I did a marginal amount of searching but kind of lack the semantics so apologies if this has been addressed repeatedly.
I am in the final stages of a design on a metal can. It's a small can and I have some small text and some intricate designs that I would like to NOT print. What I mean by that is that I would like for the metal of the can to come through as the "color", as opposed to white, for example.
As I approached the issue I thought perhaps that you could set a layer to be non-printing, and to somehow knockout the shapes below. I did some googling re: knockouts and long story short is that I don't feel I have the expertise to even know if I am setting these up right.
What I have done, and what I'm sharing with my team as a "final" is a version where I outlined the text and used pathfinder to subtract those objects from the color bar in the design.
It looks... fine on screen but I'm very concerned that a) this isn't the proper way to do this for the best print results b) there is a better way that takes into account ink and not light
I'm including images that hopefully helps show what I'm getting at. It shows the "on white" and the design also with a contrasty color "behind" to show how my "cutouts" are reacting to the pathfinder (janky) workaround.
I would really appreciate any advice, even if it means telling me I don't know what I'm doing. I've been doing this for a longish time now and if I've learned anything it's that I have more to learn than when I started!