Friday, 25 March 2011

Benefits of using black ink

The “black” generated by mixing cyan, magenta and yellow primaries is unsatisfactory, and so four-color printing uses black ink in addition to the subtractive primaries. Common reasons for using black ink include:[6]

    * In traditional preparation of color separations, a red keyline on the black line art marked the outline of solid or tint color areas. In some cases a black keyline was used when it served as both a color indicator and an outline to be printed in black. Because usually the black plate contained the keyline, the K in CMYK represents the keyline or black plate also sometimes called the key plate.

    * Text is typically printed in black and includes fine detail (such as serifs), so to reproduce text or other finely detailed outlines using three inks without slight blurring would require impractically accurate registration.

    * A combination of 100% cyan, magenta, and yellow inks soaks the paper with ink, making it slower to dry, and sometimes impractically so. This also can cause the ink to bleed.

    * A combination of 100% cyan, magenta, and yellow inks often results in a muddy dark brown color that does not quite appear black. Adding black ink absorbs more light, and yields much darker blacks.

    * Using black ink is less expensive than using the corresponding amounts of colored inks.

When a very dark area is desirable, a colored or gray CMY “bedding” is applied first, then a full black layer is applied on top, making a rich, deep black; this is called rich black.[7] A black made with just CMY inks is sometimes called a composite black or process black.

The amount of black to use to replace amounts of the other ink is variable, and the choice depends on the technology, paper and ink in use. Processes called under color removal, under color addition, and gray component replacement are used to decide on the final mix; different CMYK recipes will be used depending on the printing task.

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