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Colors are way off in Affinity Designer...

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Months ago I bought a Canon Pixma Pro-100 and started using Affinity Designer.  My artwork came off the printer looking nearly identical to what I saw on the screen.  I was very, very excited.

Now I don't know what has happened, but everything that comes off the printer looks like crap.  The colors are WAY off. 

- Affinity Designer on HP Envy x360 m6 laptop running Windows 10 Home (using laptop monitor and 2nd aux monitor)
- Canon Pixma Pro-100 using Canon Semi-Gloss paper

The default color profile that was being used was sRGB IEC1966-2.1.  I don't know much about color profiles and that was the selection that showed up when I started digging.  I have switched my document AND printer profiles to Canon PRO-100 <SG> 1/2 Photo Paper Plus Semi and Adobe RGB (1988) with zero changes in print output results.

Everything I have read talks about calibrating monitors... I admit that I have not done this, however I am not printing photos but creating artwork in Adobe Animate using the standard color palette.  I feel that no matter how my monitor calibration is set when I select red #FF0000 (255/0/0) that it should still print red, right? 

So here is the strangest part of this.  I downloaded a test image to print.  On my monitor the red looks red, green looks green, etc.  When I imported the jpeg into Affinity Designer to print I immediately saw that the colors were different.  The red appears more pale, the  bright green looks like a pastel, etc.  Here is a screen shot... pay special attention to the green in the 9-box just to the right of the ship photo.



...so I printed the sample graphic using Affinity Designer and the Canon Semi-Gloss color profile and ended up with this ugly POS:


Granted, the light in my office isn't great, but the baby's face looks almost purple and not skin-tone like on the monitor.  Hmmm.... WTF?

Had a thought... hey, what if I print this using Windows instead of Affinity Designer?  Right clicked the jpeg on my desktop and let Windows do it's thing and ended up with this...

IMG_5581.thumb.JPG.01e623ceaa1f551a0990428c0f3cb073.JPG   IMG_5580.thumb.JPG.6a1039ff00c0122defbf1e43ac3d1db1.JPG

The color of the baby is VERY close to what I see on the monitor when I printed from Windows.  The colors in the 9-box are DRASTICALLY different Windows vs Affinity Designer. 

So I thought that I could output my designs to a PNG and just let Windows print it... but I tried it with my own artwork and the results came out identical to every other attempt.  (scratching head)

Hoping someone can help.  I'm overwhelmed by Google results on this topic.


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Argh!  That sounded so EASY to fix... I was excited that it could be something so simple!

Dang it.  The document color is already set to RGB/8... but maybe I need to try changing it to CMYK?  I made the change in Document Setup but I didn't copy/paste the content into a new document.  I could see the palette change moments after I changed the color setting, so it seemed unnecessary to copy/paste.  Printed a sample.  The blacks weren't as dark and the grays were bluish.  Then changed to RBG/16 and printed a sample.  No change from the original prints.  Lastly I created a new document with RGB/16 and copied in the artwork from the original print... no change.

Thank you for the suggestion... have another?



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I created a new Affinity Designer document.  Made sure that Document Setup > Color Format is RGB/8 and the Color Profile is Canon PRO-100 <SG> 1/2 Photo Paper Plus Semi and when I printed I made sure that Color Handling Printer Profile is set to the same Canon PRO-100 <SG> 1/2 Photo Paper Plus Semi and Rendering Intent is defaulted to Perceptual (whatever that means).  

box.jpg.364e0149e33b53c97d163c2425a8b3b1.jpg  box2.jpg.aa3219fdd60a2cc12f410c4f2930fced.jpg

Printed another sample... man, these colors seem WAY off!  The orange truck looks red on the page.  The bronze truck looks burgundy.  The brown truck looks almost black and the light blue truck looks dark blue.  The light-gray windows look very dark in the printed version. 

1845005019_colortest.thumb.jpg.3fc29fa5efbbdb6b0c4428567b6468c5.jpg      IMG_5682.thumb.JPG.fa630dd3e78d0bc1f5dc780546a0df39.JPG

IMG_5683.thumb.JPG.425ac696797b24f812c2701d4f5a5cd6.JPG      IMG_5684.thumb.JPG.0f82d58a61e9ffbf794dce3407e2d418.JPG

I see that on my print properties dialog box there is a checkmark for "Color/Intensity Manual Adjustment" and I haven't yet messed with that.  Could that be a possible solution?

