Want to stretch your designs or look your very best in print?
Consider the bold, creative flair overprinting or transparent layering can bring.
Typically, when you generate multi-layer designs your design software will cause one element to cover the artwork below it. Graphics obscure backgrounds, fonts cover image details, or text wraps around focal points as you format it to your preference. This layering process organizes your piece and prevents the muddy look that can occur when colors bleed together.
Overprinting allows you to use one color on top of another in a way that blends two colors to make a third. This is especially useful if you’re working with a limited selection of Pantone colors or to create a unique, funky feel when two pieces of artwork overlap.
Overprinting is an element that can be turned on and previewed in the attributes panel with your design software, and flattened (or exported) in the print settings.
Want to try it? Here are some basic examples to experiment with:
1. Blend text over images.
Start with a simple, uncomplicated photo like three bright citrus oranges.
Choose a photo with fewer details so your design isn’t too busy. Add text over the image in either a lighter shade of the same citrus hue or a totally contrasting color (white font on orange fruit, for example). Blending the words and image will create a new, third color where the font overlays the fruit.
2. Apply a typographic hierarchy.
Create order in the way your design is read by adjusting font transparency levels throughout the image.
For example, try a textured wood background but allow it to peek through your text by adding transparency to your type. Primary headlines should be less transparent for a bold, commanding presence. Secondary heads or copy text down the page can increase in transparency for a more faded, mysterious feel.
3. Overlay a graphic with a solid color.
Use color to make a statement with a solid color overlay over the whole page.
This means that you cover an image or page with a semi-transparent colored box. The effect can add meaning to an image, bring attention to a design, or help you get creative with limited image options. Another option is to use gradients or filters to fade a background image or bring a bright hue to give a boring image some spark. A neutral color or sepia overlay can add a rustic flavor, then be paired with a bright or transparent font that really pops out.
Transparent Layering in Print
Transparency is also a great layering option that can also be used in all kinds of designs to bring exquisite elegance or unforgettable flair.
Curious? Feel free to visit with us about outstanding options like these:
- Clear frosted business cards
- Arresting posters printed on translucent stock
- Frosted tote bags with artwork or logos foil-stamped on the surface
- Translucent vellum paper used in formal invitations
- Oversized translucent stickers for windowfronts, clever displays, or sharp packaging
- Catalogs or booklets featuring bold text overlaid by a simple, transparent cover
Transparency can be a great way to reveal what’s inside your package or under the project cover, letting the product inside sell itself! Use transparency and overlay techniques to give your project more depth, structure, or sophistication.