Graphics with Transparency

Transparent objects can add depth and interest to your designs, but setting up your file is critical to making sure that it prints correctly. Follow these guidelines for creating accurate transparency output.


File Formats

Native Illustrator (.ai) files are fine to use in your layout, but avoid Illustrator .EPS for transparency or blending usage.


Native Photoshop (.psd) files are also okay to use. Use a PDF only if it contains Photoshop-created vector elements; then you should save as a Photoshop PDF at the highest version to maintain correct transparency.


Color Issues

Convert spot colors to CMYK for process printing.


If you are truly printing spot colors and CMYK, do so cautiously when incorporating transparency effects.


If working on a CMYK document, make sure your Transparency Blend Space is set to Document CMYK.


Never use “Overprint” as an effect. Always use “Transparency” instead. The “Overprint” option can create unintended results when the file is flattened to a PDF. Before sending your file to us, rasterize it to keep the transparency effect. (Be sure to keep your native file intact for any revisions.)


Never use “Registration” as a color (rich black). Instead, use any build of CMYK totaling no more than 280% of all colors used.


Quick Tip: Rasterize gradients in vector art for quicker processing.


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