Back in black: A cheaper way to simulate gloss and dull varnish over black

March 4, 2009

Recently I was doing some pro-bono work for a fundraising group. They didn’t have much money to spend (of course), and I wanted to do something nice for them. As you know if you’ve ever done pro-bono work, there isn’t money to burn. The whole goal is to get as much for your money as possible, and spending money on printing usually isn’t high on their list of necessities. So, when I realized that there wasn’t enough money in the budget to add a varnish, the printer had a solution. black_on_black The solution was to make the artwork 100 percent black and to make the background C= 58 percent, M= 51 percent, Y= 42 percent and K= 97 percent. This way the background becomes a deep, rich black, and the artwork contrasts with it just enough to look similar to a varnish. In the end, I maintained my original design concept and stayed within their budget with the credit going to the printer. The client was extremely happy with the execution of the creative. I later acquired a new client based on the success of this project, and I am still doing paying jobs for them. The moral of the story is that you need to communicate with your print rep. I always consult them in the planning stages of a project, because they have the knowledge that helps me succeed and satisfy my clients. An experienced printer can save you money, as well as time and effort. They are simply worth their weight in gold. Do you have a good example of this? Please send your stories to us.

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The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.