[scribus] Import CMYK colours correcting from SVG/EPS

Gregory Pittman gregp_ky at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 23 18:44:44 CET 2010

On 02/23/2010 08:19 AM, Julian Robbins wrote:
> Hi
> We've had some fund and games !!
> Not directly related to Scribus, but something I only found out about
> recently is that SVG files only support RGB colourspace not CMYK.
> Because of this, if using Inkscape, and saving in normal SVG format any
> CMYK colours are saved into RGB equivalent. If I have a CMYK colour I
> export as EPS from Inkscape, it too oddly won't save as CMYK, as
> Inkscape still doesn't support this
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/171214
> Now what's all this got to do with Scribus ?
> Well although the colours themselves when you import these various files
> ie SVG, and EPS are ok, the CMYK colour values aren't correct as you expect.
> But after creating same files in Illustrator, and saving .ai, .svg and
> .eps files, I would expect the .eps at least to show the correct CMYK
> values on import into Scribus (using 1.3.6SVN), but it doesn't either.
> The colour is more or less the same, but the CMYK values vary wildly.
> Loading up the .ai file into Inkscape also doesn't show the right CMYK
> values, similar colour match but wrong values.
> Am I looking at this the wrong way, but how do people using a complete
> FOSS system actually get a a fully correct workflow with CMYK using
> Scribus, etc ?
> Also, can you get the same actual CMYK colour using a different
> combination of values of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black ? If so,
> perhaps this is what's happening - same colour, but different
> (incorrect) make up to achieve it ?

My sense of all this is that to fully understand color management, you 
need to first of all understand the limitations. It's a bit like 
realizing that a concept or phrase in one language may not translate to 
another. There can be approximations, but there may not be an equivalent.

RGB and CMYK colorspaces are different. Part of what this means is that 
it's not a matter believing that one colorspace that has colors 
seemingly outside some other colorspace is somehow superior to its 
alternative, but rather to realize that we spend our days looking at 
color as transmitted light, and color as reflective light.

So we can look at things out there in the "real world" and look at some 
magazine article or ad, some TV show or ad, and not feel that we are 
seeing some better or deficient representation of our impression of the 
real world in one or the other. Our brains make the translation. OTOH, 
if we see a green caste of faces on one or the other, we can see that 
within the colorspace we are looking at, this is not right.

What I am trying to suggest is that everything here is relative, that it 
must be consistent with itself, not to some outside disconnected reference.

So when you "correct" colors, try to understand the subjective nature of 


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