There are basically four different colors of black for different printing situations. There is Black, Offset Rich Black, Digital Rich Black and Registration Black. When do you use each?
Black, this is defined as 100% Black no other colors are added or involved. Typically this is used for text and spot color jobs. Depending on the paper and application, this is not a color you want to use with large areas of coverage. It is best for text or detail areas where registration or mis-registration would be a problem.
Offset Rich Black, this is defined at Printing Partners, as 30% Cyan, 30% Magenta, 30% Yellow, and 100% Black. This gives a nice deep black color. It is used for areas of large black coverage or areas where you want a nice rich looking black. It should not be used for small point size text, you might be able to use it for very large text, but check with us first.
Digital Rich Black, is defined as 60% Cyan, 40% Magenta, 40% Yellow and 100% Black. This differs slightly from Offset Rich Black because of how a digital press produces color. An Offset Rich Black can be used in digital printing, but you will get the best results on our equipment using this color combination.
Registration Black is defined as 100% in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. This color should be used only for crop marks and registration marks. This color is used for marks so they will print clearly on the plates and press, it gives us the ability and the automatic systems on the press to keep the plates aligned as they run through the press. Thus producing correct dot pattern and ultimately color. This color also places much too much ink on the sheet of paper, it would take days for this to dry.
The proper use of black can save you time and money. Typically we watch your files to make sure you are using black correctly, if we find a problem area it may need to be corrected. That can delay your schedule and potentially cost you money if we have to fix it.