Color management and PDFx1a make text too thick or images faded

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Hello everyone, I've been using Scribus for about two months and I typeset a book with it that is almost finished. The images are in CMYK U.S. web coated SWOP 2, and I've read that to output pdfx-a1 which is supposedly more professional I must turn on Color management. However, doing so at first, no matter if the CMYK profile selected is that SWOP 2 or another, was making blacks look like a faded gray, both in Scribus and in the PDF export. Not turning simulate printer on only made them slightly more faded in Scribus but the same in the export. Also the export had the text too thick for some reason if color management was on; I also had this text problem before caused by 1 image that was in the file, which was just a cmyk tif like the others, without color management on, and it fixed by replaced the image.

Today for some reason I tried again and the exported images don't look faded anymore even though they still do within Scribus, the text is still too thick when exporting PDFx-a1 but not PDF 1.4.

Could anyone tell me if I am doing something wrong? Also, is there any disadvantage to just not using color management and pdx-a1?

I attach an images that shows how the thick text and faded images look compared to normal. I've been encountering this issue in both the stable version and 1.5.7svn.

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Hi, this is a little technical but really need to learn if you are going to use color profiles and pdfx specifications.

Info on pdfx-1a:

Info on SWOP:
See attached pdf file:

One guess would be Total Area Coverage which SWOP states that total CMYK values cannot add up to more than 300%. That deep rich black background looks much more than this and the color profile adjusts the overall photo to bring the CMYK values down approximately to 300%, but like I said a first guess. Hope this helps.


P.S. Most printers use a specific color profile, in mine I use FOGRA. You can ask the printer which they use or send it without a profile and make sure you ask for a printed proof if possible from the printer.

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