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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi There,

I have just stopped working for quite a big tshirt screen printer in the UK. I kinda got my job by accident. I thought I was applying to be a printer, since I have alot of screenprint experience because of my art background. My boss was in desperate need of an artist that could separate, and although I was not that experienced in separations, I started the job, and have been separating for a whole year. (and have grown to like it, and become quite good at it)
(right now I'm going back to school, hence me quitting the job)

My question to you guys is:
How did you find your separator? or your artist? or how have you become a tshirt designer/separator?
Are there any full time tshirt colour separators out there?

Although I have worked in the business for quite some time now, I haven't had alot of contact or information on this subject. (there is more printers then there are separators)
 

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Quick answer no. They are one and the same and then some.Usually designers have not been taught to sep because its not required to do thier jobs.Seps are very specific to screenprinting and most seperators are former or current screenprinters that have learned on the job.And learned how important the seps are to a fast set-up and a great print.
So I have never heard of any full time seperators,sorry.Designers that can sep are valuable to alot of start-ups that don't know how to do it themselves.
 

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Seps are very specific to screenprinting
Screenprinting is not the only plate based printing method; seps aren't specific to screenprinting at all.

So I have never heard of any full time seperators,sorry.
I've heard of a few, though I think most of the time the separator would also do other in-house artwork, so they're basically the all around art guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's true that litho prints also use separation.
And they even use spotcolours, since CMYK does not allow you to have the hip neon colours. (as an example)

Is there some kind of list of separation companies?
I have had to teach myself how to do it. Since other separators or people who know how tend to be very secret about their "skills"

I would love to find a place where I can train a bit.
So weird that this is such a specific skill, so essential for the print, and no one actually has a school or training. I always had the idea to be very important within the company. If I was sick, things always went horribly wrong. And still I was paid the same wages as a shirt catcher would have. (not completely true, but just to illustrate my point) I have the idea that most printers would see the art like a bit of a pain, a necessary evil as you will.

Is that true, or was it just my specific employer?
 

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Well Louis,your right to a degree.I engineer my seps for dot gain and bleed according to the textiles I'am printing.So I guess I consider that specific.I've had plenty of home separators/artist provide seps that were not reversed out, didn't register etc.I try to take the time to educate them but some people can't wrap their minds around what I'am taking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah tell us how deep it goes!

that is very interesting.
I mean I have separated for big big music bands and merchandise companies. And have always just used the standard rip software (I think we used filmgate). And then my boss suddenly goes: I need the dot gain bigger in this gradient.
Like anybody ever explained to me how to control that.
My seps are good, and I know how to set an angle in eliptical dots, but how on earth did I ever had to know that?
 

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Seems like the only separations I get to do are the bills from the junk mail.

Just kidding. I use Wilflex Easy Art for a lot of the stuff that I can't just rebuild in vector format. Easy art does a pretty good job and it's fairly fast. Although it is rare if the results don't need some sort of tweaking.
 

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Separations vary according to the requirements of the printing equipment and the preferences of the shop running. Overall the amount of trap (choke & spread) is handled manually for screen printing and almost entirely by program in offset. I use Illustrator for all manual trapping and producing sep files for the rip, and the rip is where things get set up for line screen/angles and the print file for the physical separation output. I could separate any file for print, but would need to know what amount of trap is needed for the shop's equipment for them to be of use.
 
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