Getting “K” When there’s No Black Toner
There is no doubt that you can create a beautiful, deep, true BLACK color print with DigitalHeatFX and the OKI proColor 920WT. The fact that this “white toner printer” doesn’t actually have black toner is no impediment to creating black text or black graphics as part of a custom t shirt design.
Pantograms and DigitalHeatFX have helped more custom t shirt businesses start with the proColor 920WT than any other in United States. Because we tested the product in house before it was even available in the US, spent 2 years perfecting the process AND creating the perfect transfer paper, we can provide you with the know how you need to be successful – like printing BLACK – and it’s easy once you know what to do.
There are 3 primary color schemes used in the graphics world:
We’ll take a brief look at the first 2, then tell you how to easily print true black with DigitalHeat FX and the 920.
RGB = Red, Green, Blue
RGB started it’s “career” in the video world and persists to this day as the color formulations used for digital display.
The simplest explanation is that no matter what you do on your computer, the SCREEN you’re looking at displays the colors as a mixture of red, green and blue. This is why the image you show your customer on the screen, or the one you see when you’re looking in your graphics software never quite matches what ends up on a custom t shirt.
PMS = Pantone Matching System
Sometimes referred to just as “Pantone” or “spot colors”, this is a color system formulated originally for printer inks and works just like you are picking a paint color for your walls at home. Even the colors developed using this method will be affected by paper stock, glossy or not, etc.
Many of your customers may bring you PMS color numbers because they are used to having their logo or graphics printed in a brochure or on a business card. The colors simply will NOT look the same on a garment!
CMYK Color System = Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black
CMYK is as close as you can get to a native color scheme for apparel and promotional products. Like PMS and RGB, colors are generally created by a mix of different levels of each one of the component colors; Cyan (blueish), Magenta (reddish), Yellow (just yellow) and Black.
THIS is where the confusion begins for people unaware of how to work with the OKI 920WT:
When most people are designing their custom t shirt artwork in CorelDraw, Illustrator, Photoshop or any graphics program, they will simply choose “black” as stock color from their palette and apply it as part of the custom t shirt transfer. But that “black” then comes out a kind of grayish color, or at least a weaker black color that intended.
The black square on the standard color palette is called “registration black”. Registration black is the “K” in CMYK color scheme that you should be using to design apparel graphics with, that K does stand for the color Black but doesn’t come out BLACK on a white toner printer. Normally when you choose that registration black, on a CMYK printer, the device would just print using black toner and nothing else. That’s why when you look at the percentage color mix for black it reads as:
Since the OKI printer is CMYW, with White toner instead of black you don’t get the best results. This is why most people printing with the OKI920WT don’t create a solid BLACK, they simply have not set the default registration black to an actual black it can reproduce.
The Answer to Printing BLACK
First, make sure you’re working in CMYK in your graphics software.
Second, open up your default color palette and reset the black selection square to be:
The DigitalHeat FX digital t-shirt transfer system, which includes the OKI 920WT white toner printer can produce beautiful, high quality black graphics – you just have to know how!