I'm pretty new at Illustrator but I changed the color of the artboard (using File > Document Settings) to a teal color and wanted some white text ontop of it.

When I add black text, no problem: enter image description here

But when I change that text to white, it completely disappears! Here are the options I'm using to make it white: enter image description here

The text is definitely on its own layer, above the background layer, so no problems there. I feel like it might be an opacity problem, because if I change the text to bright red for example, it appears to mix with the teal to make a dark brown color rather than appearing the color it's supposed to: enter image description here

Apologies if this is a real rookie question, I would love to just get white text and white fill for my closed paths to appear on the teal!

Thank you so much :)

2 Answers 2


Not a rookie question. Many veterans are caught by this.....

White can overprint in many Adobe applications. According to Adobe this is specifically done so that gradients or (some other) objects appear correctly. However, it often causes issues in printing.

Check the Attributes Panel and ensure the white is not set to overprint.

If you're using the Simulate Color Paper option in the document set up, don't. Draw a colored box on a layer and lock it, then delete that layer before production. (Or just set the colored background to "non-printing" - but that won't make white ink work.)

If you intend to actually print white ink . . .

You'll need to create a spot swatch for it, you can't use the "White" swatch in Illustrator because the swatch basically means "stock color" not "white ink".

  • Thanks for the quick reply! I do intend to actually print white ink on a blue background as I'm using this to have stickers printed. Will try figuring out the white swatch, thanks again!
    – iteles
    Jun 4, 2015 at 21:13
  • This worked perfectly except I need the bleed to also be the teal color, which doesn't happen with the colored box method (rather than simulate paper color)!
    – iteles
    Jun 4, 2015 at 22:16
  • That doesn't make much sense. If you intend to print the teal, it should be an actual object in the document. Simulate colored paper assume you do not want to actually print that color.
    – Scott
    Jun 4, 2015 at 22:19
  • Reckon I'll just make the teal box as big as I need plus the 3mm bleed rather than setting the bleed in the document settings then. Let me know if not please!
    – iteles
    Jun 4, 2015 at 22:20
  • You have to do both. Set the document setting bleed, then ensure the teal extends into that area.
    – Scott
    Jun 4, 2015 at 22:24

One important thing to consider: What available VRAM does your memory card have? If it doesn't have at least 1GB available, you will never see white show up as white when simulating colored paper, your computer just can't handle it.

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