Customer orders a 2 color PMS print. Black and PMS 801 C.

Provided art is a CMYK gradient. Example below. enter image description here

In the next example below, converting the gradient to Black and PMS Blue not only looks awful, but also causes breakout in the center area where there is less than 2% ink coverage. This breakout is unacceptable.

enter image description here

To solve this you can stack a black gradient that does not fall below 2% over the PMS 801 like in the example below.

enter image description here

The downside to this is when sending a copy to the customer as a PDF it only shows the black layer because there is no Overprint Preview.

enter image description here

Of course you could rasterize these elements for the benefit of the customer but this has obvious disadvantages that make this not an option.

You can of course view the Overprint Preview in acrobat with Output Preview in Print Production. This is fine if you only view this on a computer. To print in the print dialog box click Advanced then click simulate overprint.

enter image description here

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You could set Overprint and Transparency Flattener Options to Preserve Overprints. However this requires PDF 1.3 only and will disable some editing features when the document is read back in. This is undesired.

enter image description here

Are there any other methods to obtain these results without causing breakout?

This is not a requirement for the answer, but preferably a method that does not require the customer to change any settings in their Acrobat if possible.

  • ..."when sending a copy to the customer as a PDF it only shows the black layer because there is no overprint preview."... only if the customer is not using an Adobe product to view the PDF and has not adjusted preferences to show overprint preview always. I tend to try and educate my clients when this occurs. So, it's a one-time issue. – Scott Mar 29 '18 at 20:09
  • And you could, of course, adjust the job options when creating the PDF. – Scott Mar 29 '18 at 20:15
  • @Scott I've found that changing those options in CC 2017 will cause editing issues if it is read back in. – bleepbloop82 Mar 29 '18 at 20:36
  • Why would you read the PDF "back in"??? You mean you work on and save to PDF only? You don't retain the Illustrator file and work on that? – Scott Mar 29 '18 at 20:40
  • @Scott The customer works only from PDF and requires artwork to be sent in PDF format. They won't accept a PDF that has limited editing capabilities. – bleepbloop82 Mar 29 '18 at 20:44

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