io design & illustration, inc.
fun and functional design & illustration services for print and web

Disappearing “White” Type

Problem: “White” type over an image not showing up in press proof.

Okay, there is no white in CMYK which is why I’ve put “white” in quotes. The white I’m referring to is that pesky absence of color, not an actual ink, i.e. knocking out type from an image so the paper color shows through. In this case I was building a postcard using Illustrator with linked images and text over the images. On screen both in Illustrator and in the pdf for print all looked fine, but when the printer (an online printer in this case) ran the file through pre-press the “white” type disappeared.

Solution: UNcheck the Overprint Fill option in Attributes for the selected type.

Duh, you can’t overprint an ink that doesn’t exist. If you are like me, when you have a client you do multiple items for you reuse bits and pieces from one job to the next. In this case the reuse included text that had been black and was correctly set to overprint. Not remembering I had it set that way, I just changed it to “white” and thought all was cool. Lesson learned!

Moiré Patterns on Garment Images in Catalog Proof

PROBLEM: Moiré Patterns showing on striped garment images in catalog proof.

You never want to hear that there is a problem with a bunch of images when a client sees the proof from the printer. Especially when it is Moiré patterns. The images in question were photographs of clothing items that were all made of a seersucker stripe material. On the proof they looked terrible with the delicate stripe nature of the garment totally marred by the Moiré. Definitely not good!

SOLUTION: Place linked images into InDesign at 100% or slightly less.

In this case, the solution was simply a matter of not having the photos placed so that they were compressed by InDesign and therefore the pdf and print rip. The resulting compression did not work well with the standard line screen angle settings of the printer.

I use InDesign for the catalog layout and had standardized all the product images at 3 inches wide during final file preparation, however many of the images were in actuality being used at half that size or less. I changed the sizing on the effected images so that they were placed inside InDesign at print size, or a little smaller (not more than 10% smaller) and that seemed to do the trick.

The revised proof look good and when I press proofed things look even better.

So, for these conditions the solution was actually quite easy. If that hadn’t worked, the next step would have been for the the printer to change screen angle, which could have been a lot of trial and error.

NOTE: The photographs were clear of any Moiré pattern. This solution will not work if the patterns are in the photos themselves.