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Color values are incorrect in my Illustrator

Explorer ,
Apr 17, 2023 Apr 17, 2023

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Hello,

 

I have encountered this problem that my CMYK values in Illustrator (and Photoshop) are incorrect.

 

For example, I have made a logo and used these two colors in it, #F7931E and #1B1464. Then I created "logo usage guidelines" where I included color HEX codes, RGB, and CMYK values which were:

#F7931E;   RGB: 247, 147, 30;   CMYK: 0, 50, 99, 0

#1B1464;   RGB: 27, 20, 100;   CMYK: 100, 100, 26, 24

 

Then after some time, I received a message from a client that my provided CMYK values are incorrect and sent these two screenshots:

 2023-04-17 10-27-48.png2023-04-17 10-29-00.png

 

As you can see, my CMYK values are different from his screenshots

my 0, 50, 99, 0 = his 0, 40, 88, 3

my 100, 100, 26, 24 = his 73, 80, 0, 61

 

I thought that I f**ked up and somehow copied the wrong values... I opened Illustrator and my CMYK values were the same as those I provided to him...

Then I googled a bit and everywhere CMYK values were shown as my client sent me... I even found a formula for how CMYK values are generated from RGB values:

 

R = 247, G = 147, B = 30

 

C = 1 - (247 / 255) = 0.0314
M = 1 - (147 / 255) = 0.4235
Y = 1 - (30 / 255) = 0.8824

K = min(0.0314, 0.4235, 0.8824) = 0.0314

 

C = (0.0314 - 0.0314) / (1 - 0.0314) = 0
M = (0.4235 - 0.0314) / (1 - 0.0314) = 0.4048
Y = (0.8824 - 0.0314) / (1 - 0.0314) = 0.8784

 

CMYK: (0%, 40.48%, 87.84%, 3.14%); rounded (0%, 40%, 88%, 3%)

 

So I assume that there's something wrong with my Illustrator (and Photoshop) color settings and I am asking for your help.

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Adobe
Community Expert ,
Apr 17, 2023 Apr 17, 2023

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The CMYK values you (and your client) finds online are not created with color management and are using a simple, wrong formula to convert RGB (Hex) to CMYK.

Adobe applications use Color Management to convert the RGB values to CMYK  by using the Color Profiles specified in your Color Settings.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 17, 2023 Apr 17, 2023

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LEGEND ,
Apr 17, 2023 Apr 17, 2023

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No, there is something wrong with the idea that you can get a CMYK value the same from typing hex. He internet is FULL if web sites with useless conversions. All of them, yes ALL of them are wrong. Photoshop and Illustrator do it right if you set up the correct CMYK and RGB profiles on a calibrated monitor. It may be hard to believe almost everyone is wrong, but there we are. 

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Explorer ,
Apr 17, 2023 Apr 17, 2023

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Ok, so what should I do to give "correct" values? Because I have never seen logo usage guidelines or brandbook where it would say "hey, these color values are based on "U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2)" color management.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 17, 2023 Apr 17, 2023

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But that should be included in the brand guidelines.

Just giving some numbers without context doesn't mean a thing..

It is like giving a word without telling what the language is. Beer can be a drink in English, but in Dutch it means a bear.

2 colors with the same hex number can look totally different when the color profile is different.

Same hex code.png

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LEGEND ,
Apr 17, 2023 Apr 17, 2023

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I suspect a large proportion of brand guidelines do not have the required info. This does not make them right! 

Part of the required skill of the designer is to deal with brand guidelines without proper info, using their knowledge of color management and the actual required output. And their knowledge of the client.

Part of the required skill of the designer is also to deal diplomatically with the client who sends you this nonsense.

 

We cannot give you magic to make "right" from "wrong" !!

But a reasonable starting point when dealing with clients who are not experts is to say that they probably checked the hex values on their screen (which is most likely uncalibrated!) If they did this, then the client is probably viewing them as sRGB - unless they have a wide gamut monitor. If the client has a wide gamut monitor, the colour of everything they look at is probably wrong.  Anyway, giving you the assumption of sRGB leads you to an interpretation of the hex values (which should simply match the RGB values, if given). If you know the output profile, you can convert to CMYK, and this won't match the client numbers for CMYK. If you don't have a profile to convert to CMYK, you are little better off than the client - all your conversions are meaningless, and you probably need to avoid CMYK completely, working in RGB. On no account just make a "generic CMYK artwork", this is harmful to everyone.

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New Here ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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Hello,

 

I had a similar issue. Try the following steps:

1. go to "edit"

2. select "color settings"

3. in the settings dropdown select "Emulate Adobe Illustrator 6.0

 

Hope this helps. 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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I am afraid that is bad advice. "Emulate Adobe Illustrator 6.0" Means no color management, no predictable color, just some numbers that can give a different color impression on various devices.

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