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How black (CMYK) is correctly printed?


Just choosing standard black from the colour pallet of the program you use is not enough to get the black colour well-coated and printed. This usually leads to a very dark grey colour instead of black. One of the most common mistakes people make when creating large black fields is opting for a 100% black CMYK value. This turns the colour grey instead of black. 

If you want the best black colour in your print, then consider the following chart:


CMYK Values


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


If using full-colour printing, the full-colour registration is 280%. So, if you are using black in full colour, you must pay attention that the black colour is not 100% cyan, 100% magenta, 100% yellow and 100% black. If you use this ratio, you are essentially getting a 400% mix, which leads to unwanted spots and interfering factors that make your printed material look bad. 

Take a look at the image below to get an idea:

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