Preview colour dull as PDF


New Member
Hi, any advice appreciated!

I have a client concerned that the colours of the logo I've designed for her are displaying dull when exported on a PDF. In Preview I agree that it does look slightly duller, but in Adobe Acrobat the logo displays correctly. Is this issue therefore the limitations of different pdf readers rather than a problem with what I've designed?

The colours are all CMYK, the pdf profile is CMYK; there is a transparency element in the vector but I flattened it before exporting. However, even when I recreate the transparency effect using a gradient, the colours still export as slightly dull on a pdf in Preview but correctly in Adobe Acrobat, which is why I think it's the PDF readers rather than something I've done wrong.

This is only my second client so I'm not sure if it's normal to have to explain to them that screens and pdf readers can vary? Is this a normal situation to have?! Any advice welcome, thanks.


Staff member
Acrobat is the only true PDF reader, as Adobe created the PDF format. Anything else is a crapshoot as they don't use all the modules available in reading PDFs.

Acrobat reader is the way to go. And it's free.

Paul Murray

Ultimate Member
Preview is a craps shoot for viewing PDFs, many a time I've spent hours trying to resolve colour issues for clients that simply aren't there.