I'm working on this design using InDesign and, with Overprint Preview on, the outer glow on my text looks exactly the way I want it.

However, when I export to PDF from within InDesign, the glow seems to calculate differently (or maybe overlay differently?) once outside of the lion's head vector image.

Each asset is on its own layer in InDesign (the text with the effect is on top, the lion in the middle, and the background on the bottom).

How it looks in InDesign: Banner graphic with outer glow looking "as intended"

How it looks in PDF format: Banner graphic with outer glow "missing" from PDF export

It may be a bit difficult to see, but the glow is much darker over the lion and is mainly blending and masking the textured background without the same intensity of darkness it has in InDesign.

For reference, I've tried exporting with default High Quality Print settings (using no PDF standard, leaving compression at defaults, no conversion on output) and I've also tried exporting with modified High Quality Print settings (using PDF/X-4:2010 standard, convert to destination - preserve numbers on output).

Is there a setting I'm missing that will solve this?

If it helps, here is a closer zoomed crop of where the glow noticeably changes its opacity/darkness. You can see very faintly that the glow seems to be there, as in it's obscuring some of the textured background, but the intensity is suddenly missing. Close up of transition from dark glow to light glow

I'm sure this is some wonderful quirk of print design, but I tried searching and wasn't finding the right phrases to bring up a similar question/answer.

2 Answers 2

  1. Hard to notice. I can barely see the issue.
  2. Hard to fix. Each app (yes, that includes multiple Adobe apps) will always (yes, always) render the same thing in a slightly different way (because of settings and/or just different render algos).
  3. Let it go :)
  • I agree it's a fairly minor difference, but because I spent so long looking at it I immediately noticed that the black didn't seem as dark around the lettering outside of the Lion's head. Anyway, c'est la vie, apparently! Jan 13, 2021 at 23:21

This looks like an issue caused by the difference between black and rich black (since I can't comment, which I would prefer in this case): follow these steps, applying rich black where you have used black, and then get back to your question, should that not solve your issue. Fingers crossed: https://indesignskills.com/skills/how-to-print-black-black/

  • The printer I'm using requests that all blacks be in format of 100K, 0C, 0M, 0Y so unfortunately I'm not sure if that's an option here. Jan 13, 2021 at 23:22

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