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Using Overprint Preview to proof the display of spot color transparency

From: Print Production Essentials: Spot Colors and Varnish

Video: Using Overprint Preview to proof the display of spot color transparency

I have some simple shapes here, but I'd like to make them look a little bit more interesting so I'm thinking about using Blending modes. But, let me give you a little caution. When you're using Blending modes in Illustrator and they're involving spot colors, Illustrator doesn't always tell you the truth about what's going to happen. First of all, let's find out what's going on in the file. If I go up to Window in Separations preview, and then turn on Overprint Preview, then I can see what colors are used in the file. Now, I know there's no cyan image on yellow. There's black, and then a spot green, Pantone 339, and a yellow, and an orange.

Using Overprint Preview to proof the display of spot color transparency

I have some simple shapes here, but I'd like to make them look a little bit more interesting so I'm thinking about using Blending modes. But, let me give you a little caution. When you're using Blending modes in Illustrator and they're involving spot colors, Illustrator doesn't always tell you the truth about what's going to happen. First of all, let's find out what's going on in the file. If I go up to Window in Separations preview, and then turn on Overprint Preview, then I can see what colors are used in the file. Now, I know there's no cyan image on yellow. There's black, and then a spot green, Pantone 339, and a yellow, and an orange.

So, it looks kind of dull, so let's see what happens if I start using some Blending modes. I'm going to turn Overprint Oreview back off. And then, I'm going to select this orange flower and see what might be interesting. How about if I use Color Dodge? Oh, that's kind of cute. And then maybe my yellow flower, I could use Soft Light. Yeah, that's sort of nice. I still see the shape, but it sort of interacts with what's in the background. But I had some bad news for you. This is actually not how this would image. If I go up to View, and it's near the top so it's easy to miss.

Over Print Preview will tell me the truth. And that's the heart breaking truth. All of those cute little intersections that we you saw where we had different colors, it can't render that. It cannot make that out of those spot colors. It would be neat if Illustrator gave you a warning, but it just doesn't. So, I'm going to recommend that you make this part of your toolbox. Make this part of your, little forensic tour through a file before you submit it for print. If you're using spot colors and you're using Blending modes, always check this with Overprint Preview. Now, is there something else I could try? Well, let me go back and change this to Normal.

And change this to Normal. And let's see if maybe we could accomplish some of that same look, or at least something similar to it, by using opacity instead. So, I'm going to select the flower, and instead of using a Blending mode, I'm going to try Opacity. Well, let's see what happens with that. Back to Overprint Preview. At least this will image. So, it's telling me that I'm essentially going to get a tint of that orange here. And then, I'm going to get a combination of the green and the orange here. So, it's not as cute as what I had in mind. But at least, it means that I get to have that sort of interaction of shapes.

So, what you might do when you're thinking about experimenting using Blending modes or Opacity with spot colors. There are some Blending modes with certain spot colors that will actually work, but I picked two that I know always misbehave. But you probably pretty safe if you use Opacity. So here, if I select my little yellow flower and I back off of the Opacity. Still, I get to see that interaction of shapes, but this overprint preview that I see confirms that this will actually image at least the way I expect it to. So, remember this. When you're using spot colors and you're thinking about using Blending modes and Opacity, always double-check by turning on Overprint Preview. And then, you'll know ahead of time how this is really going to image and how it's going to print.

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This video is part of

Image for Print Production Essentials: Spot Colors and Varnish
 
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  1. 2m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      33s
    3. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 19m 15s
    1. Why spot colors are necessary
      2m 32s
    2. Examples of spot color impact
      1m 45s
    3. Spot or process: Making the decision
      5m 31s
    4. Choosing a spot color
      4m 11s
    5. About the new Pantone Plus color system
      5m 16s
  3. 13m 23s
    1. How spot color inks are created
      6m 8s
    2. Considerations when using certain spot colors
      2m 35s
    3. Effects of stock on color
      2m 6s
    4. Proofing spot and special-mix colors before printing
      1m 0s
    5. Spot colors and digital printing
      1m 34s
  4. 5m 5s
    1. How spot varnishes can enhance a project
      1m 10s
    2. How varnishes, inks, and substrate interact
      2m 30s
    3. Combining different types of varnish to add dimensions
      35s
    4. Aqueous flood coatings
      50s
  5. 28m 26s
    1. Creating a multitone image (duotone and tritone)
      10m 59s
    2. Creating a simple spot color channel
      6m 30s
    3. Creating a touch plate to enhance a color image
      7m 25s
    4. Creating a spot varnish
      3m 32s
  6. 23m 14s
    1. Adding Pantone color swatches
      5m 18s
    2. Using Overprint Preview to proof the display of spot color transparency
      2m 58s
    3. 3D shading: Preview with overprint on
      2m 22s
    4. Converting spot colors to process
      3m 11s
    5. Creating a varnish
      5m 52s
    6. Creating spot gradients
      3m 33s
  7. 17m 44s
    1. Importing art containing spot color content and resolving issues with Ink Manager
      4m 28s
    2. Using Overprint Preview to proof the display of spot color transparency
      2m 30s
    3. Converting spot colors to process
      2m 29s
    4. Creating a spot varnish
      5m 35s
    5. Creating and using mixed inks
      2m 42s
  8. 7m 10s
    1. Examining with Output Preview
      4m 11s
    2. Using preflight profiles
      2m 59s
  9. 1m 9s
    1. What I hope you've learned in this course
      51s
    2. Next steps
      18s

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