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Hex color codes changing when I export a document out of Illustrator to PNG.

Explorer ,
Oct 16, 2020

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Hi there!  I'm fairly new to Illustrator.

 

I'm having some issues when working with files in Illustrator and then exporting it as a PNG.  I have specific color codes that I use in CMYK color mode, however when I export the file out of Illustrator as a PNG and then open it in Photoshop, the hex color codes are all slightly changed.

 

So for example let's say that I'm making something in Illustrator and I'm using the basic black hex #000000.  When I pick that color in illustrator and design whatever I'm designing.....then export that file as PNG.  When I open it over in Photoshop the black hex # is no longer 000000 but has been changed slightly to Hex #070909.  I realize it's still black, but what am I doing wrong to cause it to change slightly?

 

I realize this is likely a color management thing...but I'm confused.  Both in illustrator and in photoshop the document color settings are set to CMYK and my color profile settings are synced in bridge to N. America General Purpose 2 and the color management settings are set to preserve embedded profiles.

 

Can someone explain why the color codes are changing slightly?  Again...I'm a newbie so it's probably very likely user error!  🙂

 

Thanks so much!!

 

 

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Hex color codes changing when I export a document out of Illustrator to PNG.

Explorer ,
Oct 16, 2020

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Hi there!  I'm fairly new to Illustrator.

 

I'm having some issues when working with files in Illustrator and then exporting it as a PNG.  I have specific color codes that I use in CMYK color mode, however when I export the file out of Illustrator as a PNG and then open it in Photoshop, the hex color codes are all slightly changed.

 

So for example let's say that I'm making something in Illustrator and I'm using the basic black hex #000000.  When I pick that color in illustrator and design whatever I'm designing.....then export that file as PNG.  When I open it over in Photoshop the black hex # is no longer 000000 but has been changed slightly to Hex #070909.  I realize it's still black, but what am I doing wrong to cause it to change slightly?

 

I realize this is likely a color management thing...but I'm confused.  Both in illustrator and in photoshop the document color settings are set to CMYK and my color profile settings are synced in bridge to N. America General Purpose 2 and the color management settings are set to preserve embedded profiles.

 

Can someone explain why the color codes are changing slightly?  Again...I'm a newbie so it's probably very likely user error!  🙂

 

Thanks so much!!

 

 

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Oct 16, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 16, 2020

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The main reason is that hex codes are RGB values. You should not use them when defining colours in CMYK.

Additionally, PNG files do not support CMYK colours.

There is a chain of conversions going on here from you defining a CMYK colour using an RGB value, exporting it to an RGB format, then (I guess) converting it back in to CMYK in Photoshop.

 

Can you describe what you are trying to achieve and why you think you need this workflow?

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Oct 16, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Oct 16, 2020

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Well I work with a printer who prints fabric for us and they need the colors in CMYK.  I use alot of Pantone colors...very specific colors that I want to achieve on the final printed product.  So when I select the pantone color....and create whatever in Illustrator I need to be able to export the file somehow so that it retains that exact color.  Is there a specific file format that I should be exporting to that will acheive this?  Again...I'm just barely starting to use this program and I admit that I'm barely able to understand all the ins and outs of file formats!  :-). I appreciate your responses and hope someone can help me better understand what I should be doing.  Thanks so much!!  

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Oct 16, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 16, 2020

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A couple of things.

Hex codes don't exist in CMYK, they are a different way of describing an RGB color.

PNG files don't support CMYK.

PNG files exported from Illustrator don't have an ICC profile attached.

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Oct 16, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Oct 16, 2020

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Well I work with a printer who prints fabric for us and they need the colors in CMYK.  I use alot of Pantone colors...very specific colors that I want to achieve on the final printed product.  So when I select the pantone color....and create whatever in Illustrator I need to be able to export the file somehow so that it retains that exact color.  Is there a specific file format that I should be exporting to that will acheive this?  Again...I'm just barely starting to use this program and I admit that I'm barely able to understand all the ins and outs of file formats!  :-). I appreciate your responses and hope someone can help me better understand what I should be doing.  Thanks so much!!  

