Tip of the Week: Get the Gray Out of Your Gradients
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If you’ve ever made a gradient that went from a color to black in a print document, you might have been less than excited about the results. Take the example below, see how it gets drained of saturation as it goes from red to black?
That’s because the black end of the gradient was created with the black swatch, which yields just pure black ink. So for half the gradient you get a warm charcoal gray effect.
Instead, you can get a much “richer” effect by adding black to the red. In other words, use rich black for the black end of the gradient.
To do this, start by making both ends of the gradient the same color (in this case, red).
Then with the second gradient stop selected, switch the Stop Color from Swatches to CMYK, and drag the black ink slider all the way to 100% and click OK.
Now your gradient won’t be so gray!
Also, to stay on your printer’s good side, make sure the total ink amount in the rich black gradient stop doesn’t go over the limit for your intended output. Not sure what your total ink limit is? Ask your printer! They’ll be glad to tell you.