Penta Digital, Inc. July 16, 2008

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News From
John McAuley
Idea of
the Week

Underwhelmed? Try Overprinting!
A Message From John McAuley
The Way I See It

A Not So Trivial Pursuit

In 1979, two friends – Scott Abbott and Chris Haney – sat down to enjoy a game of Scrabble. As they unpacked the board, they discovered that some of the pieces were missing. Rather than look for another game to play, they decided they should try creating a board game of their own. Two years later, the duo introduced the first prototype of what would become Trivial Pursuit.

At the time they started working on Trivial Pursuit, neither Abbott nor Haney had any experience creating games. Abbott was a sports editor for the Canadian Press in Montreal, and Haney was a photo editor for the Montreal Gazette.

The game itself met initially with a tepid response. Abbott, Haney, and their business partners – Chris's brother, John Haney, and friend, Ed Werner – sank just about everything they had into its development. The quartet pushed hard to get it released and saw their dreams come true in 1983, when sales in both Canada and the United States topped the million mark. The following year proved even more successful, as Trivial Pursuit soon became a household name.

At the time, Trivial Pursuit was viewed as an overnight success. In truth that “night” had been long, hard, and fraught with anxiety. Here's the way I see it: Overnight successes seldom happen overnight. They typically take time and involve a fair amount of sacrifice, sweat, hard work, and tears.

At Penta Digital, we understand the work you've put into building your company or career, and we realize it certainly has been no trivial pursuit. So whether you're still struggling through the overnight – or enjoying the light of the dawning day – give us a call. We want to help you look good on paper.

John McAuley
Idea of the Week
Make a Splash With Creative Overprinting Techniques

Creating dimension in a one-dimensional print project can take some serious creative brainpower. Generally, printed items are planned with colors that do not go on top of each other, as this can sometimes cause an unexpected effect or colors to look "muddy."

With overprinting, however, you can work with your designer and printer to make a conscious decision to mix colors together by printing one on top of the other to form a new and interesting level of detail. While the final result depends on how your project is implemented, overprinting can provide a measure of depth that is often missing in projects that are printed on a flat piece of paper. See how creative overprinting techniques can be worked into your next print project!

Knockout vs. Overprint

Traditional design software automatically creates a knockout of any text or lines that are overlapping one another, so you're able to see the crisp, clear edges in your printed product just as you see them on your screen.

Knockout vs. Overprint

If the colors are overprinted, or overlapped, you have the opportunity to create an additional color and some added excitement besides. Type is one of the key items used in an overprint situation. While knockout text can be impactful, overprinting adds some dimension or thickness to the paint that is visible to the brain, even if your eyes don't register the difference. This slight trick of thickness makes the image appear to jump off the page and creates a completely new look from traditional printing.

Order of Colors Matters

One thing that's important to keep in mind with overprinting is the order in which the colors are applied to the canvas. If you're purposefully overprinting several colors, you wouldn't want to design your project with the lightest color in the back, for instance. The darker foreground color could easily overwhelm the lighter shade, causing an unexpected result. The colors will be printed in exactly the same order as the artwork, which is why it is critical to have someone who truly understands design and printing create your artwork to ensure a consistent result for your printed materials.

Come See Chicago

Just like every other creative approach to printing, you don't want to go overboard with overprinting. However, when used judiciously, you can create some really intriguing designs that would be much more difficult or expensive were you to use traditional printing techniques. A perfect example is with PMS colors where there might be a color match charge for each color. With overprinting techniques, you can technically get a third color without having to pay for an additional imprint!

Want to learn more about creating cool color effects using overprint techniques? Contact us today to get started on your next project!

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