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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I noticed something strange with the way Illustrator exports rich black. Just to be safe, I have the "Output All Blacks as Rich Black" option selected. On screen all blacks are displayed accurately, though, and I usually use rich black (C:75%, M:68%, Y:67%, K:90%) in my images.

It turns out, however, that Illustrator doesn't export all blacks as rich black. Instead, only the default K:100% black gets exported as rich black, and the real rich black is a bit washed out.

Here's an example. That's how the blacks look in Illustrator:



and here is how they look on the exported png file:



The rich black turns into "95, 67, 66, 87" black both when the option "Output blacks as rich black" is selected and when it is set to "Output blacks accurately".

The only way to get a png with rich black seems to be to use the default black from the swatch with the preferences set to "output blacks as rich black".

I can clearly see the difference between the two blacks on my monitor, but I wonder if this not-so-rich black is going to look washed out if printed on a t-shirt?

I am used to working with rich black, not the default black, and I'd have to change the colours on a lot of images if that would be the case. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I am planning on selling t-shirt designs through online retailers and it seems that most of them support jpg and png, and not the original vector files, and I obviously prefer to use png. :)

For the record, I tried exporting to jpg, the result was the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I always work in CMYK mode. (Of course, png files are automatically exported as RGB, because png does not support CMYK.)

Yes, if I work in RGB mode and try to export, the default black appears as 100%K as you say, despite the fact that the options are set to "Output all blacks as rich black."

But that is not my problem, as I said, I work in CMYK mode. I don't get 100%K, I get a 95%C, 67%M, 66%Y, 87%K black, which is better than the 100%K black, but not as black as the rich black (95%C, 68%M, 67%Y, 90%K).

So my question is whether anyone who prints from png files has experiencef this issue and if so, does this black look good when printed on a t-shirt or does it appear greyish?
 

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How are the shirts going to be printed? DTG or jet/laser transfer might attempt to reproduce your spiffy blacker than black black, but more than likely you are wasting your time and should simply use black. If screen printing, this is an entirely moot point.

PDF is the usual file type used for print images, and it can use CMYK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks. The process used for printing will be DTG.

For some reason, CafePress seems to accept only .png and .jpg.
In the future I will probably upload to Zazzle and Spreadshirt as well, and luckily Zazzle accepts all kinds of formats. Spreadshirt doesn't accept .pdf, I think, but at least works with .eps.
 

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yeah i don't get the idea that a online customer will see your .png or .jpeg file and decide that the black isn't rich enough. i mean you will explain to them that the tshirt is black correct?

and any online outsource print company that doesn't take an original .ai file ain't worth blank to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm not worrying about how the black will look in my online shop, I worry about the final product, I want my customers to be satisfied. :D

Unfortunately, most online retailers don't work with .ai files. Except for zazzle, I've only come across local printing press companies that would take .ai files.

Btw, I figured that if I save the file as .eps, open it with Photoshop and than save it as .png, the rich black stays rich.
So there are ways around this, but it's still annoying that the export option in Illustrator (which is the fastest way to save as .png) doesn't output the blacks accurately.
 

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I'm not worrying about how the black will look in my online shop, I worry about the final product, I want my customers to be satisfied. :D

Unfortunately, most online retailers don't work with .ai files. Except for zazzle, I've only come across local printing press companies that would take .ai files.

Btw, I figured that if I save the file as .eps, open it with Photoshop and than save it as .png, the rich black stays rich.
So there are ways around this, but it's still annoying that the export option in Illustrator (which is the fastest way to save as .png) doesn't output the blacks accurately.
ok, gotcha.

from what i saw from your thumbnail provided it looked as though you were showing a white design on a black tshirt mockup. hence, why the worry about the black output?

i'm still a little confused because you are not actually doing the printing correct? if not wouldn't it be the responsibility of the printer (zazzle or cafe press etc.) to make sure the balcks were black and the purples were purple?

maybe i'm missing something here having never dealt with something like this........
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I assume that they print the designs with such colour values as they are on the .png files you give them.

I just don't know how black designs with values 95%C, 67%M, 66%Y and 87%K would look when printed on a t-shirt. If they look OK, I can use directly the .png files which Illustrator exports. But if they look somewhat greyish, I will have to save the .png files using an alternative, longer method, with which the blacks would have the original rich black values as they are in the source .ai files.
 
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