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How to keep my Photoshop CMYK file colours looking the same

New Here ,
Jun 27, 2024 Jun 27, 2024

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Apologies for my lack of understanding. I've been reading about this extensively in forums and online but I'm clearly missing something still, I'm doing my best to understand. Please be kind ❤️

 

I'm creating an A4 brochure, 36 pages total, in Adobe Photoshop (so each page is an individual file). I have these set up Image Mode- CMYK. The printer I am using asks for files to be sent as [PDF/X-1a:2001] but when I export to this, I lose some colour, in particular the whole thing becomes very dark. Does anyone have any advice for rectifying this? Is there a way within my psd edit files that I can preview what these colours will look like whilst I'm working on it so that I can adjust accordingly? I've rooted around in the view tab and I have Proof Colours checked and Proof Setup- Device to Simulate: US Web Coated (Swop) V2, but this still looks the same, and only changes after I've saved to PDF.

 

Thank you for any advice and help!

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Jun 29, 2024 Jun 29, 2024

The printer I am using asks for files to be sent as [PDF/X-1a:2001]...I am previewing the exported file in 'Preview' on Mac.

 

Hi @defaultz7fd63l3xcw5 , The PDF/X-1a Standard does not allow embedded CMYK profiles, but does include an Output Intent Profile for soft proofing. Apple’s Preview app does not recognize Output Intent profiles, which is probably the reason you are getting a different preview.

 

Screen Shot 30.png

 

Check the PDF in AcrobatPro or Reader—in those apps the Output Intent Profile is used for t

...

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Community Expert ,
Jun 27, 2024 Jun 27, 2024

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Important: please ask the printer about the color profile you need to convert this to. US web coated is kind of outdated.

 

Also: in which color mode are you editing? I presume it's RGB, right? When converting RGB to CMYK you have to expect some kind of change. But you can "foresee" that by using soft proofing. But in order to ba able to use that, your color management needs to be set up accordingly. And for that you need the color profile the printer will be using.

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New Here ,
Jun 27, 2024 Jun 27, 2024

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The printer told me to use US web coated. I'm editing in image mode CMYK, that's what I set up my files as right from the start. No RGB involved

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Community Expert ,
Jun 27, 2024 Jun 27, 2024

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This job would be much better done in InDesign, but assuming you don't have access to that application, ensure you include things like bleed, that the resolution of any images is around 300PPI and they have an ICC profile, that any black text is K, and check with your printer if they want crop marks or not.
As Monika says, US web wouldn't normally be selected— which country are you in?

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Community Expert ,
Jun 27, 2024 Jun 27, 2024

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@defaultz7fd63l3xcw5 please post a screenshot of your Photoshop 'color settings' panel - when you select image/mode/CMYK the ICC profile used for the document is the one you have set there in 'color settings'. 

 


neil barstow, colourmanagement net - adobe forum volunteer - co-author: 'getting colour right'
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management

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New Here ,
Jun 27, 2024 Jun 27, 2024

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I believe this may be the way I am previewing the exported file in 'Preview' on Mac, it seems from what I've read that this isn't an accurate depiction of the real colours and it wouldn't actually print that dark

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Community Expert ,
Jun 27, 2024 Jun 27, 2024

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The image colours appearing on your Mac will only be reasonably accurate if you calibrate your monitor and apply profiles.
Neil Barstow is a colour management expert and will no doubt will offer more detailed advice.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 09, 2024 Jul 09, 2024

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@Derek Cross "Neil Barstow is a colour management expert and will no doubt will offer more detailed advice"

thanks Derek, always happy to try help

 

I hope this helps
neil barstow, colourmanagement net - adobe forum volunteer - co-author: 'getting colour right'
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management

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Community Expert ,
Jun 27, 2024 Jun 27, 2024

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All that Preview can tell you is there is anything in the file. And I wouldn't even rely on that.

 

You could try and get the free Acrobat Reader. But make sure to set up the color settings in it.

And also your system needs calibration and everything as Derek already wrote.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 29, 2024 Jun 29, 2024

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The printer I am using asks for files to be sent as [PDF/X-1a:2001]...I am previewing the exported file in 'Preview' on Mac.

 

Hi @defaultz7fd63l3xcw5 , The PDF/X-1a Standard does not allow embedded CMYK profiles, but does include an Output Intent Profile for soft proofing. Apple’s Preview app does not recognize Output Intent profiles, which is probably the reason you are getting a different preview.

 

Screen Shot 30.png

 

Check the PDF in AcrobatPro or Reader—in those apps the Output Intent Profile is used for the soft proof by default:

 

Screen Shot 31.png

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Community Expert ,
Jun 30, 2024 Jun 30, 2024

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@rob day yep "Check the PDF in AcrobatPro or Reader—in those apps the Output Intent Profile is used for the soft proof by default:"

great advice, Apple Preview PDF colormanagment, who knows!

 

I hope this helps
neil barstow, colourmanagement net - adobe forum volunteer - co-author: 'getting colour right'
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management
Help others by clicking "Correct Answer" if the question is answered.
Found the answer elsewhere? Share it here. "Upvote" is for useful posts.

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