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I have images that have colour to them and am going to be printing them on two shades of Speckletone paper, one is a light tan and the off-white. I really want the colours to be 'transparent' and light when printed, so that the specks can still be seen through the ink.

Will making the colour just a very light tint accomplish this? If so, will this work for both papers?

I want a sort of watercolour effect, but I don't think the paper is the right type for me to use watercolours on.

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    "One experiment is worth a thousand expert opinions." — Bill Nye, the science guy. A "tint" could be either a screened printing plate or a spot colour. Either way will produce a slightly different effect from the other. Also, printer's ink is transparent. A proof my be worth the added expense. Ask your prepress people to suggest an approach. – Stan Dec 3 '16 at 4:10
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Generally, even at 100 percent ink coverage, stock character will show through the ink. The degree to which is shows will vary with process, inks, total coverage, etc.

If you have a specific look you are going for, you'll have to run tests. Or, at the very least, consult with your print house for their advice.

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Ask your printer if they have sample-card for papers and paints used. Or if they can print matchprint on paper you want to use. That should give you enough information about ink on paper, it's transparency or opacity. Maybe you would need to use Pantone paints instead of CMYK?

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