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Discuss the various aspects of screen printing. Inks, speciality printing, print locations, durability, etc.



Colors and Screen Printing...

 
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Old January 13th, 2012 Jan 13, 2012 10:46:09 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Colors and Screen Printing...

Hey all-

I have two questions regarding colors and screen printing. If I have a vector file of some artwork to put on a t-shirt and send that file to 3 different screen printing companies, will the colors of that artwork be the same from each screen printer? Or, could there be a slight difference depending on the machinery and or ink types being used?

Secondly, can all screen printers create the same scale of colors? (If I recall correctly, I think 3 colors can create any color, correct?)

Thanks a ton!
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Old January 13th, 2012 Jan 13, 2012 11:29:19 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Colors and Screen Printing...

If you call out your PMS colors or any standard color matching system, the printers should match as best as they can which should all be pretty similar. Just note that discharging and waterbased inks arent always perfect color matches from my experience with printers.
 
Old January 13th, 2012 Jan 13, 2012 12:59:48 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Colors and Screen Printing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by csaluone
If you call out your PMS colors or any standard color matching system, the printers should match as best as they can which should all be pretty similar. Just note that discharging and waterbased inks arent always perfect color matches from my experience with printers.
Thanks for the reply... when you say "PMS colors" what do you mean in particular. Also, as I am a noob in this industry, besides waterbased inks, what are the other types of inks for screen printing?
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Old January 13th, 2012 Jan 13, 2012 1:17:41 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Colors and Screen Printing...

PMS is the pantone matching system. It is the industry standard for matching colors in printing. Because all monitors view differently, people use PMS colors to ensure that, what you design, is what is printed. Pantone.com is their website. Adobe Illustrator comes with built in pantone swatches. Im not sure of other design programs. If you need to pick some, go to a printshop and they should have a PMS book for you to choose colors.
As far as inks, plastisol, waterbased and discharge are 3 commonly used but there are several more specialty inks. You can find info on inks in many of these threads.
 
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Old January 14th, 2012 Jan 14, 2012 1:52:00 AM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Colors and Screen Printing...

When you say 3 colors can create any color, I think you're referring to RGB, which only applies to things like your monitor, whereas the combination of all three result in the white on your monitor screen.
So the answer is, obviously, no. CMYK, or process color printing will provide a wide gamut of color for images like photographs, but for spot color work with big, bright solid areas in many cases it can't match pure pigmented spot colors. Reds are particularly tough to match, or beiges.
There are Pantone to Process swatch books that will show you what process (CMYK) equivalents to specific spot colors are, and many are disappointing inasmuch as they're noticeably duller than their pigmented spot color equivalents.
One other thing. You absolutely cannot rely on what you see on your monitor as a true indication of what you'll get from the printer. All monitors are different, and unless you can get your's calibrated to match a Pantone swatch book, your finished product may look noticeably different from what you see on your computer. This has been an issue in the offset print biz for years, which is why when color is critical, they always go by the Pantone book for spot color work, and typically make the customer sign off on a calibrated inkjet print they can match on press, or make the customer come in and sign off on a press proof.
 
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Old January 15th, 2012 Jan 15, 2012 9:35:38 AM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Colors and Screen Printing...

Thank you all for the advice... So if I understand correctly, if I have a vector file and give it to three different screen printers, and all of them used PMS, then they would pretty much match in color (or come the closest)?

Secondly... of the three major inking processes (waterbase, plastisol, and discharge), what is generally seen as the highest quality? Just out of curiosity, what does a shop like CustomInk.com use?
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Old January 15th, 2012 Jan 15, 2012 10:01:50 AM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Colors and Screen Printing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeBug
Thank you all for the advice... So if I understand correctly, if I have a vector file and give it to three different screen printers, and all of them used PMS, then they would pretty much match in color (or come the closest)?

Secondly... of the three major inking processes (waterbase, plastisol, and discharge), what is generally seen as the highest quality? Just out of curiosity, what does a shop like CustomInk.com use?
As long as you specified the Pantone colors in your vector file..

The second is a loaded question with many different answers and opinions.......

Water base... Very soft hand last a long time as long as it was done right and cared for correctly...harder to use than plastisol

Plastisol.....has a lot of feel but if done right can get a soft hand and from my experience mostly being plastisol I personally like the results of the ink colors over water based.

Discharge..... Discharges the shirt dye during curing and most are water based but there are now some plastisol--plasticharge. I have never done this or have any plans on doing you have to have good ventilation from what I'm told and it's nasty stuff. We contract out this work to a shop that is setup to do so.
 
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