Beth Granter

Freelance digital consultant for charities

100% Black CMYK is NOT #000000 ! Plus, me in a music video

I just had a major revelation.  The CMYK value for pure black ink,, 100% black, K, is NOT, I repeat, NOT the same as the hexadecimal pure black value of #000000 !  I can’t believe I didn’t know this before.  But thinking about it – it makes sense.  Pure K, Key, Black, is real-life ink, and because of this it cannot truely absorb all real light to create true black.  When printed on to any surface, the surface will have some texture which will reflect some proportion of light, making the colour of the surface off-black.  So, the digital representation of 100% K is… drumroll please… #231F20 in hexadecimal values, and 35.31.32 in RGB.  In reverse, #000000 (RGB 0.0.0) has a CMYK value of (because using all the inks together in these values creates a ‘blacker black’ as the ink is more dense (I reckon).

I realise this is probably irrelevant and boring to a lot of people, but it is honestly fascinating to me!

In other news, the boyfriend’s band (This City) is playing at the Astoria in London tonight supporting Taking Back Sunday and I am going!  Amazing!  Did I mention that I feature in a slightly raunchy scene in their zombie music video for their new single We Move?  And I’m also the one in the wolf mask, with a half-second feature of my zombie t-shirt design.  And you can check me out in my pants and a wolf mask when their new artwork is released (on their single) next month.  Rawk.

4 responses to “100% Black CMYK is NOT #000000 ! Plus, me in a music video”

  1. Hey…
    This is very usefull. I’m designing flyers in free time and I didn’t even know about this until I recently saw the difference in one of my flyers, which was looking just fine in when viewing on the computer, but when it was printed, there was a huge diff. Was very annoying.
    So thanks to you for writing this down 😉

  2. Hey Beth!
    we met at latitude! i was the random stalker who had just watched the band! didn’t understand the first bit but enjoyed the 2nd! did you go to that gig? it was insane!!!! just randomly googliling thiscity! and came across you!
    Matt x

  3. I work mostly with the web so typically always use hexidecimal myself. Had never considered the CMYK conundrum of pure black, or even really why print vs screens had to be that much different of a system. The blending of inks to make a truer black really explained to me why there “needs” to be a different systems. Thanks for the article, it was truly helpful for me.

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