Overprint Head scratcher

Mornin all - this is one of those things make makes me go hmmmm and I’m not sure why the designer is doing what they are. There is a spot on the design where they have outlined red type, bold and blocky. They are achieving a process build of 100 M and 100Y to achieve red. But instead of using one color element of 0-100-100-0, they have one group of 100 M overprinting on top of 100 Y, also overprinting. It’s the same thing but… why?

Don’t know for sure, but I’d guess that’s inexperience.

Maybe they have instances of variable colours and instead of creating x amount of different combinations - they just change the combination on the artwork as desired.

Yeah, I thought about that one too.
I don’t wanna have to think anymore!

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In other words, this is a 4-color process job where they’ve stacked identical shapes on top of each other and assigned the top 100M shapes to overprint the 100Y shapes beneath.

That’s weird. It’s also something that would have required extra work to build that way, so you can’t chalk it up to an accident or sloppiness. I’m stumped.

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”

– Albert Einstein

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You can do it for overprint effects - but this breaks the overprint if you add just small amount of another colour.

Just putting 1% of magenta would break the overprint effect.

For this reason it’s best to either make the colour you want. Or use Multiply in the Effects panel.

I used to do this (sometimes) when I worked in prepress, as we needed to pre-separate multi-color, large/wide format screenprint jobs because the thermal imagesetter RIP wasn’t setup to handle it internally.

We would take art and de-construct, assign spots, set overprints, trap and gang for the sheet size by hand in illustrator and then use the overprint preview to check before copying each color separation to its own document and making everything 0-0-0-100 to send to the imagesetter RIP.

But that doesn’t seem like what’s going on here.

I swear designers sit up at night envisioning new ways to make easy things harder.

Yeah, let’s f things up for a Prepress guy!
Let 'em try! I’ve been in Prepress longer than most of them have been breathing.
Wow, ya know, that is either really sad or really scary!

I’ve been there. Found some weird crap and way of doing things over the year.
I love the ‘let’s make it as unflexible as possible’ attitude

I’ve generally found that what appears to be “lets make it as unflexible as possible” is probably more like “this was the easiest way I knew how to make it look the way I wanted” without a thought given to ease of use.

To the average designer, it always appeared to me that what the art looks like is far more important than whether it is usable.

Boy does THAT open a whole nother can of crap. “I created it in MicroSoft!”

I once had a chat with a fellow designer. He was full of himself (that he was “shit” itself is beside the point). The conversation evolved around file preparation, and he was of the opinion that prepress was ultimately responsible for fixing problematic files because, after all, it was their job and they were paid to do that.

He did not seem to have a good grasp of the fact that to make his own life easy, he must first try to make other people’s lives easy.

I did not throw the bottle at him because it still was half full with beer.

That’s like a client telling me he didn’t need to put bleed on a file because I was going to cut the white part off anyway. :man_facepalming:

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