Thanks in advance for your help!

I have been asked to fix a customer supplied ad targeted for CMYK newsprint. It is a .psd doc.

The printer has asked that the file be supplied with the background image, which is separating as rich black, be created in 100% K as it is offsetting, and will offer better registration, etc.

This would not be a problem except there is a two color build yellow logo mark and type on the file.

When I bring in the background image as a grayscale file and flatten the file, the grayscale background image reverts to separating into cmyk again!

Is there a trick in photoshop to maintain the one channel K background and still have the color logo and type on an upper layer separate as such?

Thanks! Lisa

1 Answer 1


If I understand correctly, your assets are:

  1. CMYK logo
  2. Grayscale image

This is what I would do

  1. Create an empty CMYK PSD file
  2. Copy your grayscale image
  3. Open the Channels palette. Windows->Channels
  4. Click on the Black channel (the last one) and paste your (previously copied) grayscale image. This pastes it ONLY in the K layer, so it will be rendered with only black ink.
  5. Click on the CMYK channel (at the top) to continue working with all 4 channels, as one normally does
  6. Continue with your workflow (bring in your CMYK logo, etc)
  • There are a few ways to do this (ain't that always the way with Photoshop?), but this is by far the simplest. Apr 15, 2014 at 17:48
  • @AlanGilbertson: Alternate answers are always welcomed! It is always great to see how different people solve the same problem : )
    – cockypup
    Apr 15, 2014 at 17:57
  • This worked like a charm! You are my hero. :-) I did have trouble at first when I was not able to paste the grayscale image into the new doc. I changed the background contents to white (previously was transparent) and under advanced, changed color profile to Don't Color Manage This Document. boom! Perfection. Thanks again!
    – Lisa
    Apr 15, 2014 at 18:07
  • :) then don't forget to pay your hero by flagging his answer as "the correct one" :)
    – cockypup
    Apr 15, 2014 at 18:09
  • I am looking all over, but don't see a place to make you the super hero of the universe! Where do I make your answer the correct one?
    – Lisa
    Apr 15, 2014 at 18:13

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