If you’ve ever tried to have black paint mixed at Home Depot, you know first hand that it can be difficult to get it right. Black is the most difficult color to reproduce because of its deep, dark nature.
If you want custom business cards with a black background, take the time upfront to get the correct color mixture in your black. Otherwise, you might end up with a gray card instead of a black one. Or, you might see blotches, blemishes, streaks, dust spots, or any number of annoying imperfections.
Most printers utilize the standard 4-color CMYK printing process, so we’ll go ahead and focus on that for the purposes of this blog post. C stands for cyan, M for magenta, Y for yellow and K for black, and by combining these 4 colors in a variety of ways, thousands of colors are possible.
If your custom business card has a black background, the key is to create a “rich black” that has other colors mixed into it. If your black (K) is set to 100%, oversaturation could occur and this is what usually causes problems (particularly on glossy business cards or spot UV business cards).
As you may know, color printing is often more of an art than a science, and the creation of a “rich black” is no exception. There are dozens of possible combinations that produce a rich black. However, in my experience the “best” rich black mixture is C=40%, M=20%, Y=30%, K=100%.
A couple of things to keep in mind when working with rich black and black colored business card backgrounds. First, it is best to use rich black only for your design background, or for objects at least 5 millimeters thick.
Second, if you use Adobe Photoshop, avoid using the fill command when selecting black because this will add 100% of all process colors to the image (100% = oversaturation = bad).
Finally, the “rules” for black colored custom business cards may be different when utilizing digital presses…so stick to a nice offset printing company like NexCards!
They say a pound of prevention is worth an ounce of cure, and the same goes for business card printing. The bottom line is that black colored business cards require special care and feeding. Avoid the temptation to think that any old black will print out just fine. Trust me, it’s much better to take the time on the front end to ensure your black background is of the rich black variety, than to feel the shock and dismay when your black business cards arrive at your door….gray (yuck!).
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