Tag Archives: package design

When to Use the Plain Black Color?

Plain Black for the Small Text

plain black for small text and misregistration

How does misregistration happen

At Shanghai DE Printed Box, we recommend that all the small black texts should be designed with the plain black color. The plain black, also called pure black color on the artwork means that only the black ink is used to create the text on the paper. For the CMYK value, C=0, M=0, Y=0, K=100%. Or it will lead to legible problems due to the misregistration during the printing process.

Once a clent let us do the tea boxes for him and sent us his artwork. After our designer checked his artwork, we found a big issue. The text on the paper box was very small. The line was extremely thin. The color combination was rich black, C86 M85 Y79 K100. This is a typical error for the text design. You may ask what would happen for this color combination.

Depending on the printing press, paper stock and the ink, there is usually a max ink coverage on the paperstock, 240-280%. While for the rich black color above, the value was 86+85+79+100=350. Then the paper would be over-inked. And we would be at the risk of ink smears and blurs.  The risk would be extremly high when the small text was to be printed.

Black Small Text Printed in Rich Black

Another problem might happen too. That is misregistration. During the printing process, it will be very difficult for the press operator to align the 4 plates. This will lead to the blurry text. Under some circumstances, the texts can not be legible at all.

text blur problem caused by the mis-registration

 

Therefore, we advise that the small black text are created with the pure black to have a clean and crisp feel.

rich black color and plain balck color for printing

Rich Black and Plain Back Illustration

Plain Black for the Barcode

Due to the misregistration of the small lines on the barcode, the rick black barcode may not be recognized by the barcode scanner. The plain black is a must for the barcode printing.

What is Registration and Misregistration?

All the elements on the artwork, which includes the images, texts and blank areas are supposed to be precisely printed on the intended position of the paper. For example, there is a coral-pink flower on the artwork, which is made of the M color and Y color. M=50% Y=25%. Then during the printing process, the magenta flower image printed by the magenta plate should be precisely aligned with the yellow flower printed by the yellow plate.

CMYK_print

CMYK Printing Process

Rich Black for the Background Image

However, if you need a black background for your paper box, we recommend that you add CYAN 30-40 or Magent 30-40 to the Black 100. C 30-40, K100 will create a rich cold black color, while M 30-40, K 100 will create a warm black color. The C 30-40 is most widely used for the black background. However, if you use only the pure K 100 black color, the printed black color will look a little grey.

Last week, we made the face brush boxes and tea brush boxes for a French client. He created the artwork himself and the background was pure black. We changed the pure black to rich black with C 30. After we showed him the sample printed box, he liked a lot.