Everyone experiences a rejection every now and then. As we all know, it can be frustrating to expend precious time and effort to submit your images, only to have them rejected. Do not get discouraged. To provide you with more info, we’re kicking off a new newsletter series,Rejection Reasons, to address some of the top reasons this happens so you can better understand these reasons and hopefully, prevent them from happening as you continue to contribute new and wonderful images.

You may have noticed in recent weeks that we have implemented a new rejection reason, one that has been met with some controversy and some problems: Color Profiles. If this happened to you, you probably viewed this message:

Color Profiles. Your image contains both RGB and CMYK color profiles. Please resubmit your vector with only 1 color profile.

Let’s take a look at what this means, why we are doing it, and what we ““ both Shutterstock and you ““ can do about it.

It began with our customers. Our subscribers were frantically reaching out to us with issues with their vectors; namely, opening the images to find them not as they were supposed to be due to these color profile issues.

So what does this mean? It means that when you create an image, you need to make sure it contains only one color profile: either RGB or CMYK. In CS3, this is the exact error message that you see when a vector image has two color profiles associated with it:

“Your current color settings discard CMYK profiles in linked content but profiles were set to be honored when this document was created.”

This is the error message when that same image is opened with Illustrator 10:

“This document contains objects using both CMYK and RGB color modes. Illustrator allows only one color mode per document. Which color mode would you like to use?


Please note: Objects using the unchosen color mode will be converted to the other color mode.”

So, to ensure that our subscribers have issue-free vector images, all submitters uploading vector files must have one color profile associated with their EPS files.

Shutterstock has been dealing with many different variables with color space and this is what has been causing these issues. When creating your files, ask yourself these questions:

• Where am I building/gathering elements from?

• Are those different elements from more than one color space?

These are the questions that need to be asked and answered when creating your individual vector files.

Despite the seeming simplicity of this color profile issue, submitters have still been experiencing a host of problems, depending on factors such as which version of CS or Illustrator they are using. Please note that this is not a definitive solution, but may work for some submitters: Try using Pantone colors when designing and simply switch them all to RGB at the end. Try the swatch palette and load the Pantone solid matte color library. Pantone has a limited color set, so you will need to search through the list to find the color that you want.

If this problem persists from a workflow perspective and your colleagues in the forums cannot assist you in resolving your issues, Shutterstock also recommends approaching the creator of your design program for more assistance.

The majority of vector files submitted are approved. There are no color space issues at all for most files. Color Profiles may not be the most used rejection reason, but since it was implemented, it began causing enough of a headache to some of our submitters that we wanted to address this issue here as well, not just in our Forum area.

As many Shutterstock submitters know, we stringently review images to ensure that no issues occur for our subscribers. Please do not take rejections personally — we do what we can to assist every submitter with any issue. Our forums page is one of the ways you can get more help, and you can also contact us at support@shutterstock.com. With Color Profiles, there is no simple, one-step solution to the problem, but we are successfully resolving this issue together.