How do I ensure black is printed correctly on my print work? 

In order to get your black colour well coated, it is not enough to just select the standard black from the colour pallet of your favourite program. Often this will be a default colour resulting eventually in a very dark grey colour, and grey is not black. A common mistake while drafting large black fields is that people opt for a CMYK value of 100% black. When printing in full colour, this method will result in a grey colour.

While using a black colour, it is advisable to consider the following chart:

Name CMYK values Result
Standard black  C=0, M=0, Y=0, K=100 Normal black, often dark grey
Rich black C=63, M=52, Y=51, K=100 (Photoshop) Full black
Cool black C=60, M=0, Y=0, K=100 'cool' black
Warm black C=0, M=60, Y=0, K=100 'Warm' black
Designer black C=70, M=50, Y=30, K=100 Very deep, 'cool' black

The maximum colour registration when using full colour printing is approximately 280%. When, for example, you are drafting black in full colour, pay attention to the fact that the black colour is no longer composed of 280% CMYK, and therefore does not consist of 100% cyan, 100% magenta, 100% yellow, and 100% black. A mix of 400% (i.e., more than 280%) can result in unwanted spots and other interfering factors on your printed material.

   Designer black               Standard Black


The best outcome is accomplished with Designer Black. For text, small lines, or small black objects, we advise you to use 100% 'default black' because there is always a chance that a small deviation in the CMYK pallets will result in a blurry text, for example. This is particularly important when printing lots of texts on your product as is the case with brochures, newspapers, and so forth. This is something we want to avoid, obviously.


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