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I'm guessing you used the magic wand tool to select the white background with tolerance set at 32 and anti-aliasing on. If I do that, I get the same result. Instead, set the tolerance to 1 and turn off anti-alias: Here's a comparison of the difference: Zoomed in for better detail:


It's normal. When you make the background dark gray, you decrease the contrast of your image. Maybe you should INVERT it: Inverting it changes the colors. Playing with blending modes you can get this: It really depends on what effect you are looking for.


What you are running into is one of the big differences between video and still photography/design. Video's heritage is television, which has very different technical requirements and standards. In video there is no such thing as #000. In the same way, there is no #fff, no #ff000, no #00ff00, etc.. TV and video standards do not permit levels of 0 or 255 on ...


Yes, black counts as a color. However, you can use 100%k if you'd like. I've never called out a specific Pantone Black unless there was a reason I wanted that Pantone black. As @JohnB points out, Pantone makes a number of blacks, if you aren't looking for one of those (tinted) blacks, then using 100K is just fine.


Yes, Black belongs to the set of 14 Pantone Basic colors from which all other PMS colors are mixed: If you're using Illustrator, you can find it as a swatch in the PMS color book swatch library Or in the Color Libraries in Photoshop: There are other "Blacks" available (Black 2, Black 3, Black 4, Black 5, Black 6, Black 7) but they are all tinted ...


If you have the capability and the time to experiment, I would try glossy dots on a matte background.


Here are a couple of things you could do... Stroke the black: Use an outer Glow, this may not work depending on the rest of the design: Stroke all of them, this is what I think I would do:


Keep it simple: use a subtle outline on each of the circular swatches. From what I can see, the colour and thickness of the horizontal white line would be great.

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