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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a general question, so whatever you have in mind throw it out there.

I'm having a hard time adjusting from designing for print to designing for screenprint. A lot of issues become constraints. When designing for a digital press the amount of colors aren't an issue. But this has everything to do with screenprinting. How do I get gradients to print nice on a shirt? I still don't quite understand the separation process and most importantly I'd like to know your techniques of reducing colors and still having acceptable artwork.

I work in Photoshop and Illustrator and we currently have our screenprinter do the separations. Ideally, I'd like to send them something that needs little adjustment so that I know what to expect in terms of quality and also to keep cost down.
 

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You have to learn to design in a vector based program such as Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator. Think of designing for silk screen sort of like vinyl only you have to have knockouts. In other words one color can not sit on top of another color without having the shape of it knocked out of the underlying color. Jeez I hope that makes sense.
 

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What constraints/problems are you running into?
Your already working in Photoshop/Illustrator so you're all set.
About the only time you need to vector is when you want old school or spot color printing done and even old school looking print can be done from a raster file. Just design in the size you want printed.
Since your looking at fades/gradients then you need a shop that can do 4-color process and simulated process screenprinting.
With customer supplied artwork we prefer do the separations in house so we can set it up to run on our presses. We also can limit/drop colors at the time we do the separations.
Our designer works in Corel Photo Paint and PhotoShop.
Below is a design we did for a customer. 4-color process print on a white tee.



HTH,
Mark
 

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You can design in either vector or raster. Learnign to separate in Raster will take time and practice. Sim0ple vector art is easy as you essentially change each color/plate to black and all the rest to white. - Do this for each color in the design.
Blends and gradients will take time. Manual printing usually works best with 45 line screen. 25 angle
Auto printing 55-65 depending on the printer

google T-Shirt art separations

here is a link to a walkthrough for index separations in Photoshop.
www.teedesign.com/Technical_Info.htm

This will work for a lot of designs but not all. Gradients are tough to achieve with index separations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Fluid said:
here is a link to a walkthrough for index separations in Photoshop.
www.teedesign.com/Technical_Info.htm

This will work for a lot of designs but not all. Gradients are tough to achieve with index separations.
Wow, that site is awesome. Thanks a lot. I understand this 200% better now.

Couple questions though:

1) By creating my own custom color table following the website above, I've picked out 3 good colors that seem to get very close to the original artwork. The gradients leave a little to be desired though. And with my inexperience in separations, I'd like to leave that to the screenprinter. If I give them the colors I picked out, would that make their job a lot easier or is it not a big deal to them?

Gradients are tough to achieve with index separations.
2) I'm assuming this means there is a different type of separation. Does the color table change at all using this other method?
 

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Simulated process is another type of separation/printing method. essentiall its name tells you what it is. Rather than printing C,M,Y, K to get your colors a simulated process print utilizes specific colors in a design. You mix colors on press to acheive secondary colors just liky cmyk does.

The image shown above separated as a simulated process would render a more vibrant (saturated) print on both lights and dark shirts. If I separated this design I would print
White UB
Golden Yellow/Yellow Orange
Pink
Deep Blue/Royal
Lt. Blue
(possible Gray)
Black Highlight White

www.usscreen.com is a good site with some screen printing dvd's on using art and separations with CorelDRAW and Photoshop.

Impressions magazine is an awesome resource and free industry magazine. I believe their website is www.impressionsmag.com. Search back issues on simulated process separations and start reading.
 
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