Black is just black, right?
Posted by Adrian Davis on
Black is just black, right? Well, not really. On your computer screen it's certainly true that black is black, but when it comes to four colour CMYK printing there's slightly more to it than that. (Find out more about CMYK v's RGB)
On screen, black is made from RGB values all set at zero and the absence of light will always display black. With CMYK, printing black is made from:
This is great for smaller text and graphics and will give you sharp reproduction. However, if your design has a large solid area of black the result will appear closer to a very dark grey, which is less than desirable. The solution to this problem is to use what is called 'Rich Black'. This is created by enriching 100% K with another colour. Here at Saxon Print we recommend that you use one of the following values:
By using these values you will create a good solid looking black with a slightly cool tint. If you require a warmer feeling to the black you can swap the 40% Cyan for 40% Magenta:
When it comes to text and lines it's best to use just 100% K. If you use one of the rich blacks, or have used RGB black by accident, your final result may appear fuzzy and out of focus. This will be due to a very slight mis-registration of the colours as they are laid down on the sheet. The overhanging colours will cause the edges to appear fuzzy. For this reason it's always best to to use just 100% black for any areas of text and fine detail.
The graphic below shows how a very slight mis-registration can result in a fuzzy appearance.
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