People have been having a frustrating Issue with Adobe Illustrator. Adobe illustrator has been changing the RGB/CMYK color values of their work without their consent. They say that they would work on a project and when they close out and return, the colors would be changed to a different shade, mainly a darker or washed-out version of what they originally had.
Adobe Illustrator keeps changing my colors
It is frustrating to have your colors changed or anything changed without you doing it. Imagine having to explain to a client that the color they now see is not what you originally had, but Illustrator changed it. Not all clients will buy that, and you might be seen as incompetent. This may also cost you time as you have to constantly change the colors each time you open the file. The issue may seem the same for everyone, but the cause may be different, here are a few reasons why this may be happening and how to fix them.
- Color Mode Conflict
- Bugs or Known Issues
- Overlooking Warnings
1] Color Mode Conflict
Whenever you open Illustrator and go to create a new document, you have settings to choose from. You can choose to keep the default or you can choose to make changes. Illustrator will at times keep your last settings, but it is not strange for it to give different settings from the last ones used. This means that you will have put the values that you need for your current document.
When you look at the New Document option you will see Profile. The profiles are preset, they have options that will go with each to give you the right settings for your project. For example, if you choose Print the other options will be automatically filled out with the best settings for a print project. The Page Size, the Color Mode changed to CMYK, the Raster Effect, or resolution changed to a resolution (ppi) that fits Print.
When you chose the options you have to be sure that they match. For example, you may choose Print settings at the top but use RGB for the Color Mode. Adobe will display a warning by putting a yellow triangle beside color mode. Hover the mouse over the warning icon and it will display the warning message. This warning will not stop you from confirming the options and working, however, it can cause problems with the colors in your document.
This is so because RGB and CMYK are very different, RGB is for screens and screens have a wider range of colors that they can display. CMYK on the other hand has a smaller range of colors because it is going to be matching what an actual printer can print.
You can know the color mode of your document by looking at the top of the document window and you will see RGB or CMYK in the bracket.
2] Bugs or Known Issues
Bugs or known issues can cause Illustrator to change your colors. You need to check Adobe’s Website to see if there is any information on the issue. Check the Adobe website information on bugs and knows issues and see what fixes they recommend. You can also check the Adobe Support Community where people will post their problems and other users and Adobe community professionals can help with suggestions.
Here are some known issues with Illustrator changing the colors and some of the suggested fixes.
- A bug in an update of illustrator was causing it to change your colors. The suggested fix is to revert to the previous version. Since Adobe would have been aware of the issue, you would keep checking to see if the issue is sorted and if there is an update with a bug fix.
- One software update with a bug can cause issues with another software. This was a case where the update to Photoshop 22.2.1 was causing Illustrator to have color management issues. The fix was to revert to the earlier version (22.2.0) of Photoshop then go to Illustrator to fix the color management setting. This shows that users should be vigilant and take note of when issues arise. See if the issues arose after any updates, even if it is an update to different software.
3] Overlooking Warnings
Adobe Illustrator will match all the options you choose to make sure they are compatible and will give a warning if there are conflicts. When you go into Illustrator’s Color Settings, you can choose to turn off the warnings by unchecking the three tick boxes which are to be warnings for Profile Mismatch and Missing Profiles. You can choose which to keep and which to turn off. These warnings can be set to Ask When Pasting and, Ask When Opening. When the Warnings are checked, you will be given a warning if there are any changes.
Overlooking the warnings or unchecking them can cause there to be conflicts in Illustrator, which can result in Illustrator changing colors. The warnings will not stop you from designing but when you save it may change and look different from what you had in mind. This can be frustrating, especially in cases where you or a client has already accepted the colors.
As you will note, when you see the color choices on the color palette, there may be a warning but it will allow you to still use the color in your artwork. Out of Gamut Warning means that the color is not available, it is out of the range. If you click the error icon, it will move the color picker to the closest color, which may be darker than the color that gave the error. You will need to make the changes that the error message suggested or your project’s color will change.
The Out of Web Color Warning is mostly for those who are designing for the web, This warning means that the color will not be able to be produced. If this color is used, it may be changed by Illustrator for the closest color.
Take note of warnings and make changes to the document options so that Illustrator will not make changes to your color.
Why Would Illustrator Change Color if There is a Color Mode Conflict
When you open a new file in Illustrator you get to choose options that include color mode (RGB or CMYK). Both color modes are different and are used for different purposes. RBG means red, black, and green.
RGB is best for artwork that will be used for screen purposes. Screens have a wider color range so you can work with more colors. With RGB the red, green and blue colors are mixed to form different colors, for example, if you use 100% red, green, and blue you get black. For RGB there is a value of 0-255 The higher the color value the brighter the color.
CMYK color mode is best for print as it will simulate the best printing quality. CMYK stands for Cyan (blue), Magenta (pinkish-red), Yellow, and Black. CMYK has a smaller color range has CMYK works in the opposite way to RGB, CMYK the more color added the darker it gets. If you add 100% of cyan, magenta, yellow and black you would not get the typical lack that you want and that would be too much ink for a print. Also, printer inks are made to have some transparency so that the other inks can show. To get crisp black you mix cyan, magenta, and yellow with black. Use more black with a little of the other colors, black ink is cheaper than the other inks.
With these differences between RGB and CMYK, with a color mode conflict, Illustrator would have an issue with the colors. With CMYK having a darker look than RGB, the change may be when the settings are in RGB but you work in CMYK so the color would change to match.
How Can You Keep Illustrator From Changing Your Colors?
To keep Illustrator from changing your colors is not always easy but there are things that you can do to minimize it. When the color change is caused by a bug or known issue then you have no control over that. You just need to follow the instructions from Adobe to fix the issue. In many cases, a downgrade or an upgrade to a newer version helps.
In the cases where the color change is caused by a conflict in setting, this is a user error and can be fixed by making sure that you are working in the same mode as the settings you chose at the beginning.
In the cases where the color change is caused by a user overlooking the warnings given by Illustrator, the user can fix this by following the warning suggestions.