Hope you can help here? I have an Ilustrator 2020 design which I want to get printed on A3 (Giclee). I have an ICC profile (seems to be RGB) from my external printer who will print for me. When I softproof using this profile, colours look fine. When I use the save as PDF feature, colours look fine. (I select convert colours to destination and select the ICC profile from the printer). When I use the print option and then select the ICC profile as above, the colours come out highly saturated. I am not sure which option is the safe approach when sending to printer. Will the save as approach come out saturated too? Whilst this file looks OK on my screen, when I sent to my inbox and check colour on my phone, again it looks saturated. A little confused here. Any help will be really appreciated. Thanks, Ed.

  • 1
    Is your system properly calibrated? If not, you've no way to know which is correct.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 11:07
  • Hi - system is properly calibrated using a Spyder X Pro. :)
    – el19721972
    Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 14:19
  • What is your conversion intent?
    – joojaa
    Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 5:41

1 Answer 1


The ICC profile you received from the print provider is for their equipment. You should not expect the ICC profile to render proper colors on your equipment.

For accurate color from your printer, you need to calibrate the printer and create an ICC profile for your printer.

If you want to ensure proper color from a print provider, ask them for a color proof. They will create a sample of how the piece will look using their equipment.

(And always use either Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader to view PDFs if you are concerned with color. All other viewers are unsatisfactory.)

  • Thanks. So in this particular case when I am getting 2 different visual results when outputting to a PDF, I am not sure which version to run with. Would soft-proofing in Illustrator using their ICC profile not get "in the ball-park" results? The outputted PDF generated using the "Print" option in miles out from the soft-proofing on screen whilst the "save as" generated PDF is a match (but still looks saturated when viewed on a phone).
    – el19721972
    Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 14:23

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