10 Great Examples of Overprint Design (and how to do it).

12May, 2014
The overprint technique is one that can lead to the creation of interesting effects and visual interest within a design. It was once only used by Pre-press technicians to ensure a design would be correctly reproduced at the printing stage, but these days graphic designers use overprints in a creative way.  The technique is relatively easy to produce using today’s software and can be achieved a number of different ways depending on how the final job will be printed.

Featured Image: Letterpress / Censure by Simon Laliberté licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 

How to Create Overprint Effects

If printing a job with only two or three colours the Attributes Panel (InDesign: Window > Output > Attributes. Illustrator: Window > Attributes) provides the option to select overprint for any elements fill or stroke. You can then see a preview of how the final printed job will appear by choosing Overprint Preview from the View Menu.

The second way to achieve results similar to those shown below is to use the Multiply blending mode which can be found in the Effects Panel (InDesign) or Transparency Panel (Illustrator). This technique is best used when printing full colour (CMYK) jobs.

OverPrint Using Multiply and Attributes Panel

Examples of Overprint Design


WATIV – William Thompson Quartet album cover by Tyler Tadlock licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0

Sustainabilitist Graphic Design

Sustainabilitist Graphic Design by Kristian Bjornard licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

KIPPIS :: Wine brand identity

KIPPIS // Wine brand identity by Whatmud adv licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0


GUIDANCE 2011 by Atelier Martino&Jaña licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Future Producers

Future Producers by Derek Edwards licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Festa Major de Sant Boi 2014

Festa Major de Sant Boi 2014 by Marc Pallàs licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0

Business Plan 2014

Business Plan 2014 by Simon Laliberté licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

overprint design examples

Atrè Advertising by Fabrizia Giuffrida licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0


Rethink by Derek Edwards licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

About The Author
Matt Smith is a graphic designer and principal lecturer with expertise in print media and web design. He has over 20 years of experience under his belt and has dedicated much of his career to educating others. He founded Edgee in 2014 with the aim of providing quality education for new and experienced graphic designers. With ‘hands on’ experience and qualifications in graphic design, along with a Bachelor of Education in Adult Vocation, Matt combines his passion for design, typography and teaching with his expertise in Adobe Creative Suite to develop eBooks, tutorials and informative articles aimed at helping designers of all levels improve their skills and knowledge.