Why isin't default "Black" really black?

Discuss QuarkXPress 2015/2016/2017 color management functionality including DeviceN workflows.

Why isin't default "Black" really black?

Postby filip.kucharczyk » 06 May 2016, 14:13

Hi,

When i create a new Project using QXP 2015 i get some default colors. One of them is "Black", but as it turns out the color named "Black" is not really black - it is very dark gray, why is this?
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Re: Why isin't default "Black" really black?

Postby UtahLlama » 08 May 2016, 12:52

Not quite understanding the problem
unless you have messed up the install or default document settings the default Black is 100%Black from the cmyk set, it should also come out 100% if you output greyscale or DeviceN.
you can go darker by setting up RGB or Lab Blacks but will have difficulty getting reliable or consistency if printing cmyk.
you can set up a rich black out of cmyk and there are both good and bad reasons for doing so.
I am thinking that you are just concerned about how it looks on your screen...
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Re: Why isin't default "Black" really black?

Postby filip.kucharczyk » 10 May 2016, 16:01

I did not change any of the default settings.
I just created a new project, two boxes, one Black and one with Registration color. When i check the colors in Gimp, this is what I get:
pic.PNG
pic.PNG (82.75 KiB) Viewed 5621 times
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Re: Why isin't default "Black" really black?

Postby Matthias Guenther (Quark) » 11 May 2016, 02:55

Hi Filip,

how are you checking the color values in QuarkXPress via Gimp? With the eyedropper tool, measuring the color in the layout in QuarkXPress? Or did you create a PDF first?

Thanks
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Re: Why isin't default "Black" really black?

Postby UtahLlama » 11 May 2016, 11:33

You can't check Quark's black like this :D

...well you can check like this but the results will be meaningless.

the correct method to check is to make a pdf and use Acrobat Pro to check the Object's separation/color-space values.

Opening in a photo editing app will almost always convert, your screen grab looks to me you are reading screen values for RGB and gimp is then trying to guess (via an internal profile to profile conversion) what it would be if converted to the other color spaces. Registration Black should be 100c100m100y100k or its not Registration, it also should never be used as a block of colour (except for maybe SpotUV) and definitely not for text you want to print.
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Re: Why isin't default "Black" really black?

Postby filip.kucharczyk » 17 May 2016, 07:53

Thank you very much for your explanations! I've used Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and indeed Black is C0Y0M0K100 and Registration is C100Y100M100B100. Unfortunatelly I didn't know that before and alredy sent a big poster with a square meter filled with Registration color.
So this means that CMYK and RGB and not fully compatible?
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Re: Why isin't default "Black" really black?

Postby UtahLlama » 19 May 2016, 16:58

So this means that CMYK and RGB and not fully compatible?

Color Management is what tries to make them compatible.
In theory where the color spaces overlap you can produce the color out of either space. There are however many many many factors why this doesn't happen. Starting with the first problem that RGB without a tagged profile isn't a fixed colour at all, its just 3 numbers. So if I assume it is sRGB or Adobe RGB I'm starting from 2 quite different colors and I haven't even started the conversion to cmyk, which you can imagine has a whole lot of options/strategies you can choose from.
One more thing, once you have converted to cmyk don't think you can get back to the same RGB values because you can't (other than cmdZ) because the math is lossy.
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Re: Why isin't default "Black" really black?

Postby filip.kucharczyk » 20 May 2016, 06:47

Thank you sir for all your explanations!
As usual in life it turned out that this topic is not as simple as I initailly thought. The more you dig the more complexity and interesting things you find.
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