I have been trying to create a "Rich Black" swatch to use with my Adobe Illustrator creations, but after a lot of online research, I find that there are many diffrent opinions out there. I figure I start this discussion, so that all of the information that we all share, can be available for a lot of Adobe users on this forum.
1. What is your favorite CMYK "Rich Black" pertentage formula?
2. When shoud be use "Rich Black" and when should we avoid it?
3. Would you use "Rich Black" for digital prints?
4. What else can you tell us about your experiences with Adobe Illustrator artwork and using or not using "Rich Black"?
I am hoping that this healthy discussion will be able to help many people for years to come.
When I need to use the most intensive black possible on a certain paper (medium) without exceeding the specified ink coverage, I create an RGB black = 0 and convert it to the CMYK color space of the paper. This ensures that I will not exceed the ink coverage.
If your question is not specifically limited to the most intensive black possible on a certain medium without exceeding the ink coverage, but dark colors in general, then your question is like asking "what is your favorite color in general (not just blacks).
It's a generic and informal term. It just means using some amount of C, M, and/or Y rather than just K in black-colored objects. There is no one-size-fits-all mix; it depends on specific circumstances.
There are white papers and articles on Adobe's site. Why don't you do a search?
Yes, it's an informal term. CMYK black is a dark blackish grey, as you know, and the term "dense" just means turning the dull flat cmyk black into an interesting version of black. A general purpose spec might be simply 100k overprinting 70c. In the old days this was known as putting a "shiner" tint under the black. Or if you wanted your black to have a reddish tinge, you might chuck in a blend of magenta and yellow instead of cyan and so on. So you can make up your own "dense" black to suit whatever illustration colour bias you are working on. That's just rewording what JET has already said. Personally I avoid rich black like the plague. I like my blacks to look and output exactly as they are intended.
... I avoid rich black like the plague. I like my blacks to look and output exactly as they are intended.
People who print rich black do this fully intentionally
For example I use this all the time to get dipper and most intensive black possible on a printed media which is not possible with K only black, in comparison, it will give pale grayish color.
this is just an image grabbed from Google that illustrates the appearance of printed result
One potential caveat to using rich black for art printed on a physical offset printing press: trapping. Registration, although "theoretically perfect," is never "actually perfect." So pull the CMY colors back away from the edge of the black (at the printer's recommended trap amount), to avoid some of them peeking out from around the edge. In this case, 100% black is best, as opposed to the 90% shown in emil emil's example.
I think that's a description/term difference from across the water, emil! The rich black swatch you post above is what I call a "dense" black (british!). I was referring to the "display all blacks accurately or as rich black" in the AI preferences ( I thought that was what Bill meant). If I'm using 100K, I want it to look like 100K! If you turn on the rich black option in preferences, 100 K appears on screen darker than PMS black 6. I personally don't like that. I'm assuming that "rich black" that you're talking about is the same thing as "dense black" that I'm talking about. I'm not entirely sure what Adobe were up to when they put their "rich black" in as a preference default, but there you go!
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