Inkscape cannot embed CMYK color profiles, sorry. Scribus can, though.
Here's a workflow that I have successfully used to get a print-production-ready PDF (with the "ISO Coated v2 300% (ECI)" color profile properly embedded).
It is taken from a more detailed article on my blog.
A word of warning: The workflow involves converting colors manually, so if you have a lot of colors in your source document, this might be a show stopper and you should look for commercial alternatives.
Step 0: Set up Inkscape, Color Profiles and Scribus
- Install both Inkscape and Scribus.
- Download the desired color profile and save it to your system's default location for color profiles. Some typical locations:
- They could be stored elsewhere, google around...
- In Scribus, go to "Settings", then "Color Management". Under "CMYK Solid Colors" choose the profile you just installed in the dropdown. If it doesn't appear, you haven't saved it in the right location. Repeat the previous step until Scribus can find the color profile.
- If you want, check "Simulate Printer on the Screen" and "Convert all colors to printer space". Scribus will then attempt to make the colors look more similar to the actual print result, though that simulation might still be off by a lot if your screen is not calibrated.
Step 1: Prepare the SVG
- Open/create your SVG file with Inkscape.
- Convert all your texts to paths (select text objects, press
Shift+Ctrl+C and ungroup with
Shift+Ctrl+G to ensure the characters have become individual vector shapes).
- Get rid of any additional layers you might have (merge everything into one layer).
- Get rid of any transparent elements (check the stroke and fill of all objects).
- "Save a copy..." of the SVG in a separate file (like
Step 2: Convert the Colors
- Open the SVG you just created with Scribus (in the "Open" dialog change the filter to "All files" to be able to pick your SVG). Scribus may complain that some features of your SVG are not supported (which is most likely because of Inkscape data in the SVG or because you still have transparencies defined somewhere). Don't worry about it for now.
- Under "File" > "Document Setup" > "Page Size" double-check that the width and height are correct (I'm a bit pedantic and find that they're usually off by sub-millimeters). Correct the size if necessary.
- Go to "Edit" > "Colors". You should see numerous colors imported from the SVG.
- Click on "Remove Unused". This cleans the palette and leaves only the colors that are actually in use.
- If you're using a pure black (#000000) or pure white (#ffffff) in your SVG, choose it, then click on "Delete" and "Replace with" the predefined CMYK black and white.
- Go through each of the remaining colors that still appear as RGB (), click on "Edit", give them a meaningful name and choose "CMYK" for the color model. If you have an idea which CMYK values the color should have (e.g. from a color book) adjust the values, otherwise just accept the autoconverted values.
- When you're done, the color dialog should only contain CMYK() colors, like so:
- Save your Scribus file as
Step 3: Export the Final PDF
- In Scribus, go to "File" > "Export" > "Save as PDF..."
- Choose a filename like
myfile_cmyk_final.pdf, preferably in a subfolder named
print (so you won't get confused which are the final files).
- Most printing services require PDF/X-3 files, so choose that in the "Compatibility" dropdown.
- I also usually untick "Compress Text and Vector Graphics" in the same dialog, though that's probably unnecessary (there shouldn't be any text left in your file). I'm just a bit superstitious.
- The most important step: Go to the "Pre-press" tab and under "Output Profile" choose your desired color profile in the dropdown:
That's it. Enjoy your production-ready PDF file ;-)!