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How could I adjust a design color scheme to account for paper color?


Question

As a made up example, say I have a client who really wants a pastel blue paper but a color print on top of the paper.

She knows there's going to be discoloration, but still wants me to go ahead and design something for her.

What methods can I use either in the software I use (photoshop, indesign or illustrator), or when initially planning out the design can I implement where as I can get an accurate representation of how the final piece will look once printed?

Another example: If the paper the customer chooses for printing is off white (or almost ivory) how could I adjust the current color scheme of a design to print more accurately than if I was printing on brilliant white paper?

2014/02/04
1
13
2/4/2014 7:17:00 PM

Overprint preview in Illustrator somewhat works.

In Illustrator, you can draw a rectangle which matches your stock color. Place it on a layer below all other layers and lock it.

Use the Attributes Panel in Illustrator to set subsequent objects to overprint.

attributes

Then in the View menu, choose Overprint Preview.

overprint

Unfortunately, this same method doesn't really work for InDesign and Photoshop has no overprint options.

Also be aware, using overprinting in this way may not be the proper set up to actually print a file. You have to basically set everything to overprint using this method, but in actual production it may not be wise to have everything overprinting.

To be frank, it is somewhat of a guessing game until you see a print sample. This is what press checks and chromakeys are for. I use the above to get an idea of how colors may shift. However, it's not something I'd 100% rely on for every piece. There's no substitution for a color proof from the printer.

2014/02/03
7
2/3/2014 7:58:00 PM