Understanding the Difference Between Epson ColorWorks Black Ink and Matte Black Ink

Posted by David Coatney on

Epson Colorworks Matte Black Ink

Introduction to Epson ColorWorks Black Ink and Matte Black Ink

Are you looking to understand the difference between Epson ColorWorks Gloss Black Ink and Matte Black Ink? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the specific purpose and application of each type of black ink, as well as the key differences and benefits they offer. Whether you are a business looking to create professional labels or an artist aiming for high-quality prints, understanding the capabilities of these inks is essential. So, let's dive in and uncover the unique features of Epson ColorWorks Gloss Black Ink and Matte Black Ink!

When it comes to printing, the type of black ink can make a significant difference in the quality and appearance of the final product. Epson offers two options for black ink in their ColorWorks Printers: Gloss Black Ink and Matte Black Ink. Both are pigment based, BS5609 certified, and designed to deliver high-quality, durable, and smudge-resistant prints, but they have specific characteristics that cater to different printing needs. Both types of black ink are specifically designed for use in Epson’s Inkjet Color Label Printers, such as the Epson ColorWorks C4000, and C6000 series.

ColorWorks Gloss Black Ink is ideal for printing on glossy or coated paper, as it delivers deep, rich blacks and vibrant colors. On the other hand, ColorWorks Matte Black Ink offers a darker black on matte media and a richer image on plain paper, as it provides a more subdued and velvety finish. Both black options are used in combination with Epson’s Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow ink. It is impossible to interchange the gloss and matte black ink in the same printer. Once the gloss or matte ink cardtridge is used to print for the first time, the printer will always require that same ink. Gloss black will not work in a printer that initially printed with matte black, and vice versa. The printer will not accept it and show an error. Understanding the differences between these two types of black ink can help users make the right choice for their specific printing requirements.

Gloss Black vs Matte Black

Gloss black ink is the original black ink  introduced with Epsons ColorWorks Inkjet Color Label Printers. A key benefit of the ColorWorks gloss black ink is its compatibility with a wide range of media, including glossy and matte papers, as well as synthetic materials such as polypropylene and vinyl. This versatility allows users to create vibrant, eye-catching prints for various purposes, from product labels and retail tags to event tickets and wristbands. Overall, Epson ColorWorks Black Ink is a reliable and cost-effective solution for businesses and organizations that prioritize print quality and durability. It produces high-quality, durable prints that are resistant to water, smudging, and fading, making it perfect for applications that require long-lasting labels. Formulated to produce vibrant colors, and crisp, clear text makes gloss black the ideal choice for business looking to create visually appealing labels in a variety of industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and retail.  

Matte black Ink is specifically designed for applications requiring a non-reflective, matte finish where the absence of gloss is important for achieving the desired aesthetic. Matte black ink is an ideal choice for creating high-quality prints with exceptional detail and contrast and is commonly used when printing barcodes, and QR codes. Unlike Epson’s gloss black ink, which is used for common colored text and images, matte black ink is designed specifically for producing crisp, sharp lines, finely detailed images, and black texts and images on inkjet coated matte label media . Black matte ink formulation is tailored to the unique properties of matte paper, allowing for more accurate color reproduction and improved image quality. This makes it an essential component for businesses and individuals who require high-quality black prints on matte surfaces

Key Differences

The key difference between Epson's original gloss black ink and their most recently introduced matte black ink lies in their purpose and application. Epson ColorWorks Gloss Black Ink is designed for use in inkjet color printing, providing rich, deep blacks to enhance the overall color output. On the other hand, the ColorWorks Matte Black Ink is specifically formulated for use in black and white printing, ensuring the highest quality and detail in grayscale images.

The main distinction between these two types of ink lies in their composition and how they interact with different types of paper. Gloss black ink is optimized for use on gloss media, and supports a wide variety of gloss and matte media for colored images. Matte black ink is better suited for matte or fine art papers and is not recommended to print on gloss media. Understanding the specific requirements of your printing project will help you determine which type of black ink is best suited to achieve the desired results.

Ultimately, the choice between gloss black ink and matte black ink will depend on the type of printing you are doing and the specific requirements of your project. Both inks are engineered to deliver exceptional results, but understanding their differences and applications will help you make an informed decision for your printing needs.


Choosing the right black ink is crucial for achieving high-quality and professional prints. Epson offers two black ink options compatible with their C4000 and C6000 Series printers:  Gloss Black and Matte Black. Gloss black ink is perfect for glossy or coated paper, and is also suitable for a wide variety of matte and gloss label material, delivering deep blacks and vibrant colors. On the other hand, the matte black ink is ideal for matte or fine art paper, providing a crisp velvety finish.

Black ink is designed for color label printing, while matte black ink is optimized for producing images and text on matte surfaces. Both inks have their unique applications and benefits, such as water resistance, sharpness, and durability. Choosing the appropriate ink depends on specific printing requirements and the desired visual impact.

Consider the purpose and characteristics of each black ink to make an informed decision and achieve exceptional results in your printing projects.

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