour of RGB by any chance?

    And is there any reason you can't add a little cyan to your Illustrator black? It's called a rich black or shiner. Try adding 40% cyan to your 'black'...

    Some others recommend 40C 20M 20Y 100K.
  3. silence thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2005
    Thanks Blue Velvet the richer Cyan solution helped a lot.. never realized how simple a problem it was!


    Another problem solved by the MacRumours team..
  4. eyeon macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2004
    Montana, USA
    I have had this issue as well -- and eventually realized that what one sees on screen and what actually prints are two different worlds. Basically, as far as I can tell, computer monitors are calibrated RGB output -- therefore, when you are looking at a CMYK artwork, the blacks (100% K) are going to look kinda greyish, because it's not a RGB black. Illustrator cheats this somehow, so the CMYK blacks look truly black when working with files in it.

    Something I always do is check the PDF settings when saving your file as a PDF. In the "output" tab, be mindful of the color conversion setting. If it's set to "convert to destination" and the destination is an RGB, than your PDF will look normal on screen, but may not necessarily print correctly. If you convert to a CMYK destination, it will probably look wierd (as you are describing) on screen but should print just fine... it's all experimentation and understanding the two color modes.

    Hope this helps.
  5. zarathustra macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    Are you using transparencies in Illustrator or placing vector over the raster image?

    Sometimes Illustrator will rasterize parts of the image which were vector and/or color mixes will be off. Make sure your transparency flattener is set to high.
  6. Najrax macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2010
    I have the same problem as listed above but not only with black.

    Brown becomes dark blue

    and dark green becomes light purple for some reason

    Does someone know why?
  7. shigzeo macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2005
    Got to say thanks

    My wife was exporting a presentation to PDF and the colours wonked out. I've never used RGB with Illustrator. I searched for the problem (which was that the colours were blacker in PDF and lighter in Illustrator), MacRumors topped out the search, and hello!, now everything is all in check.

    Went to output, changed to 'convert to destination', selected working RGB profile, and away we went!

    Should I have known how to fix this? Yes, I should have. But, I didn't.

    Thank you MacRumors.

Share This Page