True Black vs Composite Black

Posted by David Coatney on


True black and composite black refer to different methods of creating black color in the printing process, and the differences between them can affect the final print output. Let's explore each concept:

1. True Black

  • Definition: True black is a pure, solid black color that is achieved using only the black ink in the printer.
  • Printing Method: When you choose true black, the printer uses only the black ink cartridge to produce the darkest black possible.
  • Advantages: Results in a deep and rich black color and consumes less ink because it only uses the black ink cartridge.
  • Considerations: May result in a slightly cooler or neutral black compared to composite black.

2. Composite Black

  • Definition: Composite black is created by combining multiple ink colors, typically cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK), to simulate a black color.
  • Printing Method: When you choose composite black, the printer uses a combination of the CMYK inks to create a dark color that appears as black.
  • Advantages: Can result in a more neutral or warm black, depending on the color balance and offers more flexibility in adjusting the color tone.
  • Considerations: Consumes more ink as it uses a combination of colors to create the black shade. The richness of black may not match true black in terms of depth.

Choosing Between True Black and Composite Black on Epson Printers:

  • Default Setting: Many printers default to composite black, as it provides more flexibility in color reproduction.
  • Application: True black is often preferred for text and line art, where a crisp and deep black is essential. Composite black may be suitable for color photographs and graphics.
  • Color Accuracy: If color accuracy is critical, especially in professional printing or graphic design, true black may be preferred for its predictability.

When printing on an Epson ColorWorks printer, you can typically find these options in the printer driver settings. Experiment with both true black and composite black settings to determine which one better suits your specific printing needs and preferences. Keep in mind that the optimal choice may depend on the type of content you are printing and your desired color outcome.

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