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Black and its variations, also being black


Senior Member
I'm not going to lie, this is print nerd moment.

I am working on a project at the moment, and the cover has to be super dark, and I was wondering how different 'blacks' hold up in terms of print and how much visible difference there is when printing in CMYK format.

First off, the 'blacks':

1. Web Black

000000 - 75,68,67,90

2. Process Black (pantone name)

1d1d1d - 72,66,65,76

3. Print Black (pantone hexachrome black)

231f20 - 0,0,0,100

I want to use one as a background colour and one to add detail/texture, is this even going to be clear enough in print so make it worthwhile?

I was thinking of using Web Black and Print Black.

It should work, but I am just doubting myself i little, and you guys are always helpful well I need you!

P.S. This thread is not some politically incorrect joke. Although it could be...


Senior Member
Levi said:
you considered doing matt black with a gloss black using spot UV?
I have, but I doubt the client can afford the extra cost, bands never want to spend extra cash on this **** and I never know why!!!!

I was pushing for a gatefold double 7" and they said no, just a CD. :(

I'll have a read of that link later Mark, thanks.


Staff member
I suppose you could go for a 90% black (not a rich black, just 90% black) which would be a very dark charcoal colour, pretty similar to the matt black I suggested when it has light hitting it. Then go for one of the rich black options for the black to bring it out more.

Not sure how well it would work though to be honest hence my suggestion for the spot uv.


Senior Member
I know I am walking a fine line, lets see what everyone else says, I might add the artwork later. I will have to check with them first.


Active Member
Hows it being printed? Digital print only 100% black (no CMY) will come out black, adding (C/M/Y) will result in grey.

With litho you need to be careful not to end up muddy / too wet to dry anytime in the near future, Litho for a rich black use C40% K100% - then maybe your K100% will result in the difference you want. - don't overload it, giving your printer a call might be the easiest way!


Senior Member
I'd advise a cheap(er) digital print with a screen-printed gloss varnish over the top for the detail, there's less to go wrong and will probably be in the same price range as straight litho without worrying about the printer getting it right.
I think the final result would be guaranteed, you wouldn't be working with unknowns. It would be subtle and pretty cool too.


Senior Member
This is what I needed to know! I am not completely sure of the way its going to be printed, if they go with my recommendation then litho, but I doubt that will ever happen!

I think a 90k and a 20-30c 100k sounds like my best option.

I will push them to get a spot gloss if I can. But money is everything to these guys. I'll get a draft up tomorrow.