What is the 'technical' difference between a tint and CYMK? For example, if i create a box with a fill of C:0 Y:0 M:0 K:40 is this the same as a black fill with 40% tint?
Knowing that all screens and printers give different results, is the difference even noticeable? What about 'best practice' / 'industry standard'?
Workflow/context- I create artwork (documents with combinations of images, graphics and text) in either Ai or ID which all go to PDF and I present them either on screen or through print (regular printer - none of my printed artwork use printing plates).
Thanks for your advice in advance.
A tint is just a lighter version of your swatch, so yes, 0,0,0,40 CMYK is exactly the same as using the [Black] swatch and setting the tint field in the panel down to 40% or creating a tint swatch with a 40% value.
Not all colors are CMYK. On screen you use RGB and most desktop printers expect RGB data as well. On press you might use spot color inks if you have only one color and tints of that color to add, or you need some color that can't be easily produced in CMYK in a full-color job. You probably shold not be using spot color in your work since you don't go to press and printer simulations of many spot colors are quite bad. You'll find the really saturated colors tend to be out of range for most printers, too, if you use RGB, but if you can accept that your printed output may not match the screen (and unless everything in the workflow is calibrated, including ALL the monitors you might be working with and all the printers you might use for output, output on remote devices probably won't match what you see on your own monitor and printer), I would design for the screen if that's the primary presentation and let those out-of-gamut colors geet clipped in print.
Printing tints is a little trickier than you might think. Dot gain (how ink spreads as it is absorbed into paper) tends to make tints seem a little darker in print.