What is Rich Black and when should I use it?

We produce print using the CMYK or 4 color process model.  As each color in the process (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black)  is laid down over the previous color it creates the images and colors you see in your design.

Today we focus only on the color black, specifically Rich Black.  A standard black is made up of just the black ink, the K value in CMYK.  Rich black has a little of the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow in it as well, creating a richer black color.

When printing large areas of solid black on full color projects we recommend you create a “rich black”.  Printing with only 100% black may cause the black ink to look light or washed out.  By printing with a rich black the color will look more saturated and richer.

There are different formulations of rich black, but we suggest your rich black color be made up of:  60% Cyan, 20% Magenta, 20% Yellow and 100% black.

Please create this color build in your color swatches.  Do not select the color “registration” when choosing a black.  Registration black is made up of 100% Cyan, 100% Magenta, 100% Yellow and 100% black, and is generally too much ink and can result in “muddy” printing and long dry times.

It is important to only use a rich black for large, solid areas.  Do not attempt to use this for small type.  The color difference between black text and rich black text would not noticeable since it covers such a small area and it can make registration of the plates very difficult!

Click here for more information on the various shades of black!

Call your Julin rep today if you have questions!