I've gotten an image off the internet. I pasted into Photoshop and deleted the background saved it as a psd and placed it into my Illustrator doc.

The Illustrator file has a black background. When I placed the Photoshop image it looked great. Printed out on my printer, great again!

Then when I went to get it printed at Kinko's on semi glossy heavy paper, I noticed the image had a different shade of black in the background. Couldn't see it on my Mac or on my printout.

I'm thinking it was because I forgot to change the image to CMYK, since my file was CMYK....think that it's? Don't want to keep paying Kinko's for files I can't use. Thanks in advance.

  • Hi Berta! Would it be possible to post a part of your image (the one you sent to Kinko)? And when you say "different shade of black", do you mean there was 2 different black or that the black looked different than what you expected?
    – go-junta
    Dec 3, 2015 at 5:54

1 Answer 1


If you want accurate color when sending to print, you need to convert all images to the cmyk color space. Rbg is used to set the color of light and many rgb values cannot be recreated in print. Also, you can use the eyedropper tool in illustrator to sample the black color in the image and apply it to the background shape in illustrator. If they are both in the same color space and have the same color values, they should print the same.

  • It's doesn't always print the same on digital even if you use the same exact color recipe and color space.
    – go-junta
    Dec 3, 2015 at 7:21
  • It is true it is not a guarantee. Would likely work better to just remove the background in photoshop and place the transparent photoshop image. However, I have also seen transparency cause color issues in print as well.
    – TinMonkey
    Dec 3, 2015 at 7:24
  • The safest way is unfortunately to expand the black background in Photoshop or use a clipping path instead of transparency :/ It's usually not an issue on offset printing but digital can be tricky sometimes and it's not always clearly visible with blacks! I totally agree with you for the color space and how to find the matching CMYK values!
    – go-junta
    Dec 3, 2015 at 7:28

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