I have recently designed an A5 leaflet in Photoshop and a Standard Business Card in Illustrator for print (Working CMYK).

I have saved both documents as PDFs and have tried using several of Adobe's Presets, after a bit of research. I used the [High Quality Print] preset.

I have inserted two links below to show both pieces, the color's are appearing different. The leaflet shows the colors as being faded with almost some sort of white tint, as for the business card colors, they appear very dark.

I don't quite understand why they are not appearing the same:



I have not done much design for print as of yet, so any advice would be much appreciated.

  • 1
    The color space is different in the PDF. Try generating both PDFs using the PDF/X-1a job options.
    – Scott
    Dec 3, 2014 at 22:03
  • Important: Use Adobe Bridge for the settings to match output from both PhotoShop and Illustrator on the same job. Bridge will make the necessary compensations.
    – Stan
    Jul 26, 2016 at 22:54

2 Answers 2


The transparency may be calculated differently in each program, and I see one is rasterized, while the other is not. You need to define an exact color value for each section (probably just 2 colors for this mark), have the symbol broken into its pieces, and then you can achieve full consistency between applications. If you aren't doing this, at least have a master file from which you are creating rasterized logos at different sizes, and link those into your document.


It seems like you may have one rgb document and one cmyk document. Convert them both to cmyk and the color will probably be closer

  • Hi Chris, both are CMYK. When I noticed the difference I hoped it was this :) but it wasn't.
    – Tom25
    Oct 4, 2014 at 20:56
  • Do you have the same cmyk settings on photoshop and illustrator. If these are different it can cause your files to preview differently. Oct 4, 2014 at 21:14
  • In relation to saving the work as a PDF. I have used the same preset, is there other settings that should be considered besides 300DPI etc.
    – Tom25
    Oct 4, 2014 at 21:40
  • The other thing that may affect the color is your color settings. It is under the edit menu. Make sure the cmyk setting is the same in il and ps Oct 4, 2014 at 21:46
  • 2
    As long as those are the same the pdfs should come out the same. Have you checked the cmyk values with the eyedropper to make sure they are identical. The other thing you may try is to place the ps file into illustrator and save the pdf from illustrator. Oct 4, 2014 at 22:06

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