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Yes as @>|< already said, don't mix up document and printer (display input and printing output) color profiles here. I think you should first get some better knowlege and understanding about the color management materia, before you go to dive in and try out things. See for example:

Make yourself clear that the document profile is meant for display purposes, aka monitor based devices which show images on screen. Here the defacto smallest common denominator is the sRGB color spectrum, which can be said to be the default or standard one. In contrast to sRGB, Adobe RGB or ProPhoto are much wider color gamuts (color space) which do offer much more colors in their respective spectrum. - The Canon PRO-100 is instead a printer profile (an output profile in CMYK color space) which will be Canon vendor calibrated for your specific Canon printer for output. So you would supply this one only on print panels for paper printing output, but not for displaying a document on a monitor. Usually your printer driver associates the right printer profile with the selected printer for the output here.

So be careful you do not confuse anything essentiell and unnecessarily waste ink and paper here!

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Publisher 1.10.8 ◆ OSX El Capitan
☛ Affinity V2.3 apps ◆ MacOS Sonoma 14.1.2 ◆ iPad OS 17.1.2

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Wow.  Those are some of the best tutorials I have seen!  Thank you guys, I understand a little better now -- but now I feel even more overwhelmed.  I'm not sure if that helped me get closer to figuring out this specific issue.

Like I said, I have been printing with no issues for most of a year... everything that came out of the printer looked exactly like what I saw on the screen.  I have no idea what changed and I'm banging my head against this damn computer as test after test outputs just as screwy.  Same computer.  Same printer.  Same monitor.  Same software.  Definitely wasting ink and paper and my frustration level is rising. 

OK, did three more print tests changing the document profile.  I confess that I am more confused now then I was earlier.  Changing the document color profile definitely alters what I am seeing on my monitor inside of Affinity Designer.  (I'm just making the change on the test document, not creating a new document and pasting the contents into each one... is this OK?)   The ProPhoto color profile turned a light blue truck into Seafoam Green.  I output the document to a JPG and it spat out a color that looks exactly correct!  I print it and it prints out Seafoam Green.  My Medium Gray truck printed out medium blue in all three color profiles -- yet it looks correctly-gray in the JPG that I exported.  All three prints turned my orange truck into a bright red truck.

IMG_5688.thumb.JPG.1de57c656a96a95a11bea4431634e1d7.JPG      IMG_5689.thumb.JPG.5f97a58f29d07298d6a2b44afb39e2a8.JPG

I feel like I need some concrete steps to start from scratch. 

1. Let me start with the original artwork.  I design my vehicles in Adobe Animate.  The color is chosen using an actual photo of a vehicle.  I use my color selector to choose the RGB value of a spot on the photo that looks most appropriate.  I think that even if my monitor is screwy it shouldn't matter.  The browser displays the photo, the screen shot captures it and the RGB should be dead on at this point.  I complete the illustration and output it to a PNG.

20171223_143243.jpg.c72b5b34ae2d98c099fceebae2bbbf14.jpg     2015-Toyota-Tundra-TRD-Pro-1-630x420.jpg.5288863238b7e5de09744f53c579b580.jpg

toyota_tundra_2007_crewmax_2014_cavalryblue.thumb.png.737cbd7f080381bd47fbb39a5a470ad1.png     toyota_tundra_2007_crewmax_2014_inferno_trdpro.thumb.png.296c7fb500356db77d3c316324f4ac4a.png

These are Cavalry Blue and Inferno Toyota Tundras.  Forgive the slight color discrepancies, these aren't the photos from which I originally pulled the color, they are just the first ones I found really quick.  So far I feel that my color issues are not a problem.

Image2.thumb.jpg.a3582d02a562e7d067fc9edc5e834a83.jpg     Image3.thumb.jpg.b5bbd6ce98ffd7e20426a9ff0ced13ef.jpg

Image5.thumb.jpg.8c13e77d6e79e618c4825b4149eed3dd.jpg     Image6.thumb.jpg.53977520ab4d9f06e34d4a722512a0b8.jpg

I created a new Affinity Designer document and imported each of these two PNG images.  It seems to me that sRGB IEC61966-2.1 maintains the best visually-correct blue, but the orange is lost on all of them.  I'm not even sure what to make of the last two as far as the blue goes. 

