Mix and Transparency both create new objects from the overlapping areas of selected objects. Both also apply new colors, derived from the colors of the original objects, to the overlapping areas. However, Mix combines colors based on the concept that inks are mixing, while Transparency combines colors based on the model that the front object is translucent and light is passing through it.

For this reason, Mix uses the CMYK color system (an ink-based system) and Transparency uses the RGB color system (a light-based system).