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Design Tip: 100% Black vs. Rich Black


Design Tip: 100% Black Or Rich Black

Here's a helpful design tip:  The black produced in Black-and-White printing differs significantly from the black produced in full color printing. When creating any design, keep in mind that there are two types of black: Standard (100%) Black and Rich Black. Standard Black uses only black ink (100% Black), whereas Rich Black also contains elements of Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow, and Black.  The two varieties of black may look the same on your screen, but they won’t on paper and some other medias. Rich Black uses more ink, and as a result, the color is deeper and more saturated to produce a darker shade of black. The graphic below shows a representation of the differences in color:


Rich Black, the blackest black, is a mixture of solid black over one or more other colors in the CMYK spectrum. Adding other colors into the mix can give you a richer or deeper black. A more detailed design tip - when filling a large space, like the background, with black ink — Rich Black is a nice choice to make your custom label stand out on the shelf.Some of the common Rich Black mixtures, or color builds are: C: 60%, M: 40%, Y: 40%, K: 100% C: 50%; M: 50%; Y: 10%; K: 100%

100% BLACK

100% Black is the duller, grayer black. This version of black goes by many names (true black, pure black, standard black, plain or regular black). It is quite literally 100% black ink without any extra colors. When expressed as a color build, true black looks like this: C: 0%; M: 0%; Y: 0%; K: 100%
At this point, you are probably asking yourself, “If rich black is so great, why would I ever want 100% Black instead?” That’s a great question! A more detailed design tip, there are a few instances where 100% black is ideal. Use 100% Black for all black text and all fine details.
When you start to mix different colors, the extra cyan, magenta, and yellow dots may cause some fuzziness or blurriness. Additionally, those dots of ink will be laid much further apart. In order to achieve the crispest, clearest lines and legible text, go with 100% Black.

When To Avoid 

Avoid using Rich Black for very delicate lines such as small text or line art (detailed design tip). Small variations in color registration between the 4 colors can cause slight color shadows to appear around the text, called ghosting. This is particularly noticeable in newspaper printing. For small text, such as on a business card, this mis-registration of the color values in Rich Black can cause small areas in the text to fill in with ink, making the letters appear to be fuzzy or blotchy. For large text or solid areas of black, Rich Black should be used, and will produce a deeper and more saturated shade of black.

About AlphaGraphics Central Business District | Las Vegas

Located between Sunset and Pecos road east of McCarron Int'l Airport, Las Vegas a few minutes east of the LV Strip, AlphaGraphics Las Vegas is local owned and operated and specializes in helping Las Vegas businesses solve marketing problems. We are an extension of your marketing team, we specialize in marketing products that are visual and tactile.  For some this might be mailers, for others it might be signs and banners.  We consult with you to find out how you want to attract customers, and then we build solutions and campaigns to meet your goals and communication needs.

For further information about AlphaGraphics Las Vegas and their capabilities, contact the AGLV team at 702-798-7557 or visit their website, AlphaGraphicsLV.

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