Printing Black Text – Use 100% black CMYK Values
The image below shows the possible effect of using 4-color black instead of pure black (100% Black). This is a simulation of what it could look like if you zoomed in on fine print, and how the colors could not be perfectly aligned.
This feature is great for creating rich and vibrant colors to use for your text, but brings about certain considerations when creating black text. Black text should only use CMYK combinations of 0, 0, 0, 100, which is also called pure black:
- Because CMYK prints use four color plates, text that contains other colors besides 100% black will also print the other colors along with black. If the color plates are not perfectly aligned (registered), this could result in blurry text.
- When printing offset, any colored image will use all four CMYK colors. If only black ink is used, and the CMYK values are set to 100% black only, the press will print in only black. Using only 100% black will be more cost efficient, using less ink and requiring less setup.
- Adobe Photoshop does not use CMYK values of 0, 0, 0, 100 for their default black when designing in RGB. Instead, RGB black is equivalent to CMYK of 75, 68, 67, 90. Although it would show up as black on a computer screen, it would have the same blurry effect as mentioned above.
Using Black in your Design
- Cool Black: C=40 M=0 Y=0 K=100
- Warm Black: C=0 M=40 Y=0 K=100
- Golden Black: C=0 M=0 Y=40 K=100
- Rich Black: C=40 M=30 Y=30 K=100
Remember though, these colors should only be used for large sections of black, and not for black text!