Finding CMYK colors from HEX using Adobe CC
I'm building a color palette for a client. I have all the HEX values and need to convert them to the proper CMYK colors for print. Using Adobe CC (formally known as Kuler), I put the HEX number in and I can see the CMYK equivalent.
Should I just trust whatever CMYK numbers Adobe CC spits out? Or should I have a print shop print out my HEX colors and try to match them with a CMYK color book?
Color and numerical values have no direct mapping. That is the hex value has no specific meaning as a color. You still need something called a profile (and profile intent) to tell the computer what the color actually is.
To convert hex to CMYK you first need to determine the color via the RGBspaces profile, and then convert it to CMYK using the CMYK spaces profile. The intent comes into play when you need to describe what to do with colors that can not be converted. This is a insanely convoluted idea (see ICC Color Workflow, for a decent primer), that keeps confusing and confusing.
Now for the answer to: Why do you get different CMYK value? Simply put, you have a different color profile and or intent in profile. Therefore showing clients hex values without telling what color space is meaningless. Anlso giving CMYK values is meaningless without a color space.