Image7.jpg.a8e7ce7de0924d61963ac6b5b6e906a9.jpg     Img_5690.jpg.cc29583332ae9388a5bf6f49744bff0f.jpg

So then I printed each out out on the PRO-100 using the correct printer profile.  None look even close to accurate.  (iPhone photo taken in direct sunlight)

I'm your clay.  Tell me what to try next and I'll hop on it!

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One small note to add... I went down the list of every color profile and checked the colors in Affinity Designer against my original work on the same monitor.  The only one that appeared correct is the Canon PRO-100 <SG> 1/2 Photo Paper Plus Semi profile.  When I print I get a more orangey-red than the others, but still not close to what I see on the screen.

Image8.jpg.6df203143887a9e2625a3882cb90a082.jpg     Img_5691.jpg.5622c8acd295c88e4cebcd5d1a8be4d5.jpg

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Take also a look at and the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_space conversion of color spaces, the mapping of one color from one space into a color of another space. Wider color spaces as sRGB (like Adobe RGB, ProPhoto/ROMM) do have and offer colors you can't directly/exactly map 1:1 into lower color spaces, since the lower color space might not contain that color at all. Thus also look at the different gamut sizes (color space sizes) shown there in the above link. - BTW, ProPhoto RGB and ROMM RGB are (or should) be nearly the same, since it's usually just another name for the same child.

Also if you initially create the images in Adobe Animate, what color space do you use there (sRGB ?) and do you embbed the used profile from there into your exported PNG images or not? Meaning do you save the PNG with an reusable embedded color profile or not?

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Publisher 1.10.8 ◆ OSX El Capitan
☛ Affinity V2.3 apps ◆ MacOS Sonoma 14.1.2 ◆ iPad OS 17.1.2

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I feel like I just realized that I exist in multiple dimensions.  Mind boggled.

When I export a PNG from Animate I am offered only the choice of 8/24/32 bit color... not much else.  32-bit is selected by default.

Exporting to JPG doesn't offer any color choices... just resolution and that's it.

The two truck illustration PNGs posted just under the matching-color truck photos are exported from Animate.  Can you tell anything by looking at them?  The program is intended for creating web art, so maybe there are no options because print was never it's original intent.

I checked out the Wiki page.  (sigh) Overloaded with theory and I am not sure at all how to convert that to practical application at this moment. 

I feel like I can't even wrap my head around step one... importing a PNG image into Designer and have it appear the same color as it does in every other program.  In Animate the truck looks orange.  On my desktop using any other program the truck looks orange.  In my browser the truck looks orange.  Import into Designer?  The truck only looks orange using the Canon PRO-100 printer color profile as the document color profile -- which is pretty much the only thing I have been told NOT to use.  (head scratching)  Every other color profile causes the truck to look some kind of red.


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Well it's sometimes not the easy way to get nearly exact looking colors on a monitor and then out to printed material. In ADesigner and APhoto you can inspect color values and also try to recolor first, if some color doesn't look right. - I would then compare the color values shown in Animate and Designer for the orange truck and try to adjust those to match.

There are also a bunch of Designer tutorials which show how to deal with certain aspects of the software here.

For ADesigner as example:

Some from APhoto might be helpful too here:

Colour Management


☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Publisher 1.10.8 ◆ OSX El Capitan
☛ Affinity V2.3 apps ◆ MacOS Sonoma 14.1.2 ◆ iPad OS 17.1.2

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Hi @DarrenDriven

I don't have Animate CC on my systems anymore, so can't really look it up here, but if Animate really doesn't offer a way to set the output color space, you can be sure it will have either no color space attached or the (small) sRGB color space. sRGB is a color space once made especially for internet by Microsoft and HP and Animate CC is also made for internet (or video). If you want to be sure you know which color profile is used on the outpute files from Animate CC you can download a simple free command line tool called exiftool here; exiftool.  With that tool you can view the meta-data in your files and really see for sure which color profile your file got from Animate (or none at all).
Just download the small tool and run it like this from the command line:

exiftool -a -S -G0 -ColorSpace -ICC_Profile:all youfilename

(where you replace 'filename' with your filename :))

I see you tried large RGB color profiles. ProPhoto has a pretty large color gamut (large color space), but CMYK, which your printer understands as it is using ink instead of light, has a very small color gamut (small color space). When you are trying to print an image with a 'large color space' on a device with a 'small color space' colors will not be the same, because a lot of colors will be 'out of gamut', meaning that they are outside the range of the smaller gamut.

