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Old 10-05-2009, 03:10 AM   #1
Ief
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Default spot colors

Hi,

I've made a few logo's in Illustrator CS4 using spot colors (pantone solid coated). The spot colors are displaying correctly in Illustrator when I set the option "overprint preview" on.

I've saved my document as a PDF-file. Still no displaying problems...

But when I open my PDF in Acrobat CS4 (Pro and Reader) the spot colors aren't correctly displayed. I have "simulate overprinting" checked in Acrobat Pro. Still the spot colors look dull.

What can I do? What setting do I have to use in acrobat reader and acrobat pro?
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:28 AM   #2
Robin Springall
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Welcome to the forum, Ief.

Frustrator - sorry, Illustrator - defaults to basic PDF export parameters, so you have to modify the Press Quality preset when you save the files as a PDF. The important part to change, in this case, is the output colour: you want no conversion.

You might also want to change the following to give a better quality result:
Compression - increase the downsampling of colour and greyscale images from 300 to 600dpi, and turn off Compress Text and Line Art.

Hope this helps.

   
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:44 AM   #3
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I did the things you stipulated. No amelioration.

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Old 10-06-2009, 07:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ief View Post
I did the things you stipulated. No amelioration.
Are you evaluating the images solely by viewing them on-screen? Pantone colors are meant for print, and it might be possible to see different images on your display but have them print correctly.

Do you have InDesign? It might be useful to place the logo on an ID page, and if it looks as you expect it to, then ask ID to make the PDF. It is likely to have more print-friendly settings.

   
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:59 AM   #5
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I know pantone colors are for print. I do have a pantone color guide. So I know how the colors will be looking when printed. When I look at the logo in Indesign and Illustrator the pantone colors are almost the same (overprint preview checked).

So I wondered if it could be possible that they also look good in Acrobat too. But that seems to be impossible. Whatever profile I use to save the PDF in Indesign the pantone colors in my PDF look dull in Acrobat Pro. When I open this same PDF in Illustrator the pantone colors look right with overprint preview checked.

Is this normal?

grtz,
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ief View Post
I know pantone colors are for print. I do have a pantone color guide. So I know how the colors will be looking when printed. When I look at the logo in Indesign and Illustrator the pantone colors are almost the same (overprint preview checked).

So I wondered if it could be possible that they also look good in Acrobat too. But that seems to be impossible. Whatever profile I use to save the PDF in Indesign the pantone colors in my PDF look dull in Acrobat Pro. When I open this same PDF in Illustrator the pantone colors look right with overprint preview checked.

Is this normal?
Not sure it is normal, but Robin (who gets files from many sources and has to make them work) seems to think it is a default.

Pantone colors are sort of faked for the screen; the real test is whether they print correctly, which would be a matter of conveying the correct ink formula (or PMS color number) to the printer.

Wonder what would happen if you were to make a PostScript file from Illustrator or InDesign or a PDF from either (or both), then read the PostScript to see what information is being carried with it to your print shop.

I am not sure how to do that, unfortunately. The print dialogue lists PostScript as an option but will not print ID to it. It used to be common and easy, but software has become trickier since then.

   
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:46 PM   #7
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If you let me have me the Illustrator file, I'll look at it for you and return a PDF. I've just sent you a private message with my email addresses.

   
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
I use CS4 Design Standard. Here's the .ai-file. There's nothing wrong with it. When I place it in Indesign the colors look good (overprint preview). When I make a PDF (whatever profile I use) the colors become dull. Probably I can't do anything about it. Is there an option in acrobat Pro to set overprint preview on?
The Illy file looks OK to me, and I've sent you a press-optimised PDF. I agree that the colours look duller in Acrobat but, as Kathleen said, they match how the Pantone inks will appear when they are printed onto coated paper. You're using blue and green Pantones, and Illustrator is displaying them as primary colours on an RGB monitor, so they'll seem very bright.

Two essential things to adjust in Acrobat Pro (neither affect this particular file, but both are good practice for print work): turn on Simulate Overprinting in Output Preview, and turn off Use Local Fonts in Page Display Preferences.

   
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:08 AM   #9
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The colors in your PDF are indeed the pantone colors, but they are displayed how they will look when they are converted to CMYK.

The pantone colors I used in my .AI-document are really very bright. That's how they look in my pantone solid coated color book. And that's how they will look when printed. I'm pretty sure about that because Nokia uses the same blue and it looks very bright when printed. They look almost the same in Indesign and Illustrator (in overprint preview).

I thought it would be possible to show that in Acrobat. But it insn't possible...
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
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What can I do? What setting do I have to use in acrobat reader and acrobat pro?
Lef-

Here's what I think is happening:

PMS 330C and 300U (for example) are not really different colors. They show the effect of printing the same ink on different types of paper. When you look at them on-screen, both Illustrator ad InDesign "do something" to simulate the appearance of printing on either coated (C) or uncoated (U) paper.

When you save as a pdf and look at it in a viewer, the "do something" effect is gone—the pdf only has the ink information.

Here's how to test my theory:

Create a document with a swatch in the C and another in the U version of a PMS color (generally a bad idea to mix these in a document, but this is a test). Then save it as a pdf and look at it in your viewer. Do the swatches look the same? If they do then I have surmised correctly.

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