I know this topic has been posted about here before, but I'm not sure that I understand any of the answers I've read so far so if anyone could dumb it down for me, that would be helpful.
I am working on a cover in Illustrator for an office annual report and as you should see in the screenshot attached, there is a lot of gray and black in the design. When I export to JPG though, some of the blacks like the Instagram icon in the lower right of the back cover and my title text turn to more of a faded gray.
I have read on other posts about the difference between rich black and 100K black and CMYK vs RGB, but what does that mean for me and what do I need to do to fix this issue?
Is your Preferences > Appearance of Black set to Printing/Exporting: Output all Blacks as Rich Black?
Yes it is
Output as RGB. CMYK output will keep the CMYK percentages.
Export for Screens/Export Selection cannot convert CMYK files to RGB jpeg.
Choose Export > Export As... and choose RGB as the color model.
Am I correct in understanding that CMYK is needed for print though? This is meant to be a book cover so won't it need to be in CMYK?
Yes, if you need CMYK you should be fine with the CMYK output.
A 100% black ink will always look gray compared to an RGB black.
If possible, don't use jpeg for print, images will never be as crisp as vectors.
Try CMYK pdf (although your blacks will look gray also).
If you need a darker black, add some CMY to it, but be careful with the total amount of ink, ask your pinter for advice.