I am doing a print CMYK ad piece. The logo I need to put in the ad is currently a colored CMYK .svg file. It also has a gradient in it ( which makes things more complicated). I think it will look better in a gray version for the ad.

Question: What is the best way to convert it to a gray version and then bring it back to CMYK (but still have it in gray colors) to then pop it into my CMYK print ready ad? I guess I am afraid of how the final result will look if I muck with converting colors over and then back to CMYK, etc...plus I'm not sure how to go about this in Illustrator.

I am using illustrator for the ad as well.


  • Is there any brand guidelines that say what to do for a grayscale logo? In my experience I have primarily seen guidelines that say to just use a solid 1 color (usually black) logo if they have a monochrome logo.
    – AndrewH
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 17:09
  • flexographic printing, offset printing, or digital printing? Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 17:13
  • I'm not sure. It is for a magazine. Needs to be cmyk...
    – efrozit
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 20:13

1 Answer 1


Typically you don't "convert it then bring it back to CMYK". You convert to greyscale, save that version as a new file. So then you have 2 files to work with - 1 grey and 1 CMYK.

Also note that a logo which is 50% black is a CMYK file because Black is part of CMYK. There's really never any need to alter a greyscale or 1 color file to be CMYK breakouts unless you want to implement a rich black or something along those lines. Using a greyscale Logo in an otherwise colorful ad works fine and presents no separation issues provided the logo is black, or a tint of black, and not a spot color.

To convert to greyscale you can use a couple methods...

  • Select the art and choose Edit > Edit Colors > Convert to Greyscale Then double-check things to ensure you've got just black in use. This method may or may not work depending upon the actual artwork.
  • Select the elements within the artwork and use the Color, Gradient or Swatches Panels to alter the color directly.
  • @efrozit please upvote the answer of Scott (so that he does not need to ask you for it), since it was helpful to you; even consider marking it as your definitive answer if no questions remain, this is how this site operates Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 13:05

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