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Why Use Rich Black Ink Mix?

LEFT: Rich Black vs. RIGHT: 100% K Black

Question: Why use a “Rich Black” ink mix in a layout?

Answer: You will get a denser looking black area.

Rich Black = C, M, Y, K mix vs. Black = 100% K, which means that you are packing more ink into the area and our eyes see that density as deeper or richer.

Follow Up Question: When should Rich Black be used?

Answer: Definitely when there is a lot of area that is to be printed black.

Follow Up Question 2: What C, M, Y, K mix should I use?

Answer: First, I would ask the prepress department of your printer if they have a recommendation. They know their presses and should be aware of the paper you are using and other factors that may effect how your job prints. In the example shown: Rich Black = C 50, M 41, Y 41, K 100 (as recommended by Daniels Graphics).

Note: The difference in the appearance of the black area was not obvious in layout through InDesign (even when changing the Preferences on how black is displayed on screen), but became apparent when exporting the print pdf. I have found this to be true with various potentially problematic items. InDesign is forgiving on screen, so I recommend you always review your print pdfs carefully.

Posted in Aliceios Blog by alice