View Full Version : Grey box around Drop Shadowed Objects

04-27-2010, 07:37 AM
On Illustrator CS3 CMYK files, a grey box prints around Drop Shadowed Objects placed over Black Objects and Spot Color Objects.

This includes solid 1 color black objects and 1 color Black gradients. Adding a 1% or more 2nd color to the black eliminates the issue.

The drop shadow is created as follows:
Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow
The problem occurs regardless of the drop shadow color or intensity (rich black, simple black, etc.)

The problem also occurs where drop shadows are placed over Spot Colors.
If the Spot colors are converted to CMYK the problem goes away.

Is there a setting that can be changed to correct this?


FYI the problem used to occur around placed objects also until we changed Image Quality to Best instead of Normal in the Fiery Printing Prefs.

Fiery E10 50-45C-KM Color Server version 1.1
Printer: Konica Minolta Bizhub C360
Mac OS 10.5.8
Mac CWS v.1.6.0127
File: Adobe Illustrator CS3 CMYK

04-27-2010, 03:44 PM
It sounds like there may be a transparency or overprint issue. How are you sending the files to the Fiery? Are you printing from the application from the driver or are you exporting a PDF and importing in CWS? If you are printing, you may want to try different settings in the transparency flattener.

With either method, you can also try enabling Composite Overprint in the Color tab of Job Properties.

04-28-2010, 02:06 PM
Thanks, we are printing directly from Illustrator CS3. I will try your suggestions and let you know.

05-20-2010, 05:48 AM
OK, I've tried the following without success:
Different transparency overprint settings(Preserve, Discard, Simulate)
Composite overprint on/off
Changed Transparency of the item's drop shadow to Darken instead of Multiply
In all cases the faint box appears around the drop shadowed object wherever it lies over a pure black object.
In some settings it is fainter or more prominent, but it never goes away.

Again, the only way to make it disappear is to add one or more % of another color to the solid black underlayer.

Zwicker Press
08-06-2010, 07:59 AM
Effects such as drop shadow are all based on transparency.


Always convert to CYMK before flattening.

If your Black is called "Black" and not "0:0:0:100" cmyk values, it is seen as a spot color and won't work.

This is an Adobe transparency issue.

When your saving and or printing the file in Illustrator you should be getting a pop-up, warning you that transparency won't work with spot colors.

A time saver for converting all elements in a file to CMYK is PitStop.
Especially when there's fonts in a PDF that you don't have.

01-13-2011, 03:40 PM
I have been struggling with this issue for some time now. Not only do I have problems with drop shadows, but with transpariences in general. It is an Adobe problem. Flattening the transparencie does not work. According to Indesign secrets the problem only occurs to digital printers, offset printing is fine. They say the rips are not sophisticated enough to handle the transparencies. The only work around is sending to the printer with an RGB profile, this doesn't really help as black comes out brown. Very frustrating. I have customers who cannot get the concept of bleeds and trim marks, much less teach them how to build transpariencies. You'd think Adobe would fix this it has been going on at least since 2006. Quark does not have this problem. Only InDesign and Illustrator and Acrobat of course.
KM BizHub 6500
65C KM-v2.1

01-13-2011, 04:34 PM
Do you know anyone with a system 9 Fiery & Color Press ? if you do perhaps take a problem pdf & import onto the Fiery & select the APPE option (Adobe Pdf Print Engine ) this has been developed to support transparencies amongst other things.
If you don't & want to post an example pdf - I'll gladly give it a try tomorrow on a Xerox 1000 Press & EX1000 - I'm installing one.. & feedback the results...

Just a thought...:)

01-21-2011, 04:19 AM
Hi there

It really depends on the fiery system you run as to what settings you have under the image tab of the job in CWS. Have a play around with the image options until you reach the desired fix.

We have had loads of issues with these 'Image' settings and unfortunately depending on the system you use will depend on the which settings to change.

This has always got us out of these sorts of problems.

Good luck

03-09-2011, 03:40 PM
Sometimes when working with jobs that contain black elements you might need to adjust some of the Black controls within the
Fiery. Import the PDF, open the Job Properties, open Color Expert Settings. Set the Gray & Black Processing as Gray to Off and Black to Normal.
Jobs that contain transparency over spot colors will require Composte Overprint enabled as has been mentioned.
If printing from Illustrator CS3 then also try printing the job as In-RIP Separations. Found under Print Dialog, Output..Mode.. In-RIP Separations. (This is usually set to Composite).