RGB colors look the same as CMYK

Community Beginner ,
May 07, 2021 May 07, 2021

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Hi Everyone,

 

I'm facing a weird issue in Adobe Illustrator.
I converted my RGB logo design files into CMYK and then back to RGB.

Somehow the old RGB colors can't be seen and all I see are CMYK colors, never faced this before.

Am I missing something here? I have not changed any other settings.
Thank you!

Malini

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Adobe Community Professional , May 15, 2021 May 15, 2021
Malini, "I tried "managing" CMYK colors as close to RGB colors but I guess it's still different." It is inevitably different, but it is the best you can do. Unless you choose to do what is/was done at least by some, namely to start out in CMYK if that is the main/most important delivery, and then create an RGB version for screen/web use that is as close as possible to the CMYK version for consistent appearance.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 07, 2021 May 07, 2021

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Malini,

 

As I (mis)understand it, this is what happens: you get new RGB values.

 

You start out with the brightness and large gamut of RGB. Then you convert the RGB to CMYK which can only give you a duller appearance within the smaller gamut of CMYK, and this is a real change. Then you convert that duller appearance within the smaller gamut to RGB, but such a conversion can never go beyond the new limited version so you are stuck with the part of the RGB gamut that corresponds to (that part of) the CMYK gamut.

 

In other words: there is no real way back to RGB from CMYK.

 

Apart from that, RGB and CMYK are fundamentally different.

 

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Community Beginner ,
May 15, 2021 May 15, 2021

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Thank you Jacob!

I did notice the two RGB versions were different but didn't know why!

Appreciate your help, cheers!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 15, 2021 May 15, 2021

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You are welcome, Malini.

 

A(nother) somewhat related curiosity you may encounter elsewhere in your workflow if you prepare artwork for high quality (CMYK) printing by carefully adapting the colours to best (colour managed) use of the smaller (and duller) gamut, you may be in for a scare if you

run a test print on a simple office printer:

 

Such a printer is built to receive and work with RGB colours through its own inbuilt conversion to CMYK, so if you give it CMYK colours (however carefully chosen) it simply has to start by converting them to an uncontrollable set of RGB colours through another inbuilt conversion, in order to produce the CMYK inks on the paper.

 

This double conversion inevitably leads to an even duller and most likely muddier representation of your artwork, quite different from the one obtained through genuine CMYK printing.

 

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Community Beginner ,
May 15, 2021 May 15, 2021

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Ah I see!

So what's the best way to package print files for clients? I tried "managing" CMYK colors as close to RGB colors but I guess it's still different.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 15, 2021 May 15, 2021

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Malini,

 

"I tried "managing" CMYK colors as close to RGB colors but I guess it's still different."

 

It is inevitably different, but it is the best you can do.

 

Unless you choose to do what is/was done at least by some, namely to start out in CMYK if that is the main/most important delivery, and then create an RGB version for screen/web use that is as close as possible to the CMYK version for consistent appearance.

 

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Community Beginner ,
May 17, 2021 May 17, 2021

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Thanks Jacob, sounds like a sensible thing to do for assets that need to be printed.

Maybe I will check with a local printer to understand how they approach this issue for clients.

Cheers!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 17, 2021 May 17, 2021

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You are welcome, Malini.

 

Talking to the printer beforehand is always a good approach, and it can often spare you grief from misunderstandings, delays, errors, and unnecessary costs.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 15, 2021 May 15, 2021

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Hi. That's normal. When you convert from RGB to CMYK some colors will be changed (because of gamut differences) and that colors will not be recovered when you convert again from RGB to CMYK.

 

Marlon Ceballos.

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Community Beginner ,
May 17, 2021 May 17, 2021

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Thank you Marlon, really helpful.

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