What’s the new black?

Did you know that 100% black is not necessarily the best black to use in graphic design?.  Yes it shows up black on screen, but it may not be the best option when you are printing.  Especially if you are using papers that absorb a lot of ink.  All of the circles above are different shades of black.  Varying levels of CMYK.  Not sure?  Keep reading!

Most of us would use the standard Black or type 0-0-0-100 into our CMYK designations.  That’s black right?  Well…Maybe not.  I was recently working on a project when my printer had me change my CMYK designations to 30-30-30-100 and they were right – it was a much richer, fuller color.  – side bar, if you are a designer and do not have a wonderful, working relationship with your printer, fix that TODAY – they will often times save your life!

Here is a general chart on the various types of black.  Pretty interesting, huh?

Name CMYK Usage or description
Standard black 0C, 0M, 0Y, 100K Normal black.
Rich black 63C, 52M, 51Y 100K The ‘old’ adobe photoshop black.
Cool black 60C, 0M, 0Y, 100K Black with a bluish tone.
Warm black 0C, 60M, 30Y, 100K Black with a reddish tone.
Registration black 100C, 100M, 100Y, 100K Used for registration marks.
‘Designer’ black 70C, 50M, 30Y, 100K A dark slighly cool black.

Here is a great read “The Professional Designers Guide to Using Black,” by Andrew Kelsall.  This is where I got most of my information and he shows you how the various blacks look against each other when printed.  Enjoy!

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About dryinkdesigns

A marketing and business development background is the foundation for Mandi Boedicker’s passion for creating memorable branding support for a number of clients. Initially a graphic designer by trade, Boedicker’s marketing experience in the construction industry sparked a passion for networking and community partnerships. Dry Ink Designs was a natural next step. Boedicker’s freelance client work had spanned over ten years already while maintaining a full-time career, so she turned her creative energy into a career that benefitted the relationships she was building. Strengths in calligraphy, painting and photography soon grew into strengths in corporate identity strategy and marketing/communications support.
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One Response to What’s the new black?

  1. Pingback: graphic design for the marketing major | dry ink designs

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