I am making a flyer on Illustrator. It has a grey background 0,0,0,30 is the CMYK value. When I export to any format or even in RGB the grey seems to have a red hue to it.

How do i get a realistic transfer of the colours im working in when exporting?

  • 1
    That's unusual, does it also seem red when you print it? It'd be great if you could show a sample Jun 12, 2014 at 9:38
  • I think it's because your name is, Red.
    – SaturnsEye
    Jun 12, 2014 at 9:46
  • it prints out fine, i was just wanting a jpeg of it with an accurate colour representaion
    – Red
    Jun 12, 2014 at 10:23
  • What are the colors which are not the background? Are they heavy on the warm side of the color wheel?
    – Scott
    Jun 13, 2014 at 8:41
  • It appears to be missing some cyan, ive tried to manually up the cyan levels, but it doesnt work. I've found a workaround for the problem....converting to pdf, and then to jpg
    – Red
    Jun 13, 2014 at 8:45

4 Answers 4


Under 'File' check that the document mode is set to CMYK. Instead of 'Export' go to 'Save a Copy' and choose 'Adobe PDF'. In the options dialogue box click on 'Standard' and select a suitable print standard such as PDF/X-1a:2001

I just did an 'Export' as JPG from Illustrator and checked it in Photoshop with the 'Info' tool and the colour shows as 0, 0, 0, 30. It looks grey on the screen, too.

I cannot replicate the problem so suggest you check that the colour mode is CMYK not RGB (under 'File' 'Document Color Mode') and also check you are using CMYK in the colour palette and/or swatches.

  • That works great...but is there any way to export to a jpeg with an accurate representation of the colour rather than a pdf?
    – Red
    Jun 12, 2014 at 10:22
  • 1
    As a hack you could change the pdf to a jpeg...
    – Jenna
    Jun 12, 2014 at 10:27
  • 1
    Did you also confirm that your Document Color Mode is CMYK as @Bob suggested?
    – apex
    Jun 12, 2014 at 16:18
  • yes its in cmyk yeah jenna thats what ive ende dup doing
    – Red
    Jun 13, 2014 at 8:43

for what is is worth, all this time later, you can sucessfully export a JPG with the correct colours if you use the Export > Save for Web (Legacy) dialog. don't know what the new dialog does that breaks it so horribly, but there you go. just use the old stuff. :)


Probably this is an issue with CMYK-JPGs. They often show wierd results when viewed, but the files actually have the right values in their four color channels. Not a lot of apps can handle their display properly. If you use the "Save for Web" dialogue in Illustrator to export JPGs you will always generate a RGB-JPG which will look much better in most apps, especially web browsers.

CMYK-JPGs are only useful if you want to print them in a 4-c process. For screen use I'd recommend using RGB-JPGs.


Same thing happened to me and I have checked that document is set cmyk. In pdf it comes out correct.

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