I'm designing a logo and have exported it in multiple formats for the clients use, however the red is appearing different in them. The PNG and PDF [left in the image below] are the same colour, and the JPG and SVG are a different colour. The file is in CMYK format and I'm using the Export for Screens option in Illustrator.different colours

Here is it when using a RGB file and web save RGB colours: Same happened

  • 1
    What is the red breakdown? It is a CMYK color? RGB color? Spot color? Did you at any time start with an RGB color document then just switch to CMYK mode?
    – Scott
    Nov 10, 2016 at 4:57
  • Yes I did switch it to CMYK. I've done a work around by just giving them the PDF and PNG file for now Nov 10, 2016 at 6:19
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    All libraries (Swatches, brushes, styles, etc) are built in the color mode of the start up document. If you open an RGB file, apply fills from the swatches, then switch the document color mode to CMYK... The swatches are still based in RGB. When you need to change color modes you are much better off copy/pasting to a new document that is in the color mode you need rather than just switching color modes. Adobe doesn't tell you this clearly, but it's been proven in my work, over several years. My guess is this is what is causing the color shift, in part if not entirely.
    – Scott
    Nov 10, 2016 at 6:57

2 Answers 2


This is a colour profiling issue. Make sure to embed the colour profile in the file. For screen, use the famous sRGB profile, as this is what most renderers default to when ICC profiles are not supported.

  1. Any screen file convert to sRGB profile (and make sure to embed)
  2. Any print file convert to printers profile (and make sure to embed)

The print file might still look off in some renderers without colour management, but that is OK as they will print fine.

Note 1: If your original design is in RGB, make sure you convert to CMYK and then back to RGB if you want file consistency between screen and print. (CMYK gamut is much smaller)

Note 2: Don't use web-save colours!

  • Thanks, have done both! Why not web-save colours though? Nov 10, 2016 at 6:27
  • Web colours won't help you match the colour of this logo as the colours will be converted to the nearest web palette save colours. And won't give you the outcome you're after. It does however give you a preview on how the pic will look on a retro computer :)
    – Bruno
    Nov 10, 2016 at 10:43

Some of image formats could not support CMYK mode such as PNG. Therefore, when you export from CMYK source to PNG, it is automatically exchange to RGB using adobe method.

It is normal if you have two red look difference in various types of format. But I would suggest you to create a RGB file in illustrator, copy your logo and modify the red (you may use Pantone library for standard reference pantone color finder), after that use the RGB source (with the red you are happy) export to PNG. Keep the CMYK file for other purpose such as printing.

Hope it help!

  • Thanks for the advice, although I did that and the same thing happened. Nov 10, 2016 at 4:52

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