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Illustrator CMYK /RGB settings (and print)


New Member
I'm a little confused on color settings in Illustrator. Is there a "default" color mode when exporting or saving a file?

First there is the "Dockable" COLOR selector tool where you can choose RGB, CYMK, GRAYSCALE....ect.
Then there if the "Document Color Mode" under the "FILE" menu.

So typically we will export files out of Illy as a pdf and send that file to print. About 99% of the time, those files look spot on when viewed in Adobe Reader (and the prints are "dead on" also). The other 1% of the time, the colors look muted (when viewing the pdf file in adobe reader). I just recently found out, that is because the file was saved (Document Color Mode) as CYMK.

So now the question........
Can we open that pdf file (that was saved as cymk) back into illustrator, and simply change the Document Color Mode to RGB (and "save changes").....and will the colors print as expected (not muted)???

I NOW know to check the document color mode when saving a file, but being I never check that feature, why would it save to rgb 99% of the time then randomly save as cymk the other 1%?

So we were shooting for pms 2607, but ended up with pms2593



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New Member
I think I had issues with an RGB file sent to the printer....

Here's what I do that hopefully helps:

File is in CMYK color mode in illustrator. Save as TIF or JPG but change the color model to RGB and have EMBED ICC Profile checked.

My prints don't come out muted (though I don't understand how this is, either). If I'm printing pantone colors, I upload to Flexi as an EPS but for the most part, my TIFFS save pretty vividly and match well enough.


New Member
I understand when you say to change the color model to RGB, but why save as a TIF or JPG ? The PDF files come out super vivid......as long as they don't get saved as a cymk document))) Isn't the pdf going to be more crisp and clean than a jpg file?


New Member
gradients, in our experience, was always an issue when printing PDFs. I JUST printed a wrap using the pdf file but that was a solid color and it turned out great. it was saved in illustrator and brought into flexi.

Assuming you're using flexi or onyx as your rip, I more than often bring it in as an illustrator or EPS file to make sure the color matches the PMS swatch as CMYK.

Saving TIFFS or JPGS is moreso if the client DOESNT have a pantone color and so far, we haven't had any complaints about colors. This can also be helped with print profiles and calibrations...

I've lately just brought in EPS/AI files straight into flexi regardless if they have pantone colors or not. depends on the size too... always in CMYK


New Member
re-reading and I personally don't understand saving the PDF in RGB for print. LOL

like I said, I always save my pdf/eps/ai files in cmyk.

flexi asks if you'd like the printer to use spot colors. for onyx, I make PMS colors into spot colors.