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Working with CMYK Color Profiles

Community Beginner ,
Aug 19, 2020

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Working at a Printing company we have all of our Ai documents saved as .eps in CMYK. Every file is set to "Don't Color Manage this Document" So we can make sure colors always print consistently. Recently, we are having problems with our files switching profiles even though they are all saved as "Don't Color Manage". When resaving documents that have the wrong profiles, some do not save with the new change. Why is this? Is there anyway to set Illustrator to permanently never convert or assign profiles and keep everything is unmanaged/untagged?

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Working with CMYK Color Profiles

Community Beginner ,
Aug 19, 2020

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Working at a Printing company we have all of our Ai documents saved as .eps in CMYK. Every file is set to "Don't Color Manage this Document" So we can make sure colors always print consistently. Recently, we are having problems with our files switching profiles even though they are all saved as "Don't Color Manage". When resaving documents that have the wrong profiles, some do not save with the new change. Why is this? Is there anyway to set Illustrator to permanently never convert or assign profiles and keep everything is unmanaged/untagged?

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Aug 19, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 19, 2020

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Did you turn on the warnings for profile mismatches and missing profiles in your Color Settings?

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Aug 19, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Aug 19, 2020

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Yes, I have both of those settings turned on. No popups appear when opening the file to tell me there was a mismatch/missing profile. I am very confused because sometimes the files save with the "Do not Color Manage" selected and some change to Working Space SWOP...

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Aug 19, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 19, 2020

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An eps does not support ICC profiles, what you see is probably the Illustrator part that is saved with the eps.

Do you really need eps? This has been outdated for years and replaced by PDF.

When you really don't want any color management, turn it off by selecting Emulate Illustrator 6 in the Color Settings.

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Aug 19, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Aug 19, 2020

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Interesting, I thought using .eps was strange too, but I think they continue to use it because they have been using it for a long time. I will definitely experiment with PDF files and see what the outcome is. Thanks for the "Emulate Illustrator 6" tip, I believe this will be a quick solution to this problem.

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Aug 19, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 20, 2020

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"Emulate Illutrator 6" won't turn off color management, because it can't be turned off. It will continue to work in the background, since something must produce what you see on your screen. Only you cannot control it anymore.

 

I would suggest you learn how color management works and then set it up as needed. And then it won't save its profiles into your files. There are trainings available on LinkedIn Learning (not for free). 

 

And another vote against using EPS. The file format hasn't been overhauled for 23 years.

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Aug 20, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Aug 20, 2020

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I set up illustrator to ignore any link profiles and just use the CMYK values. The real issue is that under assign profile there is inconsistency in all the files where some would have the "Do not Color manage this document" checked and the others would have "Working Space: SWOP" checked. When attempting to change the profile to "Do not color manage", when reopened the file has reverted to the working space setting. Does this actually affect how a document prints? I have tried to research why these changes are never kept but have come up short unfortunately.

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Aug 20, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 20, 2020

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When you place the EPS in a layout or send them into another workflow or import them into anything else than Illustrator, then the EPS will be used for printing and it cannot have a color profile.

 

The thing is: when you save an EPS with a version higher than 8, then you actually save 2 files into one. The EPS and the AI file. The AI file contains the color profile. The EPS can't. The only application that will be using the AI file, is Illustrator.

 

When changing the color profile in a file generated by Illustrator, what you can try is: change the color profile, then change something else in the file, such as drawing a rectangle and then deleting it. Then "Save as". Does that work?

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Aug 20, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Aug 20, 2020

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So because EPS files cannot have a profile, as long as the CMYK values are correct, documents should print consistently correct? That makes me feel a little bit better knowing that EPS files contain the AI color profile but are only utilized in Illustrator itself. 

 

Unfortunately, I tried doing as you had suggested and resaved the file after making a change and the profile change was still not kept. I even started a new file from scratch, saved it as an AI with "Do not color manage", then saved it as an EPS.  The EPS had switched to "Working Space: SWOP" again, but the AI had kept "Do not color manage". How can EPS files created months ago keep the "Do not color manage setting" but refuse to do so now? 

 

But since EPS will never use the AI profile, that setting doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things since all printing would never be done through Illustrator itself correct?

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Aug 20, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 20, 2020

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There are two files in one file.

- The EPS: which has no color profile

- The AI: which has a color profile (in case you have applied a color profile to the file)

 

When you open such an EPS in Illustrator (via File > Open), what gets actually opened, is the AI file

When you place or import such an EPS in any other application, what gets used is the EPS file.

When you place such a file in Illustrator (via File > Place) or when you open it in a lower version of Illustrator, what gets used is also the EPS file

 

The EPS part of the file will never switch to any color profile, since EPS can't even handle color profiles. They are that ancient.

 

You need to learn about color management. No modern publishing software works without it.

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Aug 20, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Aug 20, 2020

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Thanks for the explanation, I understand what you are saying about profiles and the differences with EPS and AI files. My question, I guess, is not so much about color profiles and how they work but why our recent EPS files are not saving with the "Do not color manage" setting while older ones are. Obviously, as you said, EPS files cannot have profiles. But then why does that setting differ file to file? Considering that our AI files are also set to "Do not color manage"?

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Aug 20, 2020 0
Mentor ,
Aug 20, 2020

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Are there other prepres people in your print shop?  Perhaps their version has a different Color Setting than yours? You have "Ask When Opening" selected.  It could be a random setup ( although I doubt it ) that Illustrator is asking if you want the document not color managed as an option when you open it.  The way I understand it is, an EPS will use and honor your current Color Settings.  That data is saved in the Postcript source code that will be interpreted by the RIP.  The reason why your company is still using EPS is because their RIP works with those files ( eventhough they are aware of PDF, there may be complications where the RIP may or may not alter color date ).  Given that, some print shops hesitate to implement another file type into the matrix.  Some day, management may buy new equipment and PDF will look like a feasable option.  It could also be management simply is not knowledgeable enough to make the leap to PDF.  Whatever the case, their output device is dictating EPS without color management.  Why you are experiencing different scenarios is anyone's guess really.  You have the ability to assign a profile in the Ask When Opening dialog.  Just make the selection there.

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Aug 20, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Aug 20, 2020

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No, It is only me working on the files. Although I do use a different computer when I WFH, I have run into the same problem whether I'm using my home PC or my work Mac. Thanks for the insight on EPS and RIP compatibility, it makes a lot of sense. I will try the Ask When Opening setting.

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