So I've designed a label and been using a cardboard texture as a guide for when it will be printed on actual cardboard.

I've used the multiply blending effect in InDesign so I can get some of the texture coming through the elements. How can I translate this when taking away the temporary texture guide and using real cardboard stock?

Does this make sense?

  • 3
    Hi Mr Wolf, what do you mean "translate this"? You will get the texture when you actually print on the material and the ink is on the material. Are you asking what to do with the layers that are using the blending mode multiply? – AndrewH Dec 7 '15 at 21:35

I answered a similar question here with more details:

How do I simulate in Photoshop what a piece will look like when printed on non-white paper?

There's a few things you need to be careful with when using this technique. What you do is a good way to get a preview of the final result but that's really just a preview and you can't really trust this.

  • Don't forget to remove all the multiply on everything after you're done.
  • Also, you can't fully trust what you're seeing on screen and it's not a good habit to design and adjust your colors based on the background texture of the stock. The real stock will react differently, a dot gain will be calculated by the printer (and/or your software) and the stock itself may have a different color. Make sure you have your 100% to 0% inks the same way you would with any other white paper.
  • When you work on a print project, don't adjust your density with the color of the stock, it's better to work on a kraft paper or any other natural looking stock in the same way you would do with a white stock. What you need to really care about is the dot gain, how the stock will absorb the ink. As AAGD suggested, ask your printer about this, it's possible you'll even need to change your design because of this.
  • When you'll send your print-ready files, they should be prepared the same way as any other print project: You'll remove all the multiply effects that helped you get a preview of the tainted stock and you'll remove the background texture you use for that preview.

First, you should be using overprint preview rather than multiply. Just be sure the overprint settings are correct for each ink.

Second, you don't have to do anything. Just print it and the substrate and ink will do the rest ... again, assuming your overprint settings are correct.


Multiply will give you an ok feel of how dark the colors will get on non-white cardboard. For prepress you can remove the effect. Also with some cardboard colors might bleed a lot, so fine details might get lost. Discuss your preview with your printer to avoid surprises.

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