Spot Colours

What's clear ink? How does white ink work?

Clear ink acts similarly to a varnish, and adds a glossiness to wherever you want it. You’ll need to specify a spot colour, call it “Clear” (with a capital C), set it to “overprint”, and use it as a fill like you would any other colour. We can also flood it across an entire image if you like.

White ink is more or less what it sounds like. It’s most useful when printing on surfaces that aren’t white already, but we’re not going to judge you for experimenting. White ink isn’t available for laser printing, but can be used on any of the large format machines. It can be used behind CMYK (if you’re printing on wood but want to keep the texture for example), by itself (like if you were printing on a black material), or even over the top of CMYK.

In Adobe InDesign or Illustrator create a new colour swatch and name it Clear or White and designate it as a spot colour (the name is case-sensitive).

To print Clear or White ink under or over other CMYK layers, set any layers that overlap others to ‘overprint’ so they won’t knock out anything below.

In InDesign: Window > Output > Attributes > Overprint fill and/or stroke.

In Illustrator: Window > Attributes > Overprint fill and/or stroke.

In Photoshop: Go to channels, create a new channel, name it Clear or White, and set it to spot colour.

Feel free to talk to us if you’re having any issues, or are unsure of what any of this means!