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Psychophage
Currently Being Moderated

Semi-transparent block, pure black and rich black problems

Oct 20, 2013 7:48 AM

Hi!

I'm new to inDesign, and I'm currently designing a book cover, for which I need some special effects. I'll try to explain as best as I can.

The background is rich black, on top of it I have a text in white (all over it). I applied a block with 80% opacity, in rich black color. I cut out some shapes in it. The point was to have the text in dark gray all over the book cover, but in white in the places where I have the shapes.

Everything is working exactly like I want, but a friend of mine told me if I apply rich black over white, I'll get a kind of magenta gray, so I have to apply pure 100 K to avoid that and get the dark gray I want. I tried that, and of course, applying some pure black block on top of my rich black cover gives all the cover a "grayish black" look. How can I work around that? I tried setting my semi-transparent block to "darken", but it didn't change anything.

I put the links to the pdf, I hope that's ok.

That's the one with rich black: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/68049919/coverlayout_print_richbla ck.pdf

and that's how it looks with the pure black: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/68049919/coverlayout_print.pdf

 

Thanks a lot!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2013 8:14 AM   in reply to Psychophage

    What's wrong with a slightly warm gray? Your "solid" righ black is a bit heavy on the magenta, too, for a true neutral.

     

    I don't see a problem, myself.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2013 8:31 AM   in reply to Psychophage

    In the gray it's 40/32/24/80, which is 80% of the original mix., As far as lowering the magenta, doe it look too warm to you now? It looks fine to me.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2013 1:10 PM   in reply to Psychophage

    I noticed that. too, and wasn't sure if it was intentional. Try a TIFF. See Screen Artifacts on Transparent PSDs in Exported PDFs Can Be Deceiving…Most of the Time. | InDesignSecrets

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2013 3:25 PM   in reply to Psychophage

    The screen on the travel laptop I'm using at the moment hasn't been calibrated in awhile, but I think the new mix may hve swung over to the cooler side -- a little heavy on the cyan compared to the magenta and yellow. It should be a bit higher, but 20% is probably more difference than necessary. This is, of course, entirely a matter of personal taste, but I liked the other mix better with the hair color.

     

    I wouldn't say the gray letters are almost black, either.

     

    It looks like you have a K-only layer included, too, that has a samller knockout. I'm seeing a strip of k-only gray along the knockout edge when I zoom in.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2013 3:49 PM   in reply to Psychophage

    There's still a thin band of 84% k along the edge of the triangles, but you only see it in the white letters. It's probably less than half a point wide.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2013 4:21 PM   in reply to Psychophage

    It looks like you have both a rich black and k-only overlay layer. Do you see it if you zoom in tight in the seps preview in ID?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2013 4:22 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Remotely possible it's a drop shadow or other effect, too.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2013 4:57 PM   in reply to Psychophage

    That was it...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2013 5:23 PM   in reply to Psychophage

    I think it looks really good. You should get a proof from the printer for color approval before it runs, and if you are not happy you can make adjustments.

     
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  • Rob Day
    3,118 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 21, 2013 2:22 PM   in reply to Psychophage

    There's no need to use transparency to create your background text color—just make a text frame filled with the rich black  then select the type and fill it with an 80% tint of the rich black swatch or any other gray mix. Like this:

     

    The text frame selected with its fill showing in the Colors panel:

     

    Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 4.54.20 PM.png

     

    Here the text is selected and the Colors panel shows the text fill as an 80% tint of the rich black. There's no transparency in this case.

     

    Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 4.54.29 PM.png

     

     

    In general it's bad practice to use transparency when you can get the same effect with color fills.

     

    Also if you are worried about the neutrality of the gray check with your printer on whether the gray text should be 4-color (your 80% tint) or straight black (95% black).

     

    The accuracy of the InDesign softproof depends on an accurate monitor profile and the assigned CMYK profile (Edit>Assign Profiles...). The assigned CMYK profile affects the preview including the profiled gray balance. For example the default SWOP CMYK profile previews your 4-color dark gray bluer and as a lighter value than US Sheetfed.

     

     

    The preview of your 85% rich black mix with different CMYK asignments

     

    Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 5.09.20 PM.png

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 21, 2013 2:47 PM   in reply to Rob Day

    Rob, your method is a bit tricky to implement given the triangle shapes involved and two-color lettering along the borders.

     

    And in my opinion, a 4-color text is goingg to look alot better in print than a screened K-only on a book cover.

     
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  • Rob Day
    3,118 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 21, 2013 3:54 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I agree that the background should be a 4-color rich black.

     

    Setting the type as a 4-color (43|34|24|85) vs. black only 0|0|0|93 has some potential problems. 43|34|24|85 should be neutral or close to it if the press gray balance is right, so including a mix with CMY shouldn't change the gray neutrality—0|0|0|93 should look close to or the same as 43|34|24|85.

     

    However, if the press goes off balance—maybe the press operator thinks there's too much magenta in the skin tones—then holding back on magenta will push the 43|34|24|85 version towards green, but would have no affect on the 0|0|0|93 gray.

     

    If the color wants to be warmer than neutral I think there's too much cyan in the CMYK mix—the extra 10% cyan typically compensates for the browness of eqaul parts CMY.

     
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