I am creating a simple logo and I find even though the stroke color is identical hex, they both do not look the same in the document as well as when exported to a png are different. Both are set to #2f6783 and have an opacity of 100%.

Please and thank you!!

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Exported PNG

UPDATE 1: Here are the settings I used for the ellipse with an artistic calligraphic stroke

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I see this info panel next to options for the brush, this seems to explain the phenomena going on!

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Even stacking multiple on top of each other I don't get an identical hex 🤔 enter image description here

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UPDATE 2: As @Scott graciously outlined in the comments, the brush itself had a nested layer of 85% opacity (shown below). That addresses the why of what's going on but not sure the actual fix

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  • 1
    Drag the brush to the artboard from the Brush Panel... Then show a screenshot of the Appearance Panel with that selected. If the brush artwork inherently contains transparency, it won't appear in the Brush options.. you have to examine the actual brush artwork.
    – Scott
    Aug 7, 2023 at 18:21
  • This solved it! Thanks, @Scott! Turns out the brush was a nested grouping of layers, one of which had an opacity of 85%. Now to figure out how to apply this to a new shape / stroke 🤔 Aug 7, 2023 at 21:05
  • Added answer containing steps to correct a brush...
    – Scott
    Aug 7, 2023 at 21:47

2 Answers 2


If brush artwork inherently contains transparency, it will effect colors. Based upon comments, it's clear the brush in use has some transparency within its shapes. The Brush options won't show this transparency. An examination of the actual brush artwork is necessary.

So to correct inherent brush transparency...

  • Drag the brush artwork from the Brush Panel to the (an) artboard.
  • Change the artwork removing any transparency (or whatever else you want to change).
  • Select this new, changed, artwork.
  • Hold down the Option/Alt key and click-drag the corrected artwork back to the Brush Panel - Hover over the old brush.
  • You should see a thick black outline around the old brush in the Brush Panel - when you do, let go.

This will update the art for that brush. So the brush will use the new artwork you just dragged on top of it. When the brush updates, all artwork on all artboards which may be using that particular bush will then auto-update.

Essentially, you update the brush and existing artwork will then update to reflect the new brush art. You don't need to even touch anything you've already drawn.

Note that a change such as this, to any brush, is file specific. This changes artwork for that brush in the foremost, open document. It won't change brush artwork in any other document or file, or in any existing brush library on disk. This only alters the open, foremost, document and the associated artwork in the open Brush panel.

  • Did this but it had the same end result as layering the multiple strokes with the 85% opacity.. very close in color just not the exact same. I just ended up eyeballing using the color sync tool with a new hex color 🤷🏻‍♂️. Thanks for the help! Aug 10, 2023 at 2:27

Both items may have 100% opacity as objects or layers and both items may have been drawn with the same color, but the opacity settings of the drawing tools have been different, maybe 100% for the darker one and 80% for the lighter one. The color picker doesn't take into the account the effect of the transparency if it picks the original used color, not the total result.

I have a 100% opaque curve in the left:

enter image description here

In the right I have a partially transparent straight line, which has the same stroke color as the curve in the left. Below the line I have a duplicate of the curve, but the line has been used as an art brush and applied to the duplicate. The duplicate is still shown as an 100% opaque item, but it has got the transparency of the brush.

A quick fix: Make a few copies of the lighter one to the same place. Other methods surely exist, too.

My example is in Illustrator. There you can simply expand the appearance of the too light curve, remove the transparency and reselect the wanted color.

  • 1
    If the same color value looks different it's always wise to first check opacity, second check blend modes, third check overprinting.
    – Scott
    Aug 6, 2023 at 22:25
  • Thank you for the response Ormand, your copy hack definitely works, but I'm curious now how to avoid it in the future. I'm using the ellipse tool with an artistic calligraphy brush selected with an opacity of 100% (see updated description in the original post), and even when creating a new circle the color is the same. Is it possible with this brush to create a 100% opaque stroke, or is it hard-set as part of the stroke to have a hard-set opacity of < 100%? Aug 7, 2023 at 16:44

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