Vantablack / Black 3.0 and the blackest ink

ReflexBlueHorror

Active member
Hello, I've noticed this topic seems largely uncovered (internet searches simply find double-hits & rich blacks), so decided to post it here. All thoughts welcome!

In the past 5 or so years there's continual news about the quest for the blackest black - whether artist's paints absorbing 98% visible light (acrylic, solvent or oil based; eg Black 3.0 or NanoLab) or the lab-grown nano-forest (Vantablack) which doesn't count as paint.

I never hear of any of these advances impacting printing though, and whether blacks here are getting blacker.
 

gordo

Well-known member
AFAIK no. Because process inks are semi transparent. You might be able to get a specialty black that is more opaque from an ink supplier or specialty ink vendor for special application though.
 

Slammer

Well-known member
Am I remembering correctly that the blackest black in printing was to print solid black on solid cyan?
 

ReflexBlueHorror

Active member
If using process inks, yes, cyan will 'perceptually' create a darker black. A lot of publishers request that a publication using 4/4 on coated paper uses C40 K100 for the text.

I've seen a lot of different formulas though for blacks. Some of them are covered here:
http://www.andrewkelsall.com/the-professional-designers-guide-to-using-black/

Quite a few are also demonstrated in Andy Brown's The Print Handbook. His example of a double hit of black (K+Pantone Black C) is more black than the other process combinations.
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0268/3471/products/handbook04.jpg?v=1461866681

Unfortunately it's not the same though as have an ultra black or opaque black printing ink. The advantage would be in avoiding extra plates/press passes and possible misregistration or loss of crisp edges, and ink density limits - especially restrictive on uncoated paper.
 

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