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Library: Creative Design


Increase printing options and reduce fees with overprinting

Added on Saturday 4th of July 2009 09:23 am EST

Application > Adobe InDesign CS/CS2
Operating Systems > Macintosh, Microsoft Windows

We're all looking for ways to create economical, yet eye-catching publications now days. Making use of the overprinting technique is a great way to accomplish this. Overprinting is the process of printing transparent inks on top of each other—as opposed to knocking out one color for another.

There are a few good reasons why you might set inks to overprint. One is that overprinting two inks with dissimilar color components produces a third color on the press at no extra cost. For example, the Bread-and-Butterfly shown in Figure A looks like a four-color object, but only three inks were used to print it: purple, green, and black. The deep purple you see is a result of overprinting the light purple on green. You can also use overprinting to remove the need for trapping or, because of the added ink density, to eliminate the problem of substrate show-through, which is a common problem we'll discuss in this article.

Begin with your printer
Whenever you're thinking about using overprinting, the first thing you should do is discuss your intentions with your commercial printer. This is important for two reasons. First, not all PostScript Level 2 and 3 devices support overprinting. Second, overprinting can increase the amount of ink coverage on the page. The press operator can prevent this from being a problem, provided he's aware of the situation. Once you get the go ahead, you can proceed with your layout.

Understand how overprinting works
Successful use of overprinting depends on an understanding of how it works. To do this, we first must enable the Overprint Preview command to be able to see the affected overprinted areas in our layout:

To view the overprinting in your work:
1. Launch InDesign and create a new document...


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