I've noticed in a couple of pieces of my artwork that when I get them back from the printers the solid blocks of grey come out grainy. All my other colours come out fine.

I'm using a grey that is 60% black and is a process colour. My document is at 300ppi.

Should I be using a different grey to achieve a smoother grey?

Or is this possibly an issue on the printer's end?

  • 1
    Are you using gray ink? If not, then you're using black ink, and to make it look gray, they need to create a halftone pattern. Is that what you are seeing? Otherwise, please post a photo for us to see the issue you are talking about.
    – DA01
    Nov 13, 2014 at 3:57

1 Answer 1


I would talk to someone at the Print Company. The grain or grainy effect is mostly caused from the screening from the actual printer. I have been dealing with this same issue with a client of mine. The drop shadow has been coming out "grainy" and there is not a gradual shift in the tone. I spoke with the company and have now about 6 proofs of adjustments they did on the actual printer. However, this printer is a digital offset and the screen can be adjusted. Best to find out what they are running and do a little research on the printer so you have a good understanding of how the CMYK is being processed to the media.

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