Adobe Illustrator Tutorial – How to Prepare a Document for Printing in White Ink

How to Prepare a Document for Printing in White Ink using Adobe Illustrator

Tutorial transcript:

Hi and welcome to this tutorial on how to prepare a document for printing in White Ink using Illustrator.

Open up your artwork in Illustrator. First, you will need to create a new swatch for the white ink element of your print. You can find the swatch tab on the right-hand toolbar, or by going to window – swatches. You will find that there will already be a White swatch, but you will need to delete that and create a new one. This will repopulate when Illustrator is reopened.

Go to New Swatch and change the swatch name to ‘White’ and the colour type to Spot Colour and 100% Magenta. Then create a new layer by going to window – layers. Double click to rename the layer ‘White’. It’s important to note that this has to be case sensitive otherwise our printers will not read it.

If you haven’t already expanded your artwork from a smart object, you will need to do this to ensure you can edit individual artwork elements. You can do this by right clicking and selecting Create Outlines or going to object and selecting expand in the menu.

Once that’s done, make a selection of the elements that you want to be printed in White Ink using the selection tool. Once you have made your selection, right click and copy (or command + C for Mac and control + C for PC) and then deselect. Click on the white layer you created earlier and then go to file – paste in place. Keeping your selection, go back to the swatches panel and click on the previously made magenta swatch. You will need to change this selection to ‘overprint’ by clicking window – attribute and checking the ‘overprint fill’ box.

Now we have what we want printed as CMYK ink and what we want to have as white ink on separate layers. Go to fie – save as PDF. Make sure the that pre-set PDF/X-4:2008 is selected. Under general, check the box ‘create acrobat laters from top level layers’. The under ‘marks and bleeds’ ensure that ‘use document bleed settings’ is selected. Save the PDF.

To double check your file is ready to send to print, open the PDF and click output preview and check the simulation overprinting box. Look out for the separate spot plate labelled ‘white’ and the rest of your work labelled process. By clicking on the layers icon, you can also check that you have a white layer and layer 1.

Thanks for watching. We hope you found this tutorial useful. Don’t forget that we have a host of readymade artwork templates on our website:

Duration: 00:02:11

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