This is what he wrote:

Please change barcode so it is 100% black ink (K) on a white background. (A barcode can look black in the proof, but can be built as 5% Cyan, 5% Magenta, 5% Yellow, 85% K for black. The barcode needs to be built as 100% K black)

Does this mean that I have to set the CMYK value in Photoshop to 0,0,0,100?

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2 Answers 2


That's exactly what they mean :) 0 Magenta 0 Cyan 0 Yellow and 100 Black

  • But this needs to be done in an CMYK color image as well. It is perfectly possible to enter CMYK values in RGB mode, and they will silently be converted to RGB!
    – Jongware
    Jan 10, 2015 at 13:16
  • Very good point, although I assume the OP is in CMYK given its a print document.
    – JamiePatt
    Jan 10, 2015 at 13:21
  • 1
    Your best bet and the easiest way to do this is convert your barcode to grayscale and ensure the blacks are 100%. Jan 14, 2015 at 21:56

Bar code rule is to be printed from a single process or spot color (100%C, 100%M, 100%Y, 100%K or 100% spot color). It is not advisable to operate them from several colors, because small deviations may occur during printing (couch paper, mapping colors) and this may affect functionality of printed barcode, which would not be readable in that case.

  • Additionally, I believe 100% Cyan might not be a suitable choice as I've heard red and black are best practice for properly affecting the lasers used in reading bar codes.
    – Jory L
    Jan 22, 2016 at 19:22

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