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Isaac James

PDF export washes out color.

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Okay, weird thing: when I export a document (see attachment #1) as a PDF then open that PDF in Preview it washes out the black background color (see attachment #3). As you can imagine this is a nightmare for sending a PDF proof to clients to look over.

 

Even more odd is when I take the same exported PDF (that looks horrible in Preview) and open it with Photoshop it looks just fine (see attachment #4). Wondering if this is a Preview issue or something else I'm messing - you know, like the toggle button for "make this look like crap in preview only" :P

 

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Not really sure about this, but I think it's because the colorspace of the PDF is CMYK.

 

Is the black background CMYK: 0 0 0 100?

 

Hmm, not sure either. When I change it to those values and export it's even more washed out than above (attachment #3).

 

It looks slightly better when exported at CMYK 100 100 100 100 but still washed out.

 

Feel like I'm missing something here. Just FYI: the color I'm ultimatly going for is the 5% grey (2nd from left in the swatch category, under "grey"). 

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Isaac- I don't know if this is a bug with A.D. or not, but I've tried RGB 0,0,0 and CMYK 100,100,100,100 in two other vector apps, and when I check the HEX color with a third app, both blacks show as RGB 0,0,0. I've tried the same test with A.D. and when I create two boxes with RGB 0,0,0 and then another with CMYK 100,100,100,100, the CMYK "black" is always gray, and never black. I've tried and can't get a deep black in A.D. I do CMYK printing, and do get deep blacks with another app. Try these CMYK for deep black: 75,68,67,90. Also, try printing vs on-screen color.

 

Bryan


MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012) // 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1024 MB // OS X 10.11.3 // Affinity Designer 1.4.1

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Isaac- I don't know if this is a bug with A.D. or not, but I've tried RGB 0,0,0 and CMYK 100,100,100,100 in two other vector apps, and when I check the HEX color with a third app, both blacks show as RGB 0,0,0. I've tried the same test with A.D. and when I create two boxes with RGB 0,0,0 and then another with CMYK 100,100,100,100, the CMYK "black" is always gray, and never black. I've tried and can't get a deep black in A.D. I do CMYK printing, and do get deep blacks with another app. Try these CMYK for deep black: 75,68,67,90. Also, try printing vs on-screen color.

 

Bryan

 

Thanks so much for the help with this Bryan (and Eelco) I appreciate the test you ran and the confirmation that it might be a little bug-ish (understandable with software this "young"). 

 

I'm curious though: by "try printing vs on-screen color" do you mean setting up the document as a "print" or even "press ready" on the outset? If so, I did try that with little/no change.

 

Isaac

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Okay, another issue found: When trying to change the document settings to "print" or "press ready" and pressing okay it keeps reverting back to "devices" as the type. Thought that was odd so I started from scratch and created a new document. I started with changing type to print and units to inches - left everything else as is. The second I changed the dimensions to anything custom it changed the Type back to "Photo". Weird right? Also if I started with "Print ready" doc type it would accept all my options and create the document - but once it's open if I go back to documents settings tab it shows it's switched to "devices" in the doc type.

 

Real headscratcher here fellas :P

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Well, Preview isn't very good with CMYK color space (and not good with masks either), so CMYK pdf's can be a little strange.

 

Adobe Acrobat display's 100% black plates "dull" if that is ticked in preferences (like you can do that in Illustrator or InDesign), so I thought this could be the issue.

 

There are some difficulties with CMYK colorspace output in Designer: EPS always is exported as RGB, but for me PDF does work.

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Isaac- I don't know if this is a bug with A.D. or not, but I've tried RGB 0,0,0 and CMYK 100,100,100,100 in two other vector apps, and when I check the HEX color with a third app, both blacks show as RGB 0,0,0. I've tried the same test with A.D. and when I create two boxes with RGB 0,0,0 and then another with CMYK 100,100,100,100, the CMYK "black" is always gray, and never black. I've tried and can't get a deep black in A.D. I do CMYK printing, and do get deep blacks with another app. Try these CMYK for deep black: 75,68,67,90. Also, try printing vs on-screen color.

 

Bryan

 

For deep black, my print experts have always recommended use 100% black in combination with other ink values and I have had great success with that formula. 

For example, for a rich cool black, use something like C60 M30 Y30 K100. For warm black, decrease C to 30 and bump M/Y to 50 or 60, etc. For neutral process black, keep CMY values equal, as in C50 M50 Y50 K100.

 

Printers have recommend to me that the total ink combination not exceed 260 or as high as 280 or even 300. This varies by output device – digital, offset, etc. YMMV

Many prepress and output devices will reject too high a total density all inks at 100% (C100 Y100 M100 K100), and depending on the paper this could cause problems or give unexpected results. 

 

For many absorbent uncoated papers there is little perceptible difference from about 85% to 100% because of what is called "dot gain"—basically the ink spreading into the paper fiber—and there is, with such papers, a phenomenon of what I have heard printers call "dryback", which, as near as I can tell, is the effects of absorbency and reflectivity causing saturated colors not to appear saturated (like black at 100% only ever appearing grey) – an effect which increases as the ink dries.  

 

As to the CMYK colorspace issue, I agree with the suggestion that Preview gives inaccurate renderings of CMYK PDFs end results. It displays as "washed out" what in actuality are dense CMYK values. I'm about to do a test of the values AD exports to its PDF files and will follow up if anything interesting happens. 

 

Cheers

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