Here is something that we see beginning designers do that is not reproducable in the print world. Let's say someone is trying to print a solid or rich black. Did you know there is a maximum density % that can be reproduced when you add all of CMYK % together. The maximum is 280%. Anything above that basically turns into mud and will never dry or look right.

I would recommend not even getting near the 280%. You don't need it to reproduce a color. This happens when people create a color instead of picking a PMS colorand converting it. Most software programs that convert PMS colorsuse the standard conversion %'s from Pantone or close to it. When people manually go in and manipulate those % is when they can get in trouble. You would think printing black as 100% Black, 100% Cyan, 100% Magenta and 100% Yellow would gain you a very dark rich black. It doesn't it produces mud that won't look right and never dry.

CMYK inks

If you are printing a brochure or postcard and want a rich black you can accomplish that with 100% black and some % of cyan and/or magenta. I would not even recommend putting yellow in it. If we are choosing we will do 100% black and 50-70% cyan and leave it at that. I like a dense blue black though. Some want to add a % of magenta and that is fine. The only rule of thumb is don't exceed a maximum of 280% combined density of a combination of colors.

Written by Buzz Tatom
The Odee Company