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I screw'd up...Gradient Question

1313 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  out da box

Recently I did a T-Shirt for a non-profit. I don't have a whole lot of experience in screenprinting..I've only designed a shirt for one other event (separate non-profit). That one turned out..ok. I primarily design in-House for press or magazine - it's pretty much the same from project to project. I made a shirt for them and they went to go have it printed. I didn't see the shirts for a while after they were done. I went tonight and...

well, wasn't happy with what I saw. They, btw, are completely unaware of anything gone wrong.

Here's the image I used for the shirt.
Photo: Halloween falls... © James Thew #9462930

It was a PSD file I sent to them. I don't understand how the gradient broke up so sharply. It wasn't smooth at all...just a band of white..then a band of orange..then a band of red. Even in the type it sharply switched from orange to yellow to orange again. I'm here wishing that I used a solid color instead..I really do. But what's done is done. How did this happen? Was it something I did...or didn't do?

- ST
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Can you post the photo as an image instead of a link? I would help you out, but i don't click links. ;)
Ok, I uploaded the image for the actual shirt...sorry but they didn't give me one yet. Maybe next week? I just saw quite a few volunteers wearing them and I was following them closely to see how it turned out.

From the looks of it...I don't think they printed black. I was under the impression that they were doing the same heat transfer thing, like last year. (Perhaps this is an issue of miscommunication?)

Thinking back...I've just realized that they didn't use the revised they requested. It still looks pretty much the same...just weird that they changed it back.

I'm looking even closer into the file..maybe the gradient was a little complicated..but again..I don't think it would have been an issue if it was heat transfer'd (I gathered this from a conversation the staff had and the mention of "all the colors" :rolleyes: when I asked how many colors.)
I wished I would have been called/emailed if there was any issues.

So had I used spot colors (in .psd? Or would I have to export to .ai?) and maybe manually separated it, it would have been ok?


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So I did screw up...ackk! They still seem happy with the results...I guess that's what matters. I just need to get a better understanding so that when I do a shirt in the future I won't make this mistake again. I'm a production artist...I want to make my file/artwork as easy as possible to work with. I hang out with the press guys here at work too...they're jobs are hard enough already, I can imagine T-Shirt printers are as well.

If I understand this right...I should have used PMS colors, simplified the gradient and use some type of halftone effect no?
The printer should have been able to color separate that image into 4 to 6 colors and it should have looked damned close to the artwork. That image is actually not that hard to do because it's all shades of orange, red, and gold. 6 color simulated process. Here's something similar.


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