In 1909, Henry Ford said;
“You can have any colour, as long as it’s Black!”
This was about the Model T and keeping production consistent. Well if you’d have known that the choice of Black is much more open than you’d think, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
You see, when we’re dealing with print and specifically the design side, Black is not just 1 colour. Dependent on where you’re using it, what’s around or behind it, you can use many different shades.
Some to add warmth.. some to add a touch of chill. Here’s a quick run down of some of the different shades and where you’d use them.
You’d normally use a Rich Black for large areas of Black, this adds real depth to your black and stops it looking a little grey (a little exaggerated below, but you can see what we mean. Rich Black has a few variations, but we use 40% Cyan, 30% of Magenta & Yellow, then 100% Black.
For Black text on the small side, you’d be best using 100% of the Black channel only, the biggest reason for this is to stop any slight registration issues which would otherwise cause blurry text (all the colours need to line up perfectly), as you’ll see in the image below.
Warm Black is again, achieved by mixing a few of the inks. Used to warm up a Black background, you can get warm Black by adding 35% Cyan, 60% Magenta, 60% Yellow & 100% Black.
Again used for larger areas and to cool down the look of your Black background. Cool Black can be achieved by mixing 70% Cyan, 35% Magenta, 40% Yellow & 100% Black.
This is using all inks at their fullest on the sheet, not recommended for anything other than printers registration marks (which will be added automatically) as there would be too much ink on the page (we have a maximum ink coverage against most file checks). Registration marks are printed out of all colours so that we can check your print is ‘in fit’ (all the colours line up). If you want to know a little more about Registration, click here.
I hope that’s given you some insight into the world of Black and why you would use different shades. Any questions about when and where to use the different shades of Black, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.