Weekly Quiz: To What Does the Term “Rich Black” Refer?

Answer: Black created by a CMYK mix!

Unfortunately, Black ink in offset printing isn’t very Black. By nature, offset inks – CMYK – are not 100% opaque, thus you will never get the super dark, rich Black you see on your screen. To make up for the ink’s shortcomings, especially in large solid areas, many print providers ask you to pump up your 1-color Black for the offset printing process by adding some Cyan, Magenta and Yellow to your files. Also referred to as “rich Black,” this color combination usually revolves around 40% Cyan, 40% Magenta, 40% Yellow and 100% Black. Ask your printer for their preferred formula.


Digital printing offers its own unique challenges – and opportunities – when it comes to getting just the right color on press. PaperSpecs PRO members, be sure to check out our exclusive PRO Tip “How to Match 90% of Pantone Colors on Digital Print Runs”! 




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