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Oct 16, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 16, 2020

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Tiff or PSD  for CMYK images, but PDF would even be better to maintain quality.

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Oct 16, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Oct 16, 2020

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Thank you Ton!  Let me go and try one of those file formats and see what happens!  I truly appreciate your patience with my lack of knowledge and appreciate your kind help!

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Oct 16, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 16, 2020

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The printer should be able to tell you if they will accept an AI file or a PDF or something else.

 

Pantone colours are specific inks manufactured by Pantone. Only some approximations are reproducible in CMYK.

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Oct 16, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Oct 16, 2020

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Yeah they use the pantone system in their mill....and they have advised me that they can accept any file format...I'm just trying to be very specific so that the colors aren't changing from what I think is going to print to what actually does.  They also told me that they can accept RGB mode documents....but what ends up happening there is they convert the RGB to CMYK....which also causes a slight color shift on the file.  I'm just trying to be very diligent in giving them a file without them having to make any sort of conversions to slightly change the color....if that makes any sense.  LOL

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 16, 2020

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And keep in mind that Pantone colors are used to create additional inks to reproduce colors that cannot be printed with CMYK inks.

So using Pantone spot colors will make the printing process expensive (additional inks means additional money) or when converting Pantone colours to CMYK you will lose some of their color.

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Oct 16, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Oct 16, 2020

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Typically what they have me do when I make something using a specific pantone color, they have me message them and give them the specific Pantone Color Codes so they can match it exactly....but that has been tricky to do for complicated designs with a lot of colors.  I'm just really trying to do the design and make sure that whatever I'm exporting it as will keep those colors I designated.  I don't even know if I'm making any sense here!  LOL

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 16, 2020

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If you can use PDFs, you shouldn't need to do that as the Pantone specification will be in the file.

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Oct 16, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Oct 16, 2020

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Ah ha!  Yeah they can accept PDF....I think the reason I was trying to avoid it was b/c someone somewhere sometime told me that PDF files are enormous....and we have an enormous amount of files that we need to have saved...so I think my thoughts at the time was to avoid using PDF for that reason.  I find information I've received in the past has also been erroneous regarding some things so maybe file size isn't really even an issue! I'm going to start exporting to PDF and see what happens there!  Thank you so very much for the help and explanations!  

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 16, 2020

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If you use a lot of Pantone colors, matching them will be very difficult if not impossible.

If you give them a PDF they may be able to make the best of it using the profile of their printing process.

If you need to send a CMYK image file, check what happens if you select all your artwork in Illustrator and choose: Edit > Edit Colors > Convert to CMYK (do it on a copy).

But you may need to talk to your printer to know exactly what they want.

 

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Oct 16, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Oct 16, 2020

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Since you seen very knowledgeable on file formats...can you explain to me why this is happening when I save a file in PDF and try to open it over in Photoshop?

 

I just did something very basic here to try and mess around with file saving stuff.....the file saves just fine on my desktop as a PDF and looks like thisScreen Shot 2020-10-16 at 12.23.56 PM.pngHowever when I go to open it in PS....part of the transparency is coming through on the lighter colors and I need that not to be there.  Can you tell me why this might be happening?  I'm sure it's somethign I'm doing wrong when I'm saving AS PDF.  Again many thanks!!

 

Screen Shot 2020-10-16 at 12.24.02 PM.png

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Oct 16, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Oct 16, 2020

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Oops I posted that comment not as a reply if you could see below Ton!  Thanks again!

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Oct 16, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 16, 2020

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That is because you are using transparency.

You will see the transparency grid in Photoshop because you gave those elements a 50% opacity.

If you would create a white layer below it would look like the first picture.

You can avoid this by making the color a Global Swatch and use a 50% tint instead of 50% opacity.

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Oct 16, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Oct 16, 2020

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Ahhhhh!!!  I get it!  Global Swatch!  I'm going to go read up on how to do that!  Thank you soooo very much!!  🙂

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