As a hobby / small side business, I design greeting cards. So far, I have had all my cards digitally printed on white stock. I would like to mix things up and have some cards that do not have a white background, at least on the front cover.

Should I have these printed on colored stock, or should I just have the background color printed on white stock? Printing on colored stock seems like it would be hard to get the colors right, but printing on white seems like a lot of ink.

I'm very new to this, any advice would be great. Thanks.

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    I'm not certain how anyone here could make this decision for you. Yes colored stock will change some ink colors. Here's an article you may be interested in.
    – Scott
    Oct 6, 2019 at 19:11
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    Since it's digital printing, why not have have a few copies printed as a test. I would suggest speaking to your print provider about this, and whether it's something they can accommodate. If you are printing these on your own printer, then there's nothing to stop you from running a test.
    – Billy Kerr
    Oct 7, 2019 at 12:26
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    Hi Zeke, Welcome to Graphic Design. Ink is transparent and its appearance is affected by the underlying colour(s). Coloured stock will add a "dominant tint" to your layouts in effect.
    – Stan
    Oct 7, 2019 at 19:14
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    Cost of ink is trivial compared with the cost of paper stock.
    – Stan
    Oct 7, 2019 at 19:19
  • Thanks, all. That's helpful. Oct 8, 2019 at 14:10

1 Answer 1


As you are new to graphic design for now just set up the background as another color and let them print it.

So, do not worry about Ink, business are used to print things in full size on their printer, a photo, a poster, so it is part of the job.

Having a paper different from the background can be tricky.

First of all, you need to be sure that the paper is actually usable for the type of print you need, some are too porous or too rough, some can not hold the ink or some could drop some fluff that can damage the printer.

But in this case the main aspect is that all other colors will be "contaminated". This can make a nice effect, but you need to control it.

A way to preview it is to add a layer with the multiply blending mode, so you can see approximately how the final colors will look.

Ask the printer to print a couple of cards on some different paper, and save them as tests until you are familiar with the result.

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