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I created a RSVP card for a friend and in the AI file the color is NAVY Blue but when I save as a PDF and attach it on the email it is black. Does anyone know a solution?

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Hey nina, welcome to GDSE, this unfortunately is more of a tech support question and could possibly be closed. It might make more sense to ask this on Super User : superuser.com –  Adam Schuld Aug 8 '13 at 10:02
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When you say "...and attach it on the email it is black" what software are you using to view it on the email? Sometimes non-adobe PDF software gets confused by illustrator-specific stuff (e.g. hidden layers, some blend modes) and displays them incorrectly. Saving without illustrator editing capabilites can help reduce this. Also, is it a spot colour or is it a CMYK blue? Maybe some software doesn't recognise some spot colour definitions –  user568458 Aug 8 '13 at 11:10

3 Answers 3

Many applications have an issue with spot colors or overprints.

For example, Preview or Mail on the MacOS can't display overprints or spot colors correctly in PDf files.

There is nothing you can do to make the applications display spots or overprints correctly. The only solution is to use an app which supports proper PDF display such as Acrobat or Reader, or change your artwork so it does not include spots and overprints.

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Without actually seeing the PDF I can't tell what the problem is unfortunately.

You could check the pdf with Acrobat's "Output Preview" tool (Tools > Print Production) to see if the the CMYK values of the colour match in Illustrator and Acrobat.

If you are using a mac, don't be fooled by Apple's "Preview.app". It has a tendency to render PDF's incorrectly, always check colours in Acrobat using the Output Preview tool.

If the colour value's between Acrobat's Output Preview match those in Illustrator I'd be inclined to try exporting the PDF using a different setting. If the problem persists, it could be a transparency issue - try removing any drop shadows or clipped/feathered images from the artwork and see if the colour turns navy again.

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Nina, trust the numbers, but verify your color mode. If you're building in RGB or using a spot, the PDF may not understand what you want. Check for CMYK. Save the PDF out of Illustrator. Open it in Photoshop and look at the colors. Photoshop will show you the colors that the printer will see.

Finally, graphics programs have serious built-in color profiles while email programs don't.

A good Navy could be 100/70/0/40. More magenta and it goes purple, less it goes flat. Black can go as high as 70 but that's pushing it. If you built it solid, it will be solid. One final thing, monitors vary a bunch so, sometimes, it's necessary to adjust the contrast and brightness.

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