How to get true CMYK black in printing

We should all know by now that RGB documents are meant for screens, and CMYK documents are meant for printing.
Therefore, when you print a CMYK document and you need a really rich black it’s important to remember one thing: 100% K isn’t the blackest black (that’s what adobe products default to when black is selected). Just because it appears black on the screen doesn’t necessarily make it so, as too many of us have learned with less than true black printing.

To get the true black you have to set CMYK to the following colors:

Most used
C-75   M-68    Y-67    K-90:


The reason you don’t set all the values to %100 is because the printing will end up being muddy. However you should always check with your printer on how to get the best blacks possible. For example the company we use for printing uses C-60 M-40 Y-40 K-100. And another company like uses 75% Cyan, 40% Magenta, 40% Yellow, and 100% Black. Generally if you set your values within 7% you will be fine. If you want to convert colors to Pantone in illustrator we wrote a short tutorial as well.


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