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RGB and CMYK colors not matching up

Community Beginner ,
Oct 13, 2020 Oct 13, 2020

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Hey all,

 

Can anyone give any insight on why my CMYK color conversions don't match up to my brand RGB colors? To give an example, one RGB color I'm using is #074961, or 7, 73, 97. According to this colorbook, the corresponding CMYK color should be 35%, 9%, 0%, 62%. However, when I enter that in Indesign (I was trying to create RGB and CMYK color libraries across Adobe), it's a much duller color. When I convert the RGB swatch to CMYK in the swatch panel, it switches it to 95%, 65%, 42%, 27%.

 

Which CMYK value is right? Is CMYK different in Adobe v. elsewhere? If anyone else has encountered this issue, what CMYK value would you tell clients/put in a brand standards document?

 

(I was also told the Pantone value for this color was 4160C, but I can't even find that anywhere...so confused.)

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Community Expert , Oct 14, 2020 Oct 14, 2020

That colorbook you refer to is waaaay off. I have no idea how they could have come up with that mix.

But let's ignore that for the moment. To answer your second question, there is no "RIGHT" cmyk value. Conversions depend on all of your colour settings and which profiles you are using in your workflow. Almost every situation is different, and you need to choose the right ones for your printing situation. If you want to establish a "standard" for cmyk, I suggest you use the only official Pantone c

...

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Community Expert , Oct 14, 2020 Oct 14, 2020

Online color conversion charts are almost always wrong because there is no way of making color managed conversions via HTML coding. In the link you posted the sRGB/Hex values are correct because Hex is simply another way of notating RGB values and HTML defaults to sRGB. To make a CMYK conversion, you would have to use a color managed application and know the press profile—there is no universal CMYK profile.

 

This might help:

https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign/branding-color-guide/td-p/10818696?page=1

...

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Community Expert ,
Oct 14, 2020 Oct 14, 2020

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That colorbook you refer to is waaaay off. I have no idea how they could have come up with that mix.

But let's ignore that for the moment. To answer your second question, there is no "RIGHT" cmyk value. Conversions depend on all of your colour settings and which profiles you are using in your workflow. Almost every situation is different, and you need to choose the right ones for your printing situation. If you want to establish a "standard" for cmyk, I suggest you use the only official Pantone cmyk mixes which are part of the Color Bridge color books. These will get you where you need to be 90% of the time.

As for PMS 4160, that's a new one to me, and it's definitely not in the Color Books the CC apps have right now, but it IS on the Pantone website. Their Color Bridge values for that is 97 31 11 59.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 14, 2020 Oct 14, 2020

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Online color conversion charts are almost always wrong because there is no way of making color managed conversions via HTML coding. In the link you posted the sRGB/Hex values are correct because Hex is simply another way of notating RGB values and HTML defaults to sRGB. To make a CMYK conversion, you would have to use a color managed application and know the press profile—there is no universal CMYK profile.

 

This might help:

https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign/branding-color-guide/td-p/10818696?page=1

 

The Pantone .acb libraies that are included with InDesign are out-of-date, and it doesn’t look like they will be updated. There is a new extension available for free from Pantone, that gives you access to all of the current libraries—4160C is included. Choose Window>Find Extensions on Exchange to add Pantone Connect to InDesign. This thread shows how to find and add swatches to your ID swatches panel:

 

https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign/missing-pantone-in-swatches-2167c-help-with-acb-files/td-p/1...

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New Here ,
Feb 20, 2024 Feb 20, 2024

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Greetings,

I'm currently using Illustrator and InDesign for my work. I've encountered an issue where the color consistency is not maintained when I copy and paste from Illustrator to InDesign. Specifically, the HEX and RGB values do not match accurately, although the CMYK and Pantone values remain consistent. I'm uncertain about the steps I should take to ensure uniform color representation across all software applications for the benefit of both my workflow and my client. Any guidance on resolving this matter would be greatly appreciated.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 20, 2024 Feb 20, 2024

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To bring graphics from Illustrator to InDesign you should never copy and paste them. Save them as AI or PDF/X-4 and place/import them into InDesign as linked files, don't embed them. 
Vectors save as CMYK if the final product is print. 

 

As others and I have written above, tge gamut of RGB and CMYK are different. So you have to expect these differences. 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 21, 2024 Feb 21, 2024

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Hi @Pitts Media , Illustrator documents have a single Document Color Mode—either RGB or CMYK—while InDesign documents can contain a mix of objects with different color modes—RGB, CMYK, or Lab.

 

Hex is an RGB notation, so to move a HEX value unchanged from Illustrator to InDesign the Illustrator document’s color mode has to be RGB, doesn’t matter whether you are copying and pasting or placing a PDF.

 

If you copy and paste or place from a CMYK document, the color will get pasted or placed into InDesign as CMYK color, and the InDesign document’s assigned RGB and CMYK color profiles would determine what a conversion to a HEX RGB value would be.

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New Here ,
Feb 21, 2024 Feb 21, 2024

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This information is quite useful. When creating brand guidelines for a client and aiming to include HEX, RGB, CMYK, and Pantone color values, should I extract these numbers from Illustrator or InDesign?

 

@Willi AdelbergerI typically don't do that. I was just exploring something and observed that it was occurring.

 

What are y'all's thoughts about Pantone Connect? 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 21, 2024 Feb 21, 2024

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When creating brand guidelines for a client and aiming to include HEX, RGB, CMYK, and Pantone color values, should I extract these numbers from Illustrator or InDesign?

 

This might help:

https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign-discussions/branding-color-guide/td-p/10818696

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