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CMYK black for colour (color) gradients

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Paddy Uglow
CMYK black for colour (color) gradients
on Nov 24, 2015 at 5:22:01 am

Hi all,
I mostly work for web but I'm doing some work for printing and don't want to mess up thousands of fliers.
Part of the design is a graduated fill from black to blue. When I first did it, the onscreen view went to a greyish shade between the black and blue. I fixed this by just setting K on the black to 100%, and C/M/Y all to 0%
Will my black be black when printed? Or should I ignore the grey on the screen preview and do a "rich black" with CMY and K all at 100%?
Thanks

Paddy, CreativeMedia.org.uk


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Kalle Kannisto
Re: CMYK black for colour (color) gradients
on Nov 24, 2015 at 8:04:45 pm

You are correct in assuming that a gradient from blue to 100% with no other color will look somewhat washed out at the black end, and also throughout the gradient.

A rich black, however, is NOT 100% of each color. It is impossible to print that color with offset (too much total ink on the plates) and can be challenging even digitally.

A rich cool black is 70C 35M 40Y 100K. A gradient between that and your blue should yield a nice result.

Also, a gradient with your blue at one end and your blue + 100% black at the other end would also work well. It will a rich "blue black."


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Paddy Uglow
Re: CMYK black for colour (color) gradients
on Nov 25, 2015 at 8:58:45 am

Thanks for that - it's looking pretty nasty on screen with the rich black values - your suggestion for the blue + 100% key works better, though I still see a middle band of a colour between the two end points.
I think we'll have a printing company selected soon, so I'll get some tips from them.

Paddy, CreativeMedia.org.uk


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