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Overprinting is a technique, commonly used by PDFs, which are destined for print. When an object is not set to overprint, the downstream RIP will remove all color beneath the object (it's knocked out). This is fine for simple RIPs and jobs, since it reduces the complexity of separation generation.

It can, however, cause issues with black text. In this scenario, the black text knocks out all the background color beneath it. This means that when printed, the head alignment and registration needs to be perfect, otherwise you'll see small white borders around the text. When switching the text to overprint, the black is printed on top of the background color, removing any potential registration issues.

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