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Illustrator Blacks - Adobe Illustrator Windows

I am working with Illustrator CS on a PC. All of the doents I am setting up are CMYK. When I go to print them, all the blacks print as a gray. Any images that are placed in the doent print with a solid black. But no matter how I set up the black (100% K or a process make up of black) it still prints as gray. My color settings is set up a CMYK. So please help me try to figure this one out. I have tried sending it to multiple printers and I get the same results. ...

  1. #1

    Default Illustrator Blacks

    I am working with Illustrator CS on a PC. All of the doents I am setting up are CMYK. When I go to print them, all the blacks print as a gray. Any images that are placed in the doent print with a solid black. But no matter how I set up the black (100% K or a process make up of black) it still prints as gray. My color settings is set up a CMYK. So please help me try to figure this one out. I have tried sending it to multiple printers and I get the same results.

    I did find that if I PDF the files, the PDF's do print OK. But why can't I print the native files.
    Amy_Featherman@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    I don't remember where you can set this, but there should be an option to use "Rich Blacks" as a default instead of using regular (grey) blacks when rich blacks are not used in creating your doent. It might be in the printing preferences or in the general preferences, I don't know. But I know I saw it somewhere :)
    nick_gregg@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    thanks Nick I will check that out!!!
    Amy_Featherman@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    "Appearance of Black" is an option under the Preferences dialog box.

    Don't know why your placed images are printing with a solid black -unless the images are something like Photoshop files with a Pantone ink specified.
    Bobby_Henderson@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    "Appearance of Black" is a new option added to CS2. It is not in CS.
    John_Kallios@adobeforums.com Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    That would be why I couldn't find it. If you have any other advise I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!!!
    Amy_Featherman@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    In AI CS2 I am having similar issues. I even set Appearances of Black to output all blacks as rich black, yet I still notice a difference in the 100% black and rich blacks in my PDFs. Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance for any and all help with this!
    rossimo@adobeforums.com Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    Rich black:

    C=50
    M=40
    Y=30
    K=100

    :-) T
    Toni Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    Right - Thanks Tony, I am aware of what "rich black" consists of. In AI CS2 there is a preference where you can preview and output ALL blacks as rich blacks. It shouldn't matter if your actual black is 100% K or Rich K...it should output as rich. This is helpful with sending PDF as your blacks do not appear washed out and confuse the client.

    Any ideas why my output blacks, when set to Rich Blacks (preview and output) in AI Preferences, are appearing as 100% K in my PDFs?

    I have tried every resolution of PDF output, btw.

    Any Adobe Tech support people reading this have any clue?

    Thanks!-
    |rossimo|
    rossimo@adobeforums.com Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    Rich blacks may be different combinations, as long as the CMYK sum is not too high. You should always remember to choose a combination that fits the colours in the doent.
    Jacob_Bugge@adobeforums.com Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    Hi Rossimo,

    I'm not sure why they're appearing as 100% K. When you set the preference to Rich Black, the Color palette in a CMYK doc also shows 100%. So I don't know what's going on "behind the scenes" in illy to give you a rich black.

    As for whether the 50/40/30/100 CMYK makes a difference as opposed to 0/0/0/100 CMYK, it makes a substantial difference in 4-color process offset printing. When you have large areas of black on a page, the 50/40/30/100 give a reliably even and beautiful black.

    Cheers, T
    Toni Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    AH HA! After further investigation I have solved my problem. The pref "Appearance of Black" is for RGB and Grayscale color devices. Thus, when I convert my color space from CMYK to RGB (printing or exporting) all types of blacks do indeed show up as RICH blacks. WHEW~!

    My issues were with showing PDFs to clients for on screen proofing. If and when you set these up for press, make sure to switch back to your CMYK color space of choice.

    Thanks for the help, it made me questions a few things and finally figure out what was going wrong.

    |rossimo|
    rossimo@adobeforums.com Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    Jacob Bugge wrote:
    "Rich blacks may be different combinations, as long as the CMYK sum is not too high. You should always remember to choose a combination that fits the colours in the doent."

    That is a very good point. Essentially you need to be concerned with the "total ink number". If you're creating a layout to be published elsewhere, such as in a newspaper, you need to get the publisher's recommendations on total ink. On good quality paper I generally try to keep things below 220. Toni's 50/40/30/100 combination comes out to that 220 total ink max.
    Bobby_Henderson@adobeforums.com Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks



    Essentially you need to be concerned with the "total ink number". If you're
    creating a layout to be published elsewhere, such as in a newspaper, you
    need to get the publisher's recommendations on total ink.




    This is frequently referred to as "total ink density" or "maximum ink density" in publications' mechanical specs. (Example: USA Today specifies 240 percent, adding "lower is better.") Some publications will also specify "best black build," expressed as percentages of C, M, Y, and K.
    Harron_K._Appleman@adobeforums.com Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks


     




    I first saw the 50/40/20/100 values suggested here. But it was also the what the publisher on this project wanted me to use. The book was printed on medium/heavy weight glossy, and the large fields of black are beautiful.

    Obiously, there are so many variables in any print job, it's smart to get the the publisher's or print bureaus recommendation before starting the work.

    T
    Toni Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    Well, depending on the paper (lower thickness/density/quality>lower ink numbers), and which colours have the highest values (a 100% black cover all added last is worse than 100% among the others), you may go quite far in total/maximum ink number/density.

    Actually, there are quite a few Pantone Process colours over 220; E 324-1 has 320, with 30% K.

    320 is about the ultimate limit as I have learned it, with 100% K you have to reduce it; I have used 276 myself, with 100% K, on a high quality 240 g paper.

    But maybe you do not need to worry too much: at least over here, unless you have a special agreement, many printers automatically reduce the ink density if needed: they do not want to dry and iron your design.

    The 50/40/30/100 may look beautiful, especially on a background with a fair share of C; but I would adapt it to the current background. Actually, just pouring 100% K on top makes the black take on the hue, and to a certain degree the saturation, of the background, often softening and harmonizing it, enhancing the unique characteristics of the artwork.

    Come what may:
    Jacob_Bugge@adobeforums.com Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    Crowning the artwork,
    Enhancing its quality,
    A beautiful black,
    Adapted to the colours,
    With a modest ink number.
    Jacob_Bugge@adobeforums.com Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    Forgive me if it has been said, but there is no one correct set of values for rich black... even when talking about printing rich black on the same type of paper and press, and you will get as many "correct" values as people you ask.
    John_Slate@adobeforums.com Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    John,

    I think the consensus is there are too many variables to use one standard set of values. It depends on the final output--inks, papers, presses, etc. In Amy's case the output is PDFs to be viewed on screen. It's wise to find out from the publisher or the print service bureau what values they want you to use to get the best results. Getting proofs and doing press checks when possible is also very, very wise.

    You can have real disasters when press checks are not done (you cannot always count on the pressman to do this, even though it's his/her job). The colors in some of the signatures in two books I've illustrated came out dull and muddy because the yellow plate was misregistered and press checks weren't done. Reprints were not done. Long, obviously stupid, story as to why/how this could happen. Can you say "disappointed illustrator and ed off author"? Oh well. Life's way to short to get worked up over something you can't control.

    T
    Toni Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Illustrator Blacks

    Yes I am only working in CS, so I don't have that rich blacks option. But with mine the PDF's work great - they print solid black. But when I try to print the actual doent they don't print black. Also, when I try to make the blacks a process black (our printer prefers 75%C, 40%M, 20%Y and 100%K), they turn to a gray not a solid black. PLEEEEASE Help!!!

    Thanks for all your advise!!!
    Amy_Featherman@adobeforums.com Guest

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