How to: Print Overprint

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about Overprint Design Inspiration. Overprinting is the art of printing one color over another color without removing, or knocking out, the material underneath.

This week I also had the opportunity to sit down with a group of designers and walk through best practices for print design. Surprisingly, my discussion on overprint was one of the key things they all took notes on.

A lot of designers tend to apply a transparency to their design elements to create the overprint effect; however, this doesn’t always necessarily get you 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…


Happy overprinting, friends!

Posted in Design Inspiration, Prepress / File Set Up and tagged .
  • Make Something Mondays

    Nice tip! Overprint is very underutilized anymore. It’s nice to see someone bringing it back!

    • Christine Alexander

      I do love it so :-)

      • Make Something Mondays

        Me too! Haven’t done it in a while though. I’m slacking!