Sign up ×
Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Does anyone know what is the difference between transparency and overprint?

In other words: if I print 100% cyan and then 100% magenta with 50% opacity, how is it different from printing 100% cyan and then 50% magenta with overprint?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Using opacity will still knockout what is below the object. Overprint, obviously, wont.

Overprint has a tendency to look like "multiply" blend mode. In fact, in many cases you can use the Multiply blend mode rather than overprinting.

Opacity tends to look much more like a mixed ink.

opacity vs overprint

Left: 100%M set to 50% opacity. Center: 50%M set to overprint. Right: 50%M set to multiply blend mode.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.