I'm designing packaging that needs a clear see-through window to allow customers to see the contents of the packaging. I created what I want the window to be with the ellipse tool, how do I now knockout that shape so that when it is sent to the printers this shape is left see-through?


  • possible duplicate of How to prepare a layout for packaging and hot stamping? – Scott Jun 18 '14 at 17:15
  • I don't think so, unless I'm missing something. The packaging in that post doesn't appear to have any clear transparent area and Im not looking to have anything hot-stamped (though I did have to look that process up first to see if it wasn't ;) ) – cmccarra Jun 18 '14 at 17:24
  • You missed the answers... talk to your print provider :) – Scott Jun 18 '14 at 17:29
  • Is it going to be printed on translucent stock? Like a film? – cockypup Jun 18 '14 at 18:32
  • Fairly sure it is, it's for a sweets bag. Something similar to this handycandy.co.uk/images/starmix.jpg – cmccarra Jun 18 '14 at 18:34

Only your print provider can answer this correctly.

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  • Yeah I was thinking that. I'm doing the design for a client who was then going to take them to a printer they know, I might just have to go with them and see what the story is. See in photoshop you can start a new document with a transparent background, is there something similar in InDesign? – cmccarra Jun 18 '14 at 19:04
  • Sometimes when we get things printed 'special' a printer will require 2 images/vector, one a black and white 'cutsheet' where the black ( or white ) is everything that is not gloss/cut/whatever, and another that is just the image/vector. – Daniel Jun 18 '14 at 19:09
  • Thanks for the comment! So if I was printing something with you I would send my complete packaging vector than another file say like this i.imgur.com/qTqvBoL.jpg, that's the same dimensions as the complete packaging vector were only the white part is cutout. Is that correct? – cmccarra Jun 18 '14 at 19:34
  • Exactly, but some printers do it differently. – Daniel Jun 19 '14 at 16:14

Any area that is left unfilled in InDesign is transparent by definition. The white that you see is a simulation of the substrate, which in most cases is white paper. If the substrate the piece will be printed on is clear, any area you leave empty will be clear.

It's important to be aware that there is no such thing in the CMYK model as "white ink," so if your design includes opaque white you will have to specify that as a spot color and ensure you're in synch with the print provider as to how that will be set up in the artwork.

Talking directly with the printer is essential to verify what file format will work best for them and that you and they understand exactly what is expected as a final product.

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