Why Choosing Right Black Color Is Important In Printing Press

In general terms black means black, but when it comes to printing press black has many varieties. It has been broken into two major terms - plain black and full/rich black.  Plain black is obtained when in InDesign you don’t choose Pantone color and CMYK broken down automatically defaults to C=0 M=0 Y=0 K=100. Here, black is fully saturated and the rest of them are completely absent. Full/Rich black is obtained in Photoshop where you set the range of color to obtain appropriate black. The default color provided by Photoshop is different than that of other programs.

Things become more complicated if you change the range of black color or set it as per your convenience, because printer use different terms for black that may be different from the shade you have chosen for your work. So, don’t forget to ask your printer about the type of black they are using, even rich black have different categories namely warm black and cool black where there could be higher levels of either magenta or cyan, respectively.

It is always recommended to set your type of black at the beginning of the project, even though both Illustrator and InDesign have a default setting of plain black. This is vital because in any case if you mistakenly if you set many different types of rich black, you may come across a problem in your final printed piece. This is due to the reason that while running your job, printer may not be able to match each separation of CMYK format by precisely lining up the document’s registration marks. In other case, if paper shifts while moving through the rollers on press machine, you will encounter texts with shade, making the print not as sharp as expected. Though, your printer might correct it at the end but would take more time, paper, ink and of course effort to do it.


“We are very particular about the quality of our products and its presentation. Grand Prints have managed to please us not just with high quality printing services, but also with timely dispatch of consignments.”

Mr. Ashok Windlas

Managing Director, Windlas Biotech Pvt. Ltd