Defining semi-transparency


The image above shows a sample of spot colours with 100% opacity on the left and using semi-transparency (opacity) on the right on a white background. The results look quite similar, but the change in colours on the right is done via a reduction in opacity from 100% to 1% (100/80/60/40/20/1%). The RGB values on the right is actually the same for each column.


This becomes apparent with a transparent background as shown below, which is what we define as semi-transparency. The 1% opacity area that is hardly visible to the naked eye on screen will be visible when printed. Unfortunately this means we will also not be able to notice this until the print is completed.


Here's an example of an illustration:

The design shows areas where brush is applied to create a softer edge. However, because ink is not semi-transparent, these semi-transparent areas will be filled when printed and the print result ends up looking different to how it appears on screen.

transparency in design

Printed result

Sometimes even areas that are not noticeable, because the opacity is so low, will end up printed and is often undesirable.

Bear in mind that semi-transparency is different from gradient. It is possible to print designs with gradients, such as photos, except for screenprint/silkscreen method. 

In summary, please try to remove any semi-transparency in your design.

transparency in design printed
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