Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
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.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
117 Video lessons · 45171 Viewers
119 Video lessons · 56051 Viewers
65 Video lessons · 15906 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 83528 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.