There's also a big difference in assigning color profiles and converting color profiles. Assigning color profiles just tells your file for which profile it was meant to be (how to interpret it), so doesn't change your color values inside. It just makes the relative (meaningless) digital color values for each pixel absolute by telling how to interpret it with a color space definition. You need to be sure the color profile you assign to your file really is the color profile your file was created in. If you assign the wrong color profile, so a different color profile than the profile it had during creating, you get wrong color definitions. It's like interpreting an English speaker with a Spanish interpreter; it might have some result, but not the way you intended.

Converting color spaces on the other hand really converts one color space to another and changing the color values to values matching the target color space. But also then it still needs to know first in which color space the file was originally created, otherwise software just doesn't know how to convert it to a different color space. Most software just assume your file is in sRGB color space if there is no color profile known, so that could be either the right guess, or a wrong one.

This all said; if you create something for print, you need to have your document in a CMYK color profile. I'm not sure if you tried this, but in your screenshots I see you are using RGB-profiles instead (like proPhoto). That means that when you print a document, Designer tries to convert your (larger) RGB color profile into  the (smaller) CMYK profile which is not only a different color space, but also a different color model.

Normally if you design something for print you start designing in some CMYK color profile. That's the only way you can be absolutely sure the colors you use can be printed by your printer. All RGB-color profiles have a larger gamut than CMYK (and also have to be converted to CMYK on every print), so that can cause problems quickly when converting to CMYK.

Animate CC is not designed for print (ink/paint). It's designed for web and some use it for video (light), so it's probably not being able to output CMYK-color profiles nor optimized for it.

If I were you I would start creating files directly in Affinity Designer with a CMYK profile. AnimateCC probably has a way to output your graphics as vector in SVG-format that you can import in Designer. The SVG file will be in the RGB color model, probably using the sRGB color space. In designer the colors will than be interpreted as sRGB then probably, but this needs to be converted to CMYK anyhow if you design for print and want to be sure all colors you design in are supported by a printer. And after that conversion you probably need to set the right colors, because they changed after conversion to CMYK, but at least if you set them to the right colors in a CMYK space your printer can print them.

Important to know is also that CMYK is not able to print all colors your monitor can display. Because of the same reason: the CMYK color spaces have a smaller color gamut ('range') than RGB color spaces. All this technical stuff is indeed mind boggling at first for a while, I had the same thing, but in the end it's pretty crucial knowledge every designer should know about in the end. And there's unfortunately just no easy way to learn it or shortcut. That's why I tried to spice it up a little and wrote those blogs (part 1 and part 2) after weeks of further research to make it a little 'easier' and hopefully more fun to read/learn with some illustrations and interactives to make it a little more fun! 

Well, hope this helps! :)

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2 hours ago, >|< said:

To attempt to solve your problem of the truck looking red in Designer when it looks orange in your other apps, first please tell me whether you are a) importing (via the Place command) the PNG into an already open sRGB Designer document or b) opening the PNG with Designer.

Hmmm... when I import the PNG into a new sRGB Designer document then I see a red truck.  If I open the PNG directly then I see an orange truck. 

Image5.thumb.jpg.82f156a0c8c1b1b2e3452a93890533c2.jpg     Image4.thumb.jpg.e7d719e2ef730d965e586e0f7e10c6fe.jpg

...so when I toggled between my two screenshots I can definitely see the difference in the color selector...


...and this got me thinking.  When I open my PNG in Designer what are the document properties?


...so it knows it's for the web and it's RGB/8.  Hmmm... what happens if I create a new Designer document for web?

Image8.jpg.4a6587dd76250bbe46ceaba318ca7082.jpg     Image9.jpg.0a0da5271916fd04288964bebf6e6a32.jpg

Well that looks better!  But it looks about the same as if I was using my printer profile as my document color profile... what about printing?


