Colour vs black and white

The default option for our print products is colour, but you can select black and white instead. But which should you choose? If you want to get those blacks really black, read on and find out.

CMYK printing

Full colour CMYK printing is also called the 4-colour process, because it uses four different colours of ink. By combing Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK, you can create any number of colours to bring your project to life.

But there are also instances where you will want to use CMYK to produce what’s known as Rich Black. Because sometimes, standard black isn’t quite dark enough for what you want to achieve.

Also, we are sometimes asked about including a few black and white pages within a colour booklet. It’s actually more cost effective to print these black and white pages in rich black with CMYK, than to print these pages in K separately.

A booklet with a cover printed in 4-colour process ink

Black (K) only printing

The K in CMYK is for Blac(K). If you are printing in black and white only, then, you are printing with only the K ink. The Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow inks are simply not used.

As you may have guessed, printing in black and white is cheaper than printing in colour. The standard black produced by using K ink alone, however, won’t be as deep as Rich Black, which combines Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK to produce more vivid results.

When you prepare your files for printing, there are a number of things to consider, such as ink saturation and whether or not black or rich black is better for your project, which may also be steered by your choice of paper type and finish.

Ink saturation guide

Standard black vs rich black

The same booklet with a cover printed in black ink only
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