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?

1 Answer 1


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.

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