It still seems that the PRO-100 printer profile outputs a closer orange... but the blue is nowhere near correct.  Hmmm.


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3 hours ago, wigglepixel said:

Hi @DarrenDriven...

Well, hope this helps! :)

Let me start off by saying that your tutorials are some of the best I've seen.  I've written my fair share of DIY articles, etc, so I know just how much work goes into them.  I'm blown away.  Thank you.  So, that is a LOT of information to absorb.  Let me parse it bit by bit.

I tried to determine the EXIF information in my PNG using the command line tool you suggested, but my DOS is embarrassingly rusty.  I wasn't able to get it to work.


So I tried a couple of online EXIF readers... they couldn't find EXIF info on my PNG.  Everything came up blank.  Maybe you can take a look?


I tried creating a CMYK document in Designer and importing my PNGs.  The color looks close, but the blacks are washed out.  I printed it and the orange appears reddish and the grays appear bluish.


The issue here is that my artwork is used for both web AND print.  My art started for the web (Flash movies) and recently I have began printing and selling the artwork.  I have 500-ish illustrations created -- all in Adobe Animate -- so at this point changing the method of creation is pretty much impossible.  I would probably scrap the entire project if I had to export and convert all the artwork.  (shiver)  I've been printing this stuff on my PRO-100 for most of a year without any problems.  Everything worked perfectly... the colors on the screen matched the colors that came out of the printer.  Some of my posters feature 300 of my illustrations.  If I had to rebuild each one inside of Designer it would take me... well, my first child is due in a month so I have no misconceptions about free time.  I simply won't have any.


It boils down to this: something recently changed in my digital processing that causes the imported PNGs to appear wrong on the screen and print wrong on paper.  I won't deny that understanding the concepts of color space are important and I am learning a lot, but at this moment I am working feverishly to finish an addition on my house for the new nursery, trying hard to keep creating new art production to maintain a steady income, trying to please my unhappily-pregnant wife and I just can't cram all of this new information into my head with any success.  I really just want to figure out what the hell I accidentally changed so that everything will start working like it did last week!

Sorry for the rant.  I'm tired haha.


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5 hours ago, v_kyr said:

Well it's sometimes not the easy way to get nearly exact looking colors on a monitor and then out to printed material. In ADesigner and APhoto you can inspect color values and also try to recolor first, if some color doesn't look right. - I would then compare the color values shown in Animate and Designer for the orange truck and try to adjust those to match.

Thank you for the tutorial links.  One reason I love Designer is because of the support.  I'm watching them right now.

Since my artwork generally contains multiple imported PNG files (see above, sometimes hundreds of individual PNGs) then if I start adjusting colors to make my orange perfect will throw off seven other red-orange illustrations... it seems like a rabbit hole that might just cause insanity?

Going to watch some more tutorials now...

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Thanks for your compliments. Like hearing those kind of things! Really appreciate it! Share the word! :)

When I open your PNG I see no meta data neither. When opening your file with 'open' in Affinity Designer you should see Designer popping up a message on the right (stays a short time on screen) with the message it assigned the sRGB color profile to it. That's Designer probably only showing when there is no profile in the file and it assumes the profile should be sRGB so adds that profile to the file. That's in this case probably the right guess, 'cause you made it in AnimateCC and my guess it it only works with sRGB or no space at all (but can't see that here, 'cause I don't have it anymore).

You say you see a red truck when using 'place' instead of orange, but here 'place' is working fine too (orange truck), same as directly opening the PNG in Designer. So there is some setting different on your system.

Looking at the screenshot of your color settings inside document setup I see your color profile is set to the printer color profile. But your printer color profile is a device profile that is only meant for use on your system by Windows in the back, not to be used inside a design documents color profile nor PNG output. When using the RGB model you'd better change the color profile to 'sRGB IEC61966-2.1' instead. Or when using CMYK to a general document cmyk color profile available in the list, that isn't a device profile.

Device profiles are only made for a single device and so device-dependent. If you would export a file with your printer device profile other people wouldn't be able to see the same colors on their screens and devices, cause it's only defined for your printer-type. The same problem probably now occurs on your monitor too, because your monitor now has the wrong color profile too because of this.

