Hi All:
I have a native Adobe Illustrator (CS5) file, with layers. 
1. There is a base layer to this panel, created in Photoshop and Placed in AI as a background image. 
2. There are "watermark-type' drawings, also created in Photoshop, that are customized with Diffuse Glow filters. They are a tan color on a transparent background. They are Placed into the native AI file and on a different layer than the previous background image. They look fine (transparent, the right color to almost blend into the background).

My problem exists in either high-res or low-res pdfs. I submit to the fabricator an AI file with the text in OUTLINES for production. I do NOT, and never will, submit a press-ready PDF file (too complicated to explain).  But I submit a low-res PDF file for a guide for the fabricator. 

ON the PDF, the watermark tan images appear way too strong and something like a double-layer of charcoal color among the tan. 

3. This does not occur on the larger kiosk panels which are created differently. The same watermark image files are placed in a PHotoshop file, merged with the background, then placed as a single file in the AI file. 

I ran a test doing the same thing with the smaller panels. They now show no "charcoal gray" behind the tan, but ..... they are much stronger in the pdfs. 

Why would the images look different if it's placed separately in AI from the background, than if it was merged together with the background in Photoshop and then placed in AI?   

I always get real proofs from the fabricator, but I don't want them to go through prepping 8 panels only to have to replace everything when I see they look like the PDFs and not the AI file.

In past experience, fabrication looks like the AI file. But this technique of the filters for the watermarked drawings is a new method for me, and I don't want surprises. 

And, before you ask, I created 18 images using filters for 8 panels, and to go back and merge them with the background prior to importing into AI, will take hours, and I am ready to go to press now. So I won't do it unless there is a technical reason I should. 

Many thanks,

Linda M. Feltner Artist, LLC
P.O. Box 325
Hereford, AZ 85615
(520) 803-0538

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