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Color > 198: Thou shall use “rich black” for large black backgrounds

198: Thou shall use “rich black” for large black backgrounds

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Commentary Printing black over a small area, for example an uppercase X in 36pt Gill Sans Bold, will produce a strong impression with hard contrast between the black of the character and the white of the paper. However, if you print solid black over a large area, say the whole of a magazine spread, it won’t look quite so solid. To make the black look richer, hence the term “rich black,” you can underprint various percentages of the CMY colors to create “blacker blacks.” A typical rich black uses a 50% tint of all three colors plus 100% black; but use a combination of 100% black with 70% cyan, 30% magenta, and 40% yellow for a “cool” black. If you need a warmer black try 100% black with 30% cyan, 60% magenta, and 60% yellow. Take care not to go too high with the percentages, however, as too much ink will produce too much wetness during printing. Always check with the printer to see what they recommend for their equipment. TS

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