Not sure I understand the question. Are you actually asking why there is no option for greyscale documents in AI?
If you apply 100K in a CMYK document it will stay as 100K (as long as you've set your Black settings to preview and output accurately, and you're not applyin color management at output); AI treats this the same as 0C 0M 0Y 100K.
No I'm saying if I have a request for some art in an Illustrator document from someone who is uncertain of the type of device that will output the final product, e.g., high-quality offset or a newspaper press or color Xerox or high-speed closed web, then I need to supply the document in RGB. That is, I can't convert the document to CMYK beforehand because no one knows which CMYK(s) to convert it to.
But if I leave the document in RGB the black text will convert to the CMYK rather than the desired 100K.
I think there's a work-around by going through Acrobat but I can't depend on that workflow.
This is why Adobe lets InDesign use both, RGB and CMYK, on the same doc but the printers around here are all packaging guys and won't accept anything but Illustrator files. I don't know why. There equipment may be ancient or they have no time to work things out correctly.
1 person found this helpful
I had the same problem:
A sticker has to be printed and cut by a cutting plotter.
For this purpose the doc is made in sRGB. The operator has to choose
the correct output profile, if his plotter is calibrated.
Now the same logo for offset printing:
The doc is loaded by Illustrator. The document space has to be converted
to CMYK, e.g. ISO Coated v2 (eci) in Europe.
Convert the Black Swatch to 0C 0M 0Y 100K.
Make all black text, black lines and eventually larger black fills overprinting
(instead if knocking out).
IMO that's necessary as well for Export to PDF, which is here the standard
I don't think that this workflow can be automated in Illustrator.
So there is no correct answer. Illustrator can not be used in a color managed workflow where the final output device is unknown where art contains elements that need to be output as 100K!
I assume Adobe is holding fast to the original (unofficial) stand on building prepress documents: Photoshop for continuous tone objects, Illustrator for illustrations (no type), InDesign (originally QuarkXpress) for assembling everything & type and export to PDF (PDF/X-3 for device independency). Or something like that. Anyway no small type in Illustrator if the CMYK seperation specifications are unknown.
I'm fine with using InDesign for layout & type but it seems that the print shops have been upset about this since they had to turn off their light-tables.