I have some problems printing rich black, and I´ve spent days trying to find a solution on the internet, but there is just too much information... I´d happily spend weeks and months learning all about printing, but I "unfortunately" have to print an artwork asap, so all help will be greatly appreciated!

I use an adjustment layer > black & white to convert my color photos to black and white (this is an ok option? Will this give a rich black?) But should I make any adjustments to the file -before- I do this? Should I convert it to cmyk? Change anything in Edit > Color settings?

And then. When printing,.. what choices do I make in the printer dialogue? (Like, do I tell photoshop to manage colors? What boxes to tick). This is my biggest problem I guess. How to make photoshop and the printer speak the same language.

I have an Epson stylus R3000 are printing on matte 180gms paper (have to be) and are using Photoshop CS3 (well I spend all my money on the printer, so...)

  • 1
    U might have to try small 'sample' swatches of the areas you're most concerned about. Take notes and see what the results are. You might be able to at least narrow it down a little to look/ask for more specific information.
    – vector
    Sep 23, 2013 at 1:14
  • This isn't really a graphic design question. I'd ask this over at Photography.se
    – DA01
    Sep 26, 2013 at 15:25

3 Answers 3


Having your file in CMYK is your best bet, I'd say. You can check whether your adjustment layer yields rich black by 'stamping' a copy of all visible layers (select your topmost visible layer and press Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E) and use the eyedropper to check the CMYK values. If there's just black, then it's a poor black/grey, if there's also C, M and Y, it's a rich one.

For the actual printing process, I'd second @vector's suggestion by doing a few tries of a smaller area, to save both time and ink, and compare the results.


My guess is that you copy the greyscale image, create an new CMYK image, paste the greyscale into each channel, and then adjust the curves on the CM and Y channels.

If I were you, I would talk about this with your printer: they may have experience coverting greyscale images for this purpose.

Note that flooding the page with nearly 100% of all inks can be a problem depending on circumstance and paper choice. I know that "painting a sheet" can cause issues (color cast etc) for other pages on the form in-line.

  • It won't be that simple. Doing it manually can lead to tinting parts of the image unintentionally.
    – DA01
    Sep 27, 2013 at 21:43

After some quick googling, I found this:


It appears that an ideal process for printing B/W on this printer is to use their special UltraChrome K3TM Ink Technology which includes three-levels of black inks. You'd use these specific inks in you printer.

Again, though, this is less of a Graphic Design question and much more a photography question. I'd suggest you migrate it to the photography SE site to get some insights from actual photographers who make their own prints.

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