Designing for Overprinting

Earlier this week, we sat down with a group of designers and walked through best practices for print design. Surprisingly, our discussion on overprint was one of the key takeaways for everyone.

We commonly see design files that have a transparency applied to design elements to create the overprint effect; however, this doesn’t always necessarily get the result you’re after. In fact, we might receive files that we don’t realize should overprint and portions of a logo can potentially drop out altogether without our realizing it.

So what can you do?

InDesign (and Quark) actually has an attribute you should apply to generate this overprint effect properly.

To apply the effect follow these steps:

1. Select “Window” > “Output” > “Attributes



2. With your element selected, make sure the “Overprint Fill” box is checked.


Your file is going to look like nothing is happening….


But I promise you – when we run the file through our RIP, this is what will be output and produced…




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