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I am preparing a booklet for print in InDesign. I have a solid Orange Pantone 804C Neon fluorescent color in the back, and I want to overprint a 100% process black on top (a logo) to achieve rich black. Now, I know it's a common technique when printed over any other solid pantone or process color, but how about over an orange fluorescent neon? Will this effect be nice or will it become mud?

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I think the only way to find out would be run a short test job. Having worked in the printing trade, and having used fluorescent inks from time to time - I have found they can be somewhat problematic even without the addition of overprinting, as can other specialist inks such as metallics. Success might ultimately depend on the press/dampening system, the stock it's printed on, and the operator's skill, whether the solid ink has been printed on one pass and left to dry then overprinted in CMYK on another pass, etc.

I'd be extremely hesitant to attempt it unless you can do a test run first, or at least ask the printers what they think.

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Or, you could knock out the type (probably the default anyway) and use a CMYK rich black for the logo. Unless it's going to be difficult to print in register, or if this a spot-color-only job (only orange and black).

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  • It's spot only (orange and black). The logo has thin white lines in it which I need to knock out from the black background of the logo, so CMYK rich black is out of the question, if it doesn't register the lines will fill with colors. I think I will knockout the black logo from the orange background and trap the orange and black so it always registers. I think it's the safest option.
    – Aardo
    Jul 24 '17 at 17:03
  • Yes, that sounds like you have a good handle on the issues. Overprinting is usually safest because of the registration problems, but with the neon undercolor, knockout and careful trapping is more likely to give you decent looking black. But maybe your printer has used that neon before and can show you exactly what 100% black looks like on top of it.
    – user8356
    Jul 24 '17 at 18:07

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