Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2009 09:48:04 -0400 (EDT)
   From: "Andrew A. Gill" <>

   On Fri, 27 Mar 2009, peter sikking wrote:
   > OK, that part I already got before I wrote my digest. But Robert
   > points this out to show that there is a (minor) spanner in the works.
   > where's the spanner?

   There are two spanners: one in favor of CMYK and one against. 
   I'm not sure which Robert means, since he alludes to both in his 

   In favor of CMYK, text black must be implemented as a single 
   color and can only appear on a single plate.

   Against CMYK, regardless of what system you use, text black is 
   going to be a spot color, so it could just as easily be RGB+K, 
   CMYK+K, LAB+K, or even YIQ+K.

   Does this answer your question or should I respond when I've had 
   more sleep?

I meant the latter.

I remember that on some older monitors and graphics devices there was
a color "whiter than white" -- a special overlay color that was
brighter than the standard white.  Text black is the same kind of
thing.  It's conceptually distinct from other colors.

I think it really argues for spot color layers more than CMYK per se.
With a CMYK output device, it's implemented by printing only black ink
(and it's an interesting problem, quite outside of GIMP, what to do if
there are multiple levels of black or the "black" ink isn't truly
black -- I've seen some printers where the black ink has a very warm
tone and isn't all that dark, and mixing some cyan is necessary to
achieve the densest black).  But the choice of text black (or
conversely "whiter than white") for a particular graphical element is
IMHO a *creative* choice.

Robert Krawitz                                     <>

Tall Clubs International  -- or 1-888-IM-TALL-2
Member of the League for Programming Freedom -- mail
Project lead for Gutenprint   --

"Linux doesn't dictate how I work, I dictate how Linux works."
--Eric Crampton
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