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Placing Ilustrator graphics in Indd - RGB or CMYK?

New Here ,
Dec 02, 2022 Dec 02, 2022

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Hi hope you can help. I'm making an A1 poster of a compilation of about 50 drawings I've done in Illustrator, placing them in Indesign. Output will be a Press PDF. No text or bitmaps in the .ai files, 100% vector, bright colours on black. They all have Outer Glow enabled. My question is it is best to leave the Illustrator files in RGB and let Indesign convert to CMYK on output, or save the vector .ai files in CMYK colour space? RGB does seem to give a more favourable beighter colours and glow effect (on screen!) but I always thought when preparing for print one should work in CMYK from the outset, especially ally with vectors? I want my blacks really black and all matching so currently have all the ai files set to cmyk with the blacks at 60,60,60,100. So I could go into each one and change to RGB, but retaining my cmyk black. Which will take ages so unsure if its worth it?

I am more concerned with vibrancy than I am with colour matching. If the final printed result is brighter using RGB illustrator files I'll do that though. Unfortunately the size of the document and time required makes printing a proof of each just to have a look quite expensive. Thanks so much for any help.

PS Aware this might be more a question about how Indesign handles colour conversion than Illustrator so apologies if I'm in the wrong place!

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Draw and design , Print and publish

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2022 Dec 02, 2022

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Converting the AI file to CMYK will ruin your brightness for sure. The blend mode will work differently. What you could try is rasterize the RGB file (or export to raster and then convert it in Photoshop and adjust the image using curves, levels etc. Then place in InDesign. With the Glow effect, it would be rasterized on output anyway.

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New Here ,
Dec 02, 2022 Dec 02, 2022

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Thank you for your response! Yes I think I'm revisting the Illustrator files to switch their colour space aren't I? Don't much fancy transporting everything through Photoshop as well..

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2022 Dec 02, 2022

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If you switch the color space of the AI files, then your glow effect will be toast.

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New Here ,
Dec 06, 2022 Dec 06, 2022

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hi what makes you say that? I switched them to RGB, and the glow effect survived ok? Thanks so much btw

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Community Expert ,
Dec 06, 2022 Dec 06, 2022

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That's what usually happens with glow effects.

You didn't show any screenshot or stuff like that, so I can only answer what is happening in about 90% of cases. And of course what is happening to 100% of people turning up in this forum with this kind of question.

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New Here ,
Dec 06, 2022 Dec 06, 2022

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Maybe because most are working in pixels with their glow effects, but I was working in mm from the outset?

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Community Expert ,
Dec 06, 2022 Dec 06, 2022

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This has nothing to do with pixels vs mm and everything with color modes. But without seeing your artwork, nobody will be able to tell why it worked for you.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2022 Dec 02, 2022

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If your end goal is print, RGB Gamut (color space) is much larger and more vibrant than CMYK/Print. Meaning it will look vibrant on screen but flat when printed. If your end goal for this project is print, it's best to use Overprint Preview to preview your art before you print to simulate what it will look like and adjust.

You can use either if you are export and converting before supplying your file to the printer, but I would be checking quality at every step to make sure you aren't supplying a color that is not reproduceable on press.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2022 Dec 02, 2022

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What will be used for printing? A large format color printer, an offsett printing press?

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New Here ,
Dec 02, 2022 Dec 02, 2022

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Hi I'm sending it to a national printer so actually unsure on that. I'd
expected to export a press quality PDF from indesign in cmyk though as
that's what I've always done with every job I've ever done.
Thanks

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New Here ,
Dec 02, 2022 Dec 02, 2022

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Oh it will be digital, not a litho

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2022 Dec 02, 2022

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If it will be digital, they not neccessarely need to print with conventional CMYK inks, but can possibly reproduce an larger color gamut. Check if they accept RGB and if they have an ICC profile so you can simulate a color proof.

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New Here ,
Dec 06, 2022 Dec 06, 2022

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Thank you!

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