Inside your document you need to have a 'working' color profile, not a 'device' profile. Device profiles are only for your system, working profiles are 'for you' and normally more general and standardised, like sRGB or proPhoto. So for web output you should normally use sRGB and for print a CMYK color profile which isn't device specific.

I'm not that into print stuff and printers and I only own a bw-printer on the moment, but Windows is handling the printer profile automatically for you in the back. At least you shouldn't have to worry about that in the document.

When switching your file from RGB to CMYK it makes sense that your orange color changes. CMYK isn't able to print the same color-ranges as sRGB so that comes with the conversion. For my company logo for example I have different files for CMYK and RGB because of this. But on the other hand it's not changing that much on this orange, not as much as I see on your screenshots.

At this point my guess is that your colors should be fine on your monitor when opening the PNG with the 'sRGB IEC61966-21' color profile (wich is just a complex way of naming 'sRGB' color profile). so move away from the printer device profile you're using now. Maybe that's what accidentally changed in your workflow?

You could look if the printer is automatically converting everything right to CMYK as what you was used to while printing. Probably the printer, driver or Window is converting it during print automatically. But if not, Convert your document to CMYK (choose a cmyk color profile that suits, I don't know anything about cmyk color profiles, but they seem to be made for certain types of paper) and adjust the colors if needed to taste.

Adjusting the colors from your PNG file is difficult, if not impossible with the limited time you have. So thats why if I were you I would export your vectordesigns made in Animate CC to SVG (vectorgraphics) instead in Animate and than import the SVGs (or eps or other vector format) in Affinity instead of the PNG. That way you have vectors to work with, so everything is much sharper and editable, but also it's much easier to change colors the way you want to if needed after conversion to CMYK.

Hope this helps. Keep it up with your wife and situation and good luck! You can do this :D;)

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3 hours ago, DarrenDriven said:

Hmmm... when I import the PNG into a new sRGB Designer document then I see a red truck.  If I open the PNG directly then I see an orange truck.

Nah even on a Windows box, in using both ways for your PNG image, I see an orange truck here (via placing in the PNG image or opening the PNG file in AD) for sRGB documents. So this sounds somehow odd to me as something might get wrong when you place images. - Maybe you should reset AD to it's initial defaults and don't apply yourself an ICC profile then, let AD do it for that PNG file automatically and just print via the Canon printer driver's defaults too!

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Publisher 1.10.8 ◆ OSX El Capitan
☛ Affinity V2.3 apps ◆ MacOS Sonoma 14.1.2 ◆ iPad OS 17.1.2

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Trying a couple more things...

I use Precision Colors refillable printer cartridges so I ran one print using my reserve set of OEM Canon inks just to make sure that this isn't an ink issue.  Nope.  I got exactly the same results with the Canon inks as I did with the Precision color inks.

I created a new document in Designer that is designed for Web instead of Print.  Used custom presets for size (13x19 inches) and the default RBG/8 & sRGB settings.  Went back in to double-check my settings and the document type was NOT set for Web anymore, but for Print.  ?  I changed it to Web, saved it and checked it again... back to Print.  Did a couple more experiments and apparently if I choose Inches for the document units then the document type is automatically set to Print instead of Web.  I don't know that this matters or not.  I didn't go any farther with this idea.

Ugh, then I completely uninstalled Designer from my PC, rebooted, installed fresh and created a new document... and it popped up with all the specific settings that I setup for my last document before the reinstall!  Somehow even when uninstalling everything it saved settings somewhere.  I quickly placed the orange truck PNG into my new document and it appears red.  FAWK!  Uninstalled a 2nd time and searched my HD... found that a bunch of settings were saved in /Users/<user>/AppData/Roaming/Affinity/Designer/1.0 so I deleted everything in there (and the separate 1.0 Trial preferences that were never removed) and reinstalled again.  New document w RGB/8 & sRGB... imported my orange truck.... the damn thing looks red.

I actually have a separate print server on the other side of my office that runs three different printers.  Maybe the issue is in that other computer?  I ran a long USB cable directly to my PRO-100 from my main PC and printed directly.  The damn orange truck looks and prints red.

I'm done with this for the week.  I have no idea WTF is going on.  I've wasted several days just trying to output a print that looks like what I created and it just shouldn't be this hard. (sigh)

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