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.
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.