I am a self taught graphic designer and do a lot of design for print. I usually design in CMYK when end product is print. I rarely meet with clients and the way I approve artwork is by sending an email. This means the client sees the work in CMYK but on a computer and the colours change.

How does one go around this, I wonder. Do you convert the file to RGB at the end to send to client or is there another way. Most of my work is from Illustrator CC with my images created in Photoshop cc.

How do I get the client to see his files the same colours as it will print? ( If the answer has to do with color profile settings then I would appreciate steps, since I am not fully grasping that.)

  • 3
    Since you cannot control the screen it is being viewed on and calibrating their screen is not always an option the only way is to print and send it.
    – KMSTR
    Oct 4, 2014 at 8:38
  • Or you can put it on a mockup but you have to be really good at it so the "realistic feel" is achieved.
    – CheeseCake
    Oct 4, 2014 at 10:13
  • 1
    No screen setup can show (in RGB) what a print (in CMYK) will look like. The underlying physics are incompatible. To be sure, you'd send your client a printed proof, preferably created with the same process as the final product will be.
    – Jongware
    Oct 4, 2014 at 10:58

1 Answer 1


This has been something that print designers have been dealing with all the time. What I do is to output in cmyk pdf format and send that to the client. I also mention that the colors they see will not match that of the final print. If they are concerned about the final colors then you can provide a proof from your printer, most likely digital, since most client worry about costs.

Also in your agreement to the client you mention all the risks and complications involved with color and what they see is not what they get. If you want detail info then contact me and I can send it to you. Mostly you have to tell them that the colors they see on screen will come out darker and duller. Also you got to be careful how your blues turn out too. For larger print jobs, I recommend them getting a color proof and then proceeding with the final printing. Even then I warn them that colors will differ to an extend.

  • I actually had a suspicion one cannot solve this - however not being exposed to top designer for a while I thought I would give it a go to see if something changed. Thanks again.
    – Ansh
    Oct 5, 2014 at 17:10

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