I am running into a lot of problem on Design my artwork in photoshop in RGB.

Then convert to CMYK in PDF format. Then when I print it with print company, Colors are not always right.

I am not really sure what is the "good & correct" way out there. Because my artwork has texture & transparency.

My workflow--> create artwork in photoshop in RGB

After approved by boss, I try to find pantone colors that is close to my print out and switch to Pantone.

Does this sound wrong to any of you ?

It's seems so complicated but I have to ensure certain color is right.

Any better suggestion?


  • 1
    not sure if this'll answer your question, but whenever i work with photography thats going to print, i always work in Adobe RGB until i feel the image is ready. then convert it in photoshop to CMYK mode and correct whatever color shifts may happen. i don't trust acrobat to convert my colors for me.
    – BrianC
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 15:20
  • Thank you Brian. I am very happy to hear how other people work between digital and printing. Sometimes, I just doubt that I am doing it wrong. Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 15:40
  • Relevant: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/5605/… Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 16:37

2 Answers 2


When working with CMYK form the beginning in Photoshop does not always allow you to work with some specific techniques and blend modes the same way. If you are doing something more simplistic that does not have a lot of lighting effects for example this will be fine. Also RGB has a larger color range than CMYK and when you convert your colors will become desaturated.

You should run print test for yourself before sending the to the printer, you should also ask them what type of printers and inks they are using. I've personally experienced that sometimes printing from RGB creates more accurate bolder colors from EPSON printers for example.


I usually start by working in CMYK mode if I intend to use the file for print.

As you have noticed screens can't replicate CMYK colours exactly but InDesign/Photoshop etc tries to emulate them. There is certainly going to be variations between what you see and what gets printed.

I suggest you spend a bit of resources getting a Pantone swatch book so you know what the colours will actually look like in print. If printing digitally you can always request a test print from the printers.

  • I never have experience with working artwork in CMYK (in photoshop) when I use brushes and texture and stuff. I think I will do that next time. I just don't complete trust CMYK that is convert from pantone.I don't even have that Pantone CMYK formula guide. Thank you again Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 22:19

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