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If I have an RGB value of (0, 0, 0) I get pure black. Now, since CMY are the opposite colors of RGB - shouldn't (100, 100, 100, 0) in CMYK mean pure black? Why is this equivalent to #363639, which is not even a pure gray?

marked as duplicate by Danielillo, Scott, Lucian, Luciano, Ovaryraptor Jan 15 at 17:30

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C,M and Y inks are color filters on white paper. They are not ideal, some light gets through when there's as much those inks as the paper can hold. Deep printed black needs additional non-transparent ink. That's the K.

If you use some real CMYK capable program and you have profiled your work to some realistic CMYK printing process, the program surely shows as well as it can the non-perfect black also on your screen. If you use in GIMP, which knows nothing of real world CMYK printing, color C=M=Y=100%, K=0, you will get the same as you use color R=G=B=0

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    Funny enough, the reverse is also true. You can print much, much darker ("richer") black than with only 100% K in a CMYK mix. – usr2564301 Jan 13 at 21:20
  • @usr2564301 that's why I wrote "additional ink". Rich black receipe depends on the used print process. – user287001 Jan 13 at 21:24

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