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In Adobe InDesign, I have placed a pink image that I brought in from Photoshop. The below screenshot is how the pink looks like in Mac Preview (I'm on Mountain Lion).

enter image description here

I wanted to add some lines to that background, so I whipped something up in Illustrator. The result was as I expected:

enter image description here

But then I decided to turn down the opacity of the stripes. All of a sudden, the exported PDF has a much darker and subdued pink background:

enter image description here

I then removed the transparency effect, and the bright pink came right back. I later found that if I applied any effect to an element on top of my pink background, the pink changes from "bright pink" to "dark pink". Why is this the case? I don't know if this is related, but in InDesign, the pink is dark as well. When I export it as a PDF, however, the bright pink comes back (and looks the same as in the PSD file).

Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated!

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I figured it out (naturally, after I submitted the question)! The problem was that I had my Transparency Blend Space set to "Document CMYK" instead of "Document RGB". Now the bright pink is showing up regardless of what I throw on top of it, and the bright pink shows up within InDesign as well.

You can change your Transparency Blend Space by going to the Edit > Transparency Blend Space submenu.

I hope this helps whoever else is having the same problem!

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:)) It happened to me too, quite a few times (figuring it out after posting the question) – Flavius Frantz Feb 11 '13 at 9:05

CMYK will often produce a dirty looking gray color in the blend. Here is a workaround where you can keep the document in CMYK.

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+1 for the very interesting workaround! I'm sure this tip will come in handy sometime. Thanks! – Titus Feb 13 '13 at 5:02

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