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[Illustrator] - I have Illustrator Cs4 and am wondering if I can get brighter colors than the standard cymk.

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Old December 18th, 2009 Dec 18, 2009 8:15:01 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default I have Illustrator Cs4 and am wondering if I can get brighter colors than the standard cymk.

Any help would be great.
I have illustrator cs4 and am wondering if there is a way to get brighter colors than cymk. I got a few tshirts made to see how they would turn and the colors aren't as bright once the shirt was printed. It was done with a laser printer, my shirts have over 15 colors in them. Is it the printer they are using, should the colors look the same as they do in the computer? I am getting the same shirts made from a different printer to see if it is any better. I have seen shirts in stores with bright vibrant colors. How can I get these colors for cs4.
Any recomendations on where to get my shirts printed. They have a lot of detail with many colors. I havent found anyone to print them for less than 8 dollars. One small image on the front and a large image on the back. At this price there is no way to make any money. I need to get them done for around 5 or 6 dollars so I can sell them to the shops for 10-12 dollars..... Thanks for any help... complete tshirt rookie.....
 
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Old December 19th, 2009 Dec 19, 2009 2:33:57 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have Illustrator Cs4 and am wondering if I can get brighter colors than the standard cymk.

Is this transfer pressing?
Your colours will depend on the capabilities of your printer - you can't get more cyan than the cyan of your printer...
It also depends on the colour settings of your CS4 - your working profile should be AdobeRGB1998 and you can boost the colours if necessary. Your output profile is designed to mimic colours not give saturation. You can use a 'saturating' profile as a working profile to give more colour.
But in general CMYK is duller than RGB and you won't get the same colours as your monitor.
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Old December 19th, 2009 Dec 19, 2009 7:10:05 AM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have Illustrator Cs4 and am wondering if I can get brighter colors than the standard cymk.

All the things Dave said above are correct. Here is some more info as well.

If you are the graphic designer and you can work with the manufacturer with the production equipment, then there are ways to have your colors on screen match the production output on the shop floor. If you have stuff screen printed for you, you can get accurate colors on screen if you use Pantone colors only in your designs. A computer monitor can be calibrated (with special equipment) to accurately and correctly display Pantone screen printing inks on screen.

Other printing methods can also be calibrated to match the equipment in the shop to give accurate colors on screen to what you will get when the fabric is printed. It is an expensive process that entails calibrating the computer monitors to the printing process being used. Then if a piece of equipment in the production chain is replaced, many times you have to do it over again.
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Old December 19th, 2009 Dec 19, 2009 2:57:52 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have Illustrator Cs4 and am wondering if I can get brighter colors than the standard cymk.

thanks for the great info!!!
 
Old December 19th, 2009 Dec 19, 2009 2:59:25 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have Illustrator Cs4 and am wondering if I can get brighter colors than the standard cymk.

thanks, I will give try the rgb colors and see what I can figure out
 
Old December 19th, 2009 Dec 19, 2009 4:01:10 PM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have Illustrator Cs4 and am wondering if I can get brighter colors than the standard cymk.

Color reproduction relies on the color gamut which the output device is capable of printing. There are basically three types of color. Fixed spot colors (like Pantone colors) use primary color bases which are mixed in specific proportions to make a specific final color. These are going to be your most vibrant, solid and consistently reproducible colors. Next up are subtractive colors, with RGB leading the way. RGB colors are generally given in 0 - 255 numerical values per channel. These are "subtractive" because you take away color to go from white the black. So, white is 255,255,255 (RGB), black is (0,0,0). This gives you 8 bits per channel, or a possibility of 16.7 millions colors - a very wide color gamut. Lastly is additive color - which is called additive because you add more color to go from white to black. CMYK is an additive color scheme - 0,0,0,0 (CMYK) is white, 100,100,100,100 is black. These values are in percent. Unfortuantely, CMYK has a relatively narrow color gamut so it is difficult to get hot, punchy colors with CMYK process printing. This is why modern ink-jet printers add additional colors (light magenta, light cyan, shades of grey etc.).

To get the hottest colors spec them as pantone solid coated and make sure the printing method you are using actually prints pantone colors. I would recommend stopping off at your local graphics supply store and picking up a Pantone Solid to Process color chart. It may set you back $100 or so, but it will do two important things for you. 1.) Give you actual color chips of what the solid coated colors look like when they are printed on something. and 2.) Next to each solid coated printed color chip is a chip of equal size of the pantone color printed using process inks (CMYK). You'll be shocked at the difference in some ... particularly oranges.

Last thing to note. You can make "psuedo process" art. In photoshop you would convert your image to greyscale and then to "duotone" color. Once in duotone mode you can define up to 4 spot colors to use to make up your image. There are curves associated with the spot colors which allow you to control which shades of grey in your image get each specific spot color. This is a very common technique in high end paper printing, particularly when trying to get very nice looking metallic surfaces and contrasty chromes which have subtleties and wide gamuts that cannot be recreated with standard CMYK inks.

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Old December 20th, 2009 Dec 20, 2009 7:27:37 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have Illustrator Cs4 and am wondering if I can get brighter colors than the standard cymk.

Thank you for your great response. Unfortunately I have to ask how you spec them as pantone. Is this something I can do within cs4 Illustrator? I am basically just printing tshirts, the shirts have a lot of detail and color. I have always drawn cartoons and I decided to give the tshirt business a try. I got a business liscence, buy cs4 illustrator and turned my cartoons into designs on cs4 over many hours of frustration figuring out how to work the program. I still have a lot to learn. I have seen several shirts in the tshirt shops with bright vibrant colors. I have had vista print and a local printer print up my shirts and they are ok but the colors are pretty dull. I am going to try and figure out how to get the pantone colors. Thanks again for your great response.
 
Old December 20th, 2009 Dec 20, 2009 7:45:12 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have Illustrator Cs4 and am wondering if I can get brighter colors than the standard cymk.

I just found out I am using a swatch library named pantone solid uncoated that has a ton of different colors but they still aren't very bright. Thanks
 
Old December 21st, 2009 Dec 21, 2009 12:58:26 AM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have Illustrator Cs4 and am wondering if I can get brighter colors than the standard cymk.

The uncoated are dull, try the coated colours!
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Old December 21st, 2009 Dec 21, 2009 7:03:22 AM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have Illustrator Cs4 and am wondering if I can get brighter colors than the standard cymk.

How are you putting your designs on the t-shirts?

is it Silkscreening, transfer or DTG?

The shirts in stores that you are comparing yours to, are they done using the same method? (Silkscreen, DTG or Transfer)

I don't have allot of experience with Transfers or DTG, but from everything i've read, one of the biggest issues with these two methods is getting bright vivid colors.


CS4 shouldn't be the issue but there are a couple things that can help as others mentioned in this thread. also make sure you are working in RGB mode and not CMYK so you are getting proper display colors on your monitor.
 
Old December 21st, 2009 Dec 21, 2009 8:55:56 AM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have Illustrator Cs4 and am wondering if I can get brighter colors than the standard cymk.

Kenny, I don't know if a couple of things are clear, so here is some more thoughts. First, you only really benefit from using Pantone colors if you have calibrated monitors and are working with a printer that has a Pantone color mixing system. The other thing Pantone allows for is if a customer comes in with their logo and knows what Pantone colors are used in it, then you can print it with the exact colors. Pantone colors also work best for color matching if you are specifying spot colors in your art, not process or indexed colors. (If I'm wrong, somebody chime in.)

If you are creating original art of your own, and you are not after super exact colors but colors that are vivid and pop, then you can do some things to get prints that pop (this has nothing to do with Pantone color, you can forget about it for this). This works for any type of printing method; screen printing, DTG printing, sublimation, whatever, it even works for printing photos to be framed. You want to do what is usually called "optimizing" your art. It is a process to maximize color saturation, contrast, levels and the like while minimizing noise, bloom, washout and the like.

Here is a link to a video done by Dane Clement on this process. It is video number two in the section titled Before SPVR.

Tech Support Cafe

Also, Dane has a great book called T-Shirt Artwork Simplified, in two editions either for Adobe or Corel, that also has great info on how to get art ready for printing onto garments with great results.

Amazon.com: t-shirt artwork simplified

Check these out and see if you can glean some good info and methods from them.

One last note: You mentioned you had Vista Print print some garments for you. My wife had a couple of shirts printed for her by them just a few months ago (she got them for free in some promotion), and they were not so bright. They were DTG printed with no pretreatment so the colors did not pop at all. What this means is that you also must work with a printer that knows how to maximize the printing method being used. If they can not show you some examples of their work that look fantastic and really pop, that is similar to the kind of art you will be using, find another printer to work with.
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