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hello all, i've been printing for four years and lurking this forum for a while.. finally decided to stop being lazy and join :). I have a job coming up for a customer who needs a color gradient in the t-shirts. I've expiremented with mixing different color inks on my screens.. but it just doesn't look right.. any suggestions as to what i should be doing? :confused: please help me out!

and example would be like this.. the color fading from red to yellow to green..
http://www.ubiqlife.com/blog/images/ubiq_stussy_tee02.jpg
 

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You don't mix the inks on the screen. You use halftone dots on each individual color to create the blend. I don't know what program you are using. In corel you just use your interactive blend tool making sure you are blending between two or more spot colors and not cmyk colors. Then when you separate your colors make sure you adjust your halftone dot settings they vary depending on the mesh count of your screen. but the three settings are frequency which is usually between 40 to 60 and your angle which is usually between 25 to 65 and your dot shape which is usually eliptical. I would experiment until you find a setting that produces a smooth gradient with no moire pattern and smooth transitions between colors. The settings i use for intermediate mesh count screens are 45 frequency and 25 angle. Here is a little flame with a red to yellow gradient. I created with the interactive blend tool.
 

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For the image that you posted, it is definitely a halftone blend between 3 spot colors.. Red to Yellow to Green, If it is going on black shirts, you will also need a 4th screen for your underlay.. Cant forget the Black Screen if you are printing Light shirts...Personally if i was doing this print on a manual press i would use 230 mesh screens and print my films out at 48.62 lpi I would only use one screen angle on all three films.. Yes thats right.. One angle all across the board on every halftone job i print.. Never get a moire pattern and it makes dot gain your friend..and that would be 22.5 with a round dot.. Print White, flash, then the other colors wet on wet print order Red Green Yellow... Add a little soft hand additive to your inks for this one.. it will help with the blends..
 

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You don't mix the inks on the screen. You use halftone dots on each individual color to create the blend.
Yes, separating colors is the standard way but there is a way to create a color-blend using one screen on press... actually, I've seen it done on dark shirts so there was a flash/underbase screen as well.

I don't screenprint myself but I've been requested to output film with a solid design shape and just label it "color-blend" for the screen department... and the printing dept. does the color blend requested for our samples.

Not sure what the color limitations are but the blends are as smooth or smoother than if you used different colors on more screens.
 

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Yes, separating colors is the standard way but there is a way to create a color-blend using one screen on press... actually, I've seen it done on dark shirts so there was a flash/underbase screen as well.

I don't screenprint myself but I've been requested to output a film with a solid design shape and just label it "color-blend" for the screen department... and the silkscreen printer does the color blend requested.
Not sure what the color limitations are but the blends are as smooth or smoother than if you used different colors on more screens.
Ink blending in one screen with several inks is a real nightmare.. It takes a lot of steady control.. move the squeege a bit to the left or the right at the wrong spot, the blends go bad and gotta clean out all the ink and start all over.. The original image which was posted above..



was not printed with an ink blend in one screen.. zoomed in you can see the halftone dots... in the magnified and cropped image below...

The original image posted above would have had to be printed from side to side on the screen rather than bottom to top, to achieve an ink blend in one screen like that.. very impractical for any kind of production run
 

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The original image posted above would have had to be printed from side to side on the screen rather than bottom to top, to achieve an ink blend in one screen like that.. very impractical for any kind of production run

I thought that image was just an example of a design with gradients... not sure he meant it to be the exact same design he has or that his design is only a "half" gradient too.

Anyway, the results made one screen blends the standard practice being used for that company on simple designs... but like I said, I'm not sure of the color limitations... but they looked great.
 
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