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What is Overprinting?

Red, yellow and blue coloured transparent blocks on a mechanical graph

Good design can make all the difference for businesses. From portraying your business’ overall message to leaving a good first impression, the right features can have a real impact on corporate success. Thankfully, there are many ways to get your brand values across and here at Blake, we can help you make it possible.

There are many techniques you can use to highlight your brand through printed materials, with options such as foiling becoming increasing popular. One such method is overprinting, which can add incredible depth to your designs. Here, we look into overprinting in more detail, allowing you to make the right aesthetic decision for your needs.

Overprinting Explained

Overprinting is a term used in the print and design industries to describe two colours that are printed over each other, creating a third colour at their intersection. Put simply, overprinting is similar to mixing colours – if you print blue over yellow, you will get a green colour as a result.

As mentioned, the term overprinting is frequently used in image design. Often when creating an image such as a logo, designers choose to overlay items. However, in most cases, both objects will retain their original colour. When such a design is printed, any colour hidden behind intersecting objects is ‘knocked out’ or ignored during the print process. However, overprinting will consider the hidden colour and blend it into the overlapping object to create a third shade.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Overprinting

Many companies use overprinting as a design choice thanks to the incredible depth it can add to a 2D image, such as a company logo. By showing intersecting objects in such a way, people can see the different layers of a design, which adds a new aspect to the completed image. It is also another way of naturally injecting more colour into an otherwise binary element. If you are looking to show two designs on top of each other, such as an image with text on top, then overlapping can ensure the behind image doesn’t become lost.

Overprinting isn’t for everyone, however. Depending on the colours used, overprinting can result in a less appealing mix, so this should be taken into account. In design, companies sometimes replace the undesired overprint colour with something more favourable. However, the image then becomes a case of knocking out the previous colour, not a true overprint. While this might help deliver some of the depth, its unnatural appearance is often not as effective as a true overprint in this regard.

Overprinting on Packaging

When it comes to business packaging, standing out from your competitors can be a challenge. Intelligent design can add value to your business proposition, whether it’s a letter to a client or a package for a customer. Packaging is an important part of the marketing strategy, and overprinting is one of many ways you can add an element of showmanship to your communications or deliveries.

As with the image in general, overprinting on packaging can add an incredible depth to simple products and packaging. By showing the ‘behind-the-design’ workings, a more natural and intimate image of the company can be represented. This organic feel is why many businesses – even those who don’t usually incorporate overprinting in their visuals – opt for this technique when it comes to physical goods.

Here at Blake Envelopes, we’ve had many years’ experience in delivering the perfect packaging materials for a range of businesses. We understand how important it is in modern business to make an excellent first impression, and we provide everything you need to get it just right. From eco-friendly envelopes to premium papers and eye-catching packaging, our products can help portray the right message to your customers and partners. If you would like to know more about overprinting or any of the design features we offer, why not get in contact with us? We would be happy to help you choose the perfect product for your goals.