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White solid print on a transparent sticker

Participant ,
Feb 08, 2023 Feb 08, 2023

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I'm trying to design a transparent sticker with a white QR code on it.

 

The white areas should not be transluent, but solid. The instructions on the printer's website are confusing (and it's not in english btw).

 

It basically says:

 

1. Create a page and place your design on it (I did this in Adobe Illustrator)

 

2. Copy / paste the content to a 2nd layer

 

3. Apply a Pantone color to the 2nd layer.

 

I assume this means applying a Pantone color to the content on the 2nd layer (the QR code), but which color exactly? I picked a random Pantone color, some kind of blue

 

4. Apply overprint to the 2nd layer (I selected the content and applied overprint).

 

I aligned the two identical objects on Layer 1 and 2, but you can still see some blue lines here and there (from the background), both in Illustrator and in the exported PDF. Why the white QR code is not fully covering it's blue clone - I don't know.

 

Can you tell me, please, am I doing this right? And this blue thing, will it print?

 

The communication with the printer is not good. It's basically an online shop, where you choose a product, quantity, material etc. and you put it in your cart.

 

Thanks.

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Draw and design , Print and publish

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Adobe
Community Expert ,
Feb 08, 2023 Feb 08, 2023

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Hi!
Could you post a screenshot with all the layers "deployed" (all the layers and sublayers visible). It would be great to also have the appeareance panel showing in the screenshot (basically it will show the properties of each selected layer). That solves the issue of asking you about all the parameters.

What is the sticker place? Some have bizarre demands that you can ignore...
(I ask because I am confused as to why they ask for an overprint, but maybe they have their reason)

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Participant ,
Feb 08, 2023 Feb 08, 2023

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Thanks for your reply, @Imaginerie 

 

I apologize that I can't share my work here, it's about QR codes and they lead to a webpage about a new product that shouldn't be publicized right now.

 

But a good thing is that I found some websites and videos that explain these things. The instructions on the printer's website are totally confusing.

 

It actually works like this: you create a new document intended for printing (CMYK) and you add your artwork there in white and then you make a new layer on top of this layer, not behind it. Then you copy and paste (in place) the artwork on this new (top) layer.

 

The top layer should be renamed to "White", but the artwork there will  actually not be in white. Depending on the source, the artwork there should be in a Pantone or a spot color. I don't know why, but many examples use magenta.

 

So, you have a top layer with artwork in pantone / spot (magenta) and a bottom layer with the same artwork in white. Then you must select the artwork on the top layer and change its attributes to overprint.

 

The 2 identical objects should be well aligned. And somehow this will print on a transparent sticker or a label and the white areas will not turn out transluent, i.e. they will be opaque. Otherwise you'll get some kind of "see-through" print.

 

I just hope that I will be able to add comments while ordering this from that online shop. Imagine that they get confused and they print my order in magenta...

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Community Expert ,
Feb 09, 2023 Feb 09, 2023

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LATEST

OK, I understand 🙂
Printer often use magenta as a "do not take into account and replace by whatever colour". I have that a lot for die-cut marks (in the case of die cut marks they won't print, but are used by the die-cut machine, but you get the drift).
Glad you found the answer to the mystery 🙂

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 08, 2023 Feb 08, 2023

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Are you trying to print your QR code in White instead of Black or other colour? Or are you wanting to print your code on a White background. These are two different approaches. You do not want to do the first approcah. QR codes are designed to be "dark on light" with sufficinet contrast. Reversing it to "light on dark" by printing it in white can cause the code not to read at all.

As for the second approach, in a normal printer situation, you need to create a special spot colour, e.g. "Spot White", and apply it to the rectangle behind your Black/Colour QR. If you want to "see" this colour in your artwork, you can give it a light tint of anything since it doesn't matter... because the printer will know that the "Spot White" layer is to use White ink.

What the colour should be named varies between printers, so ask them what they want. If they have a customer service phone number, it will be worth your while to speak with someone if things aren't clear either for them or you, as the instructions make so sense without context.

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Participant ,
Feb 08, 2023 Feb 08, 2023

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Exactly, Brad @ Roaring Mouse.

 

They had in mind that "Spot White" thing, but in their case a Pantone color is used instead of a spot color. The concept is basically the same and I explained it in my previous reply (maybe you didn't see it: https://community.adobe.com/t5/illustrator-discussions/white-solid-print-on-a-transparent-sticker/m-...). I found some sources that explain these things better than the printer's instructions.

 

So I plan to print in white ink, not on white background.

 

I'm aware that QR codes need contrast to work, so these white QR codes will be used on dark backgrounds.

 

I printed white QR codes on my home printer on a dark rectangle (black or gray) and they work.

 

They also work if I scan them from my screen (if they are placed on a dark background).

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Community Expert ,
Feb 08, 2023 Feb 08, 2023

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Indeed, a Pantone Colour would have made a good placemarker, yes, but I always say you might as well make your own spot colour! 😉

As far as the reverse colour situation, it depends on the sophistication of the QR code reader itself. Some will "figure it out" while others won't read it at all. Just making sure you're aware.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 08, 2023 Feb 08, 2023

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Google "Do not invert QR Code Colors" and you will find multiple posts about this.

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