How to make a true 'black' with CMYK

  woo1 12:03 21 Feb 08
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I am making a project folder that will be printed with a gloss finish. Most of the folder will be black and I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a nice true black. The printers suggested C-40, M-0, Y-0,K-100. I have read on line that C-40, M-20, Y-20, K-100 is better. Any suggetsions?? Many Thanks.

  octal 13:30 21 Feb 08

There's lots of variables involved, most of all is the medium you intend to print to. The only way to do it properly is with a reflection Densitometer, but they are very expensive. About the best you can do is to get a grey scale chart from a photographic supplier and experiment with the settings till you get what looks about right.

  jack 14:12 21 Feb 08

More to Octal valuable suggestions

What printer do you have?
Is it 4 or 6 colour or more?
Do you have the opportunity to use an xtra photo black cartridge for example.
Will the printer print black only?
Will it have white out type or coloured type.
More detail on your vision and the kit you are going to do it on, and there may be a way.

  woo1 14:34 21 Feb 08

I am sending it to a professional printers so am unsure on those questions. My main problem is that I design at home in photoshop and when I check it by printing it out on my normal home inkjet printer it comes out black and then when it comes back from the professional priters it is always a bit too grey. Maybe I just need to communicate better with my printers and ask them to tell me if the colour needs adjusting before they print out 1000 of the things!
Thanks for trying to help by the way!

  woodchip 15:51 21 Feb 08

Cannot be done, at best you get a dirty brown. Black can only be done by selecting Mono print

  audeal 19:06 21 Feb 08

Maybe you need to adjust the Gamma on your monitor. If you adjust the monitor so the colours look the same as the pro printout then maybe you can get it better than it is now.

  jack 19:40 21 Feb 08

If you are relying on a print shop then whole
problem rests with them nothing you can do origination wise.
What print method do they use- do you know ?
How are you sending to the printer-
hard copy?
on a disc?

If they are using Offset lithography- which seems likely.then the black ink/paper choice is what needd considering.
Remember that ink onto gloss paper will dull it down.
To get a real gloss then another working with a solid varnish run is possibly the only way.

  woo1 21:49 21 Feb 08

Thanks for all the advice. It is always easier to chat it through with the printers when you have a bit of knowledge about it yourself. I think, Jack, that you have hit the nail on the head and it is the ink onto the gloss making the colours appear less vibrant - including the black. I will see what they say and maybe have a re-think about the paper etc. Thanks!

  jack 14:00 22 Feb 08

Bear in mind the 'black' in the 4 colour process[CMYK] is not a true black but is simply there to enhance the image generated by the dot grouping of all colours thus giving richer shadow and depth where the 3 colour dots cover each other to give a 'darkness'
If you look at quality printing that incorporates 4 colour work you very often see the main background stops at the boundary of the text or images.
This method is to print the colour images and texts then to run a Gloss black over the unprinted areas with 'windows' for the colour work to show through.
That can take a bit of brain ache artwork/origination wise so it's very often simpler to do the main run in 4 colour then run a solid clear varnish over all,which ever way it goes a 5th working is usually